Davis Love III

Davis Love III plays in the 2011 PGA Championship tournament
Golfer Davis Love III. Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Davis Love III emerged from a golfing family to become one of the bigger winners on the PGA Tour in the late 1980s and into the early 2000-oughts, with multiple national team appearances.

The Life of Davis Love III

Davis Love III's father was a highly respected PGA Professional and teaching pro, Davis Love Jr., who is in the national teaching pros hall of fame. His father (who played in multiple major championships as a qualifier) instilled in Davis a love of golf and a respect for the game and its traditions that Davis carries proudly.

By the age of 10, Davis Love III knew he wanted to be a pro golfer. His junior career was impressive enough to win him a scholarship to the University of North Carolina, where Love was a 3-time All-American and the 1984 Atlantic Coast Conference champion. He earned a spot on the 1985 Walker Cup team.

Love turned pro in 1985, his still-raw game marked by tremendous power. In his first full year on the PGA Tour, 1986, Love led the tour in driving distance.

In 1987 he got his first PGA Tour victory at the MCI Heritage, a tournament Love went on to win five times total.

But this early part of Love's career was marked by tragedy: Love's father was killed in an airplane crash in 1988.

Throughout the 1990s, Love was a fixture on PGA Tour leaderboards, frequently posting Top 10s and finishing high on the money list.

In 1992, Love won three times. In 1997, he earned his first major championship at the PGA. His best season, in terms of the number of wins, came in 2003 when he posted four victories.

Love has been a staple on American teams in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, and in 2012 was captain of the American Ryder Cup team. He returned as captain during the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Love's career PGA Tour victory total might be higher but for back and neck problems that periodically force Love to withdraw from tournaments. Those injuries sent his game into a spiral in 2006 and 2007, and through much of 2008, but he rebounded to win the final tournament of the 2008 season, the Children's Miracle Network Classic. That was win No. 20 for Love on the PGA Tour.

And that seemed for a long time like it would be Love's last victory. But seven years later, Love won the 2015 Wyndham Championship. At age 51 years, 4 months, he became the third-oldest PGA Tour winner to that point.

In the world of business, Love Course Design is an architectural company Davis runs with his brother, Mark.

In 1999, Love's father, Davis Love Jr., was posthumously awarded the Harvey Penick Teaching Award. Davis Love III honored his father in 1997 with the publication of the book Every Shot I Take, about his father's teachings on golf and life. It won the 1997 USGA International Book Award.

Love was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2017.

Key Facts

Date of birth: April 13, 1964​

Place of birth: Charlotte, North Carolina​

Nickname: DL3 (this became a common shorthand way of referring to Love later in his career when online social media such as Twitter became big)

PGA Tour Victories: 21

Major Championships: 1, the PGA Championship in 1997​

Awards and Honors:

  • Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Captain, U.S. Ryder Cup team, 2012, 2016
  • U.S. Ryder Cup team member, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2004
  • U.S. Presidents Cup team member, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005
  • Member, U.S. team, Walker Cup, 1985

Trivia: When Davis Love III won the 1997 PGA Championship, he became the third person whose father was a PGA Professional to win the PGA Championship, after Jack Burke Jr. and Dave Marr.