Missing the junior clinic Fred Couples gave on Tuesday afternoon is a drawback to my late arrival to the US Senior Open. At last year’s pre-media day, it was announced that Freddie would host a clinic for kids 17-and-under on the range at Sahalee. I remember joking to one of the tournament organizers that perhaps I could still pass for a junior. (I know I just set myself up there.)
From the sounds of it, I missed quite a few classic Freddie moments.
But friend and fellow scribe Tony Dear attended the gathering and wrote about it over at The Bellingham Golfer:
Couples didn’t actually make many swings during today’s clinic which was put on for members of the First Tee of Greater Seattle and Rotary Boys and Girls Clubs in the Central Seattle District. It lasted an hour and a half but in that time, the 50-year-old 15-time PGA Tour winner can’t have hit more than eight balls. Most of the time he was answering questions from the kids; questions that ranged from the fairly tame – ‘What is your favorite color?’ (Augusta Green, of course), to the technical – ‘How do you keep so cool?’ (I really don’t know, but I’ve gotten better at it as I’ve gotten older) – to the downright cheeky – ‘Can I have one of your golf balls?’ (Yes).
Couples was relaxed and cheerful and obviously loving every minute. He says he wants to do really well this week. And if you can judge a player’s potential on only eight swings, I’d say the chances of his doing really well are really good.
When the PGA Championship was played at Sahalee in ’98, he tied for 13th. With the fairways still as narrow as ever, keeping it in the short grass will be key, and of course, Freddie will tell you that he’s going to have to do whatever he can to “get it in play.” Puh-lease.