It’s a challenge to condense the career of Davis Love III into a few short lines. The World Golf Hall of Fame member has been a force in the game for over thirty years. As an accident player in the 90’s he was a staple on major championship leaderboards. He won the 1997 PGA Championship in fairytale fashion and added two Players Championship titles to go with it. His 21 total wins on the PGA Tour puts him in rare company especially with his latest coming at age 51. Love is a two time Ryder Cup captain and currently serves as the US President’s Cup captain for the 2022 matches slated for his home state of North Carolina. His career in golf has been incredibly impressive and even with all of those resume highlights, he’s not done yet.
Today, much of Love’s time is spent working on his golf design business. Alongside his brother Mark, Love has built a design company that is founded on the principles of golf’s golden age. Pulling inspiration from the likes of Seth Raynor, C.B. McDonald, Donald Ross, and Allister MacKenzie, Love Golf Design has a long list of projects to their credit and no two courses seem to be alike. In today’s competitive golf architecture market, Love Golf Design is garnering lots of attention for their thought provoking renovation work. Their latest effort in Richmond, Virginia is a renovation and reimagination of the municipally owned Belmont Golf Course. Love joins me on Mid-Am Crisis to discuss that effort and much more.
During our discussion, Love and I dive into Phil Mickelson’s recent win at the PGA Championship, his thoughts on the 2021 Ryder Cup matches(he’s currently an assistant Captain for the team), and took a deep dive into his design career and the newly debuted Belmont Golf Course. We also took a detour into one of his great passions – cooking BBQ.
Love was kind to give me quite a bit of time for our discussion and it was a real treat to talk some golf with him. His insights into Phil winning over 50, the U.S. chances at Whistling Straights, and what his favorite BBQ stops around the south are were all fun to hear. I particularly enjoyed his perspective on golf design and why projects like Belmont are likely to become par for the course in the future as there are less opportunities to build new courses. I’m excited to share this interview and thanks to the good folks at Belmont for helping make it happen.
About the Belmont Golf Course project…
Belmont was originally designed by A. W. Tillinghast and hosted the 1949 PGA Championship which was won by Sam Snead. In the decades to come the course fell on hard times and conditions suffered. Some land was lost to infrastructure projects and the character of some holes changed forever. Faced with many challenges, the local government came close to shuttering the course before deciding to partner with the region’s First Tee program and Love Golf Design to give the property new life. Thanks to those efforts, Belmont now has a fully restored collection of 12 Tillinghast holes, a sprawling practice facility, large putting course and even a six hole short course inspired by the best works of Tillinghast. The course re-opened in May 2021 and positive reviews are already flowing in.
To learn more about Belmont Golf Course and the vision for it’s future, please visit https://www.playbelmontrva.org/
To learn more about Love Golf Design be sure to check out https://davislovegolfdesign.com/
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