Fred Couples's Yellow Golf Ball Strategy Actually Makes a Lot of Sense

Katherine Stinson - Author

Apr. 10 2023, Published 1:55 p.m. ET

Fred Couples
Source: Getty Images

You don't have to be good enough to compete at the Masters to understand how golf works, right? Grab the right golf club, swing, and ideally, you'll hit the ball.

Is there an image more synonymous with golf than the miniscule white ball that golfers hit with each swing? So, why is one golfer at the Masters bucking tradition with a yellow golf ball?

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The golfer in question is 63-year-old Fred Couples. Not only did he make Masters history by being the oldest player to make the cut at the 2023 Masters, but he certainly had golf spectators intrigued by his use of a yellow golf ball.

So, why does Fred use a yellow golf ball? Here's what we know.

Fred Couples
Source: Getty Images
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Why does Fred Couples use a yellow golf ball?

According to USA Today, Fred has been using a yellow golf ball at the 2023 Masters purely for the sake of visibility.

The 1992 Masters champion can see a yellow ball better than a white golf ball. Is Fred the only golfer who uses a yellow golf ball? Not exactly!

According to a report from Golf, the popularity of yellow golf balls has slowly been on the rise over the past few years, even though certain pro golfers like Tiger Woods always thought, "they were for hacks," (per an interview Tiger did on the Another Golf podcast).

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Tiger also roasted Fred for using a yellow golf ball on the podcast. Tiger said, "We give [Fred] grief all the time about using the yellow ball. But he absolutely loves it because he can’t see anymore. You should see the front on his phone; it’s like one letter per screen."

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Do yellow golf balls give players an advantage on the green?

It's understandable to assume that a brightly colored golf ball might give golfers an advantage over other players who use the standard white golf ball, right?

Surprisingly, a yellow golf ball offers no difference in terms of advantage during a golf game, compared to a white ball, according to the same report from Golf.

Justin Timberlake and Fred Couples
Source: Getty Images
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True to form, Tiger joked that he would consider using a yellow ball like his friendly rival Fred. He said, "I don’t need a yellow ball. But if it’s guaranteeing me a 60, I’m using it every day."

Wait, so amateur golfers can buy yellow golf balls too?

Yes! It's actually pretty standard for amateur golfers to start off with yellow golf balls when they're just starting to work on their golf game. (You can buy some yellow golf balls on Amazon, for example!)

As for Fred? Per CNN Sports, the golf legend said, "I’m going to try and compete. I can’t compete with Viktor Hovland or Jon Rahm or anybody, but I can compete with myself, and that’s really why I come. That’s what I like to do, is make the cut here at an older age."

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