REVOLUTION ON THE FAIRWAYS

It's now ten years since Fred Couples started a footwear revolution in golf by wearing the ECCO GOLF STREET — a hybrid without spike or cleats — at the 2010 Masters. Celebrating that anniversary, and the story of the shoe that changed golf forever, ECCO has created a limited-edition version, the ECCO GOLF STREET 10.

There's always been an air of West Coast cool about Fred Couples, a Seattle-born golfer with a loose, easy manner and an equally languid swing. As well as a willingness to do things differently, such as playing freely without socks or a glove or inhibitions.

Some say he's the 'coolest cat in golf' or 'the first golf Zen master', while Sports Illustrated once suggested the American had 'a jewel thief's grace, a baccarat player's looks, and a royal gait'.

Even when Couples breaks with golf's conventions — and breaks them somewhere as traditional as the Augusta National, the home of the Masters — he still has that same relaxed demeanour, he's still golf's king of cool. That made the American the ideal ambassador for the ECCO GOLF STREET, the laidback shoe that started the hybrid revolution in golf. A hybrid without the spikes or cleats of traditional golf shoes. And a shoe so comfortable, so versatile and so stylish, you could gladly wear it on and off the course, from the fairways to the city streets to a restaurant.

The limited-edition ECCO GOLF STREET 10 is both a modern reimagination of the iconic original and an elegant, luxurious reminder of the day Couples turned up at the 2010 Masters in the hybrid and shot an opening round of 66, proving you didn't need spikes or cleats. Listening to the crowd that day, Couples was acutely aware they were more interested in his shoes than they were in his scorecard, even though he would finish the round six under par and at the top of the leaderboard. "I'm walking down fairways expecting people to say, 'Nice tee shot'. Or 'Go get them, make a birdie here'. But instead everyone was talking about my shoes. Everyone was calling out, 'I want those shoes'," recalls Couples, who stayed as unruffled as ever, and was sixth after the four rounds.

 
 

"EVERYONE WAS CALLING OUT AT THE MASTERS, 'I WANT THOSE SHOES'"

FRED COUPLES - PROFESSIONAL GOLFER

Such was the attention that Couples' shoes attracted at the Augusta National — he caused more of a stir than when he had won the major in 1992 — the hybrid revolution quickly took hold. "Everyone I knew wanted those shoes, and every one of their friends wanted them, too," says Couples. "It all happened so fast. The shoes took off. It was fun to be part of that. Wearing those shoes was like walking on air. The comfort is a ten, just perfect."

A decade later, most professional golfers play in hybrid shoes, as do close to 90 per cent of amateurs. "It was ECCO that started this ball rolling. The shoes are a big deal, because if you look at every pro tournament that's played, I think 80 percent of the guys are wearing hybrids, and that's amazing. The footwear in golf has completely changed in the last ten years, and that's because of ECCO."