Davis Love III has been named the winner of the 2013 Bob Jones Award. The USGA’s highest honor, the award recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by the legendary Jones.
“Throughout his impressive career, Davis has distinguished himself with his sense of fair play, integrity and reverence for the game’s traditions,” USGA President Glen D. Nager said. “His passion for the game, as well as the values and principles that guide his everyday life, are emblematic of the characteristics that the Bob Jones Award seeks to identify. Golf and all those who play it are inspired by Davis' example.”
Love, 48, will receive the Bob Jones Award during the USGA’s Annual Meeting, to be held in San Diego in February. Love has won 20 PGA TOUR events including the 1997 PGA Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club and the 1992 and 2003 PLAYERS Championships.
“Davis epitomizes everything that Bob Jones stood for with his character, integrity, displays of sportsmanship and his spirit of giving back,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “He truly understands what it means to be a role model and has been a great ambassador for the PGA TOUR and the sport of golf, both on and off the field of competition. He is a worthy addition to the list of distinguished winners of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award.”
Love finished second in the 1995 and '99 Masters, as well as in the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club. Love’s poise, dignity and graciousness in those disappointing outcomes – in addition to the humility, respect and sportsmanship he displayed in his numerous triumphs – were strong factors in his selection for the Award.
So were Love's outreach efforts to both his local community and to the golf world. He established the Davis Love Foundation in 2005 to assist national and community-based programs that work to build a better future for at-risk children.
Based in St. Simons Island, Ga., the foundation is the host organization of the PGA TOUR’s McGladrey Classic, which benefits the Special Olympics and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Georgia, two of the USGA’s allied organizations.
Love has also represented his country as a player in six Ryder Cups and captained the 2012 U.S. Team. He has also played in six Presidents Cups and in the 1985 Walker Cup.
In 2008, Love received the PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award, which is awarded to a player who shares the conduct, respect and philanthropy that were displayed by the 1991 and 1999 U.S. Open champion who died in a plane accident in 1999.
He also earned the 1997 USGA International Book Award for "Every Shot I Take," a tribute to his late father, Davis Love Jr.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Following the smashing debut of its RocketBallz metalwoods last year, it was only a matter of time before TaylorMade put some of the same technology – and part of that name – into irons.
On Tuesday the company introduced "RocketBladez” irons, featuring a slot cut in the sole of the iron similar to the slot on the RBZ fairway woods and hybrids. The slot flexes and rebounds at impact, increasing the speed of the face and creating faster ball speed, higher launch angles and higher ball flight, according to TaylorMade.
TaylorMade calls the slot the “speed pocket,” and it is found on the 3- through 7-irons. The two-millimeter slot is protected from the elements by a polyurethane strip. The irons also have a large cavity behind the stainless-steel face to lower the center of gravity and pull it farther away from the face to promote forgiveness and higher launch.
Two editions of the irons are coming to market, the Rocketbladez (arriving at retail on Dec. 3; $799/steel, $899/graphite) and RocketBladez Tour (arriving Feb. 1; $899/steel). The Tour irons have smaller heads, less offset and a less-pronounced cavity.
“We created RocketBladez irons for amateurs, but when our TOUR Staff pros tried it, they wanted it,” said TaylorMade president and CEO Mark King. “We created a Tour version, and they love it. It’s the first distance-oriented iron to be played on TOUR. The genius of the Speed Pocket is that not only does it deliver more speed for more distance, it delivers consistent speed, so shots fly a consistent distance. That combination of speed and consistent distance is what made the eyes of our tour pros light up.”
Sean O’Hair put a set of prototype RocketBladez in play earlier this month at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas, the first of probably many sets on TOUR if the RocketBladez prove as popular as the RocketBallz metalwoods.
STROKES-GAINEY PUTTING: Until last week, the book on Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey was that he was a serviceable putter, not the best on TOUR but not the worst. In 2011 he was 78th in strokes-gained putting, and coming into last week was 86th.
And then the fourth round at The McGladrey Classic got under way.
Gainey, of course, shot the low round of the year on TOUR, a 10-under 60 that vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard. Nearly three hours later, he was a first-time champion. He was plus-5.119 in strokes-gained putting for the round, an amazing figure for an amazing round. (He’s now 66th in strokes-gained.)
He did it with an Odyssey Backstryke Blade, one of the more unusual putters on TOUR from a mainstream manufacturer. The putter has a T-shaped head with a shaft that connects to the rear of the putterhead.
Gainey put the putter in play in 2010 on the Web.com Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am and finished second, and since then has stuck with it. His model is 34 inches in length with four degrees of loft and an XG insert.
BITS: Davis Love III finished T4 at his hometown McGladrey, using a belly putter for the first time. He did not anchor it. … Odyssey presented Brandt Snedeker with a gold putter as congratulations for his FedExCup title. Odyssey has only made two gold putters for non-major titles; the other was for Stuart Appleby’s final-round 59 in winning the 2010 Greenbrier Classic.
WINNER’S BAG: Tommy Gainey at The McGladrey
Driver: Callaway Razr Fit (Aldila RIP shaft, 10.5 degrees)
Fairway wood: Callaway FT-I Tour (15 degrees)
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro a12 (20 degrees)
Irons: Callaway Razr-X Forged (4-PW)
Wedges: Callaway Forged (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey Backstryke Blade
Ball: Callaway Hex Tour Black