Davis Love III
Davis Love III was born the day after the 1964 Masters, an event his father led after an opening-round 69 left him tied with eventual winner Arnold Palmer. Davis Love Jr., one of the top instructors of his generation, was the head golf professional at Charlotte Country Club at the time. Thus, Davis III's exposure to the game began in Charlotte, where his parents would stroll him around the classic Donald Ross layout.
The Love family ties to the Carolinas remain strong today. Davis and his brother, Mark – the president of Love Golf Design – competed on the University of North Carolina golf team. (While there, Davis gave a fellow All-American, Michael Jordan, his first set of golf clubs.) Davis led the university to an ACC title on the famed Pinehurst No. 2, where he also won the 1984 North and South Amateur. And more than a third of Davis’ PGA Tour wins have come in the Carolinas.
The Club at Irish Creek is Davis’ first course in the Charlotte region, but about half the courses created or renovated by Love Golf Design have been in the Carolinas, many to critical acclaim. Forest Oaks Country Club, where every hole was redesigned in 2002, drew outspoken praise as host site of the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro. Golf Digest recently named the Love Course at Barefoot Resort as the No. 1 course in Myrtle Beach – topping not only the three courses developed simultaneously at Barefoot by Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, and Greg Norman, but more than 100 other layouts by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Robert Trent Jones, Rees Jones, George Cobb, and Tom Doak.
The Club at Irish Creek may be the Loves' finest handiwork anywhere. As Golfweek architecture critic Brad Klein wrote, The Club at Irish Creek is "a very strong candidate for Golfweek’s Best Top-100 Modern status and clearly the best work yet produced by Love Golf Design."