Dublin Villager

Guide to the Muirfield Village Golf Club

Team captains offer their insight to course

By

Fred Couples and Nick Price may be opposing captains for this year's Presidents Cup, but the two have shared numerous tee boxes, fairways and greens during their time atop PGA Tour leaderboards.

About 12 years ago, both were playing two-and-a-half hours north of Columbus at the World Golf Championship NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron. On the morning before a mid-tournament round, Couples and Price arrived at the practice range.

Couples and his caddy, Joe LaCava, were having "a bit of a go" as Price put it in his Zimbabwean accent. So, Couples and Price decided to swap caddies for the coming round.

"There was a time I was struggling a little bit with a lot of things," Couples said. "I was wearing Joe out. He would have ran to anybody."

With their new caddies in tow, Couples shot a 66, Price shot a 67. Both players moved into the top 10. After lunch, Price returned to the practice range with his original caddy, Jimmy Johnson.

"Well, how was it," Price asked.

"It was OK," Johnson responded.

"What's the difference for caddying for Fred?"

"Well, he's about a half-club longer than you. Doesn't hit as many shots and he likes to cut the ball."

Price kept prodding.

"What was the biggest difference caddying for Fred and me?"

Johnson looked Price straight in the eye and said, "The quality of the women in the gallery."

Price told this story sitting along side Couples at Muirfield Village Golf Club last October, a year before the start of this year's Presidents Cup. The close friendship these two share was evident. That friendship will take another competitive twist at the Presidents Cup.

"Fred and I go back a long way," Price said. "Thirty-odd years. Obviously Fred and I have been counterparts. We've played so much golf together over the years. He's been a great friend, and I know he's going to be a tough adversary."

Couples is in his third consecutive stint as U.S. team captain. He is 2-0. Price is in his first year, replacing Greg Norman.

Couples and Price are familiar with Muirfield Village Golf Club. Couples, who will turn 54 on Oct. 3, has played in 22 of the 37 Memorial Tournaments. He won the event in 1998 and finished second in 2004 and 2005. In all, Couples, has 14 PGA Tour wins, three on the European Tour and eight on the Champions Tour. His lone major championship was the 1992 Masters Tournament. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame this year.

Price appeared in nine Memorial Tournaments. His best finish was 10th in 1995. In all, Price has 15 wins on the PGA Tour including three major championships -- the 1992 British Open and the British Open and PGA Championship in 1994.

Both players have expressed their adoration of Muirfield Village Golf Club, which Golf Magazine recently selected it No. 27 among the Top 100 Golf Courses in the U.S. and No. 48 in the Top 100 Golf Courses in the world.

About a month before ascending to central Ohio for the Presidents Cup, the captains took some time to give ThisWeek their thoughts on each hole.

Comments