Sega Game Gear Gaming: Fred Couples Golf

By: D.C. Cutler, U.S.A.

When I tell people that my favourite professional golfer is Fred Couples, they usually give me side eye and ask, “Why?”. When I was little, my two favourite games on my Sega Game Gear were “The Incredible Hulk” and “Fred Couples Golf.”

The 1994 golf game was panned by critics when it was released. I think the reason some critics hated it was because the cramped graphical layout was a flaw. It didn’t bother me. I never chose a caddie, which was an option in the game. I’ve always believed that the practice mode and easy controls were innovative for a golf game.

I would play my Game Gear on the way to school on the bus, and on the way home as well. That was a lot of Fred Couples Golf. My mother would take my Game Gear away from me when I arrived home and tell me I could play after I finished my homework. The game was addictive. I started watching every golf event that Couples played in.

Many of my friends would ask me why I enjoyed Fred Couples Golf so much. The game was pretty much my introduction to the game of golf and the rules. I learned what a bogey was and I learned how to properly hit a golf ball out of a bunker. The game was unique because Couples, who endorsed the game, wasn’t a playable player. You could only play against him; and, on the difficult level, he was a worthy opponent.

I enjoyed the Couples game so much, I always wondered why Fred Couples didn’t get a game with more exceptional graphics for PlayStation or Xbox? Most of the big consoles made games endorsing Tiger Woods and other younger, more popular players on the PGA Tour. I doubt any game maker will, but if they made a Fred Couples game today, I’d buy it.

If a developer can centre a golf game around legends like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, I don’t see why they couldn’t make a new game featuring Couples. However, video games are usually not designed for legendary players on the PGA Champions Tour.