Dominate on the Champions Tour? Or take your chances against the new wave of young players on the higher profile PGA TOUR?
Couples has some time to decide. He doesn't turn 50 until Oct. 3, 2009, thus becoming eligible for the older circuit. But he's already given a lot of thought to it.
'If I could play well on the senior tour, possibly playing well and being in the last group (in the final round), that's what I would rather do,' Couples said Wednesday, a day before teeing it up in the opening round of the Memorial Tournament.
Couples won the 1992 Masters and tied for third this year after battling playing partner and eventual winner Phil Mickelson in the final round. With 15 career victories, he has made more than $19 million on tour -- not counting the swag from his numerous big paydays in those made-for-TV Skins Games.
He doesn't appear to be slipping into the background, with almost $750,000 banked this year in nine tournaments. Couples still stands No. 21 in the world rankings and is considered one of the top contenders in almost every event he enters.
Jay Haas has covered much the same territory as Couples, one of his best friends. With a dependable, steady swing, he continues to straddle the two tours. He has won his last three starts on the Champions Tour, including his first major championship in Sunday's Senior PGA Championship.
'Last week was the highlight of my career,' he said of his playoff victory over Brad Bryant, which came in his 90th start in a major championship. 'I know that people say it's just a Champions Tour major and everything, but it's where I am now and I don't feel it's any less of an accomplishment.'
On the PGA TOUR, Haas has made $63,000 in four starts. Making his 29th appearance at the Memorial, he's only missed the cut twice. And he's already looking ahead to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open.
Haas, 52, loves that he can pick and choose where and when he plays. One week he's paired with icons such as Ray Floyd and Hale Irwin, who were established stars when he first turned pro way back in 1976, and the next week he's matching strokes with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
For some stars, it's ego-deflating to move on to the Champions Tour -- all but conceding that their best days are over.
But within the next four years, among the others eligible to join Couples on the older tour include Mark Calcavecchia, Steve Jones, Tom Lehman, Mark O'Meara, Corey Pavin, Kenny Perry, Nick Price, Hal Sutton, Bob Tway, John Cook and Nick Faldo.
That's not bad company.
Haas has some advice for Couples and those others.
'I've contended every so often (on the regular tour) but not as much as I have on the Champions Tour so far,' Haas said. 'And that's fun. When Fred comes out, he will absolutely love it and he will do great just like he's done out here (on the regular tour).'
For his part, Couples says he just wants it to mean something when he plays.
'I have no intentions of coming to the Memorial as a mediocre player and trying to make the cut and finish 60th when I could be in contention somewhere else,' he said. 'Jay has won three or four in a row. That's what I would love to do.'