PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS INSIDER
Davis Love III ready to balance golf and broadcasting
January 22, 2020
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- January 22, 2020
- Davis Love III will make his CBS Sports TV debut this week at the Farmers Insurance Open. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)
Fresh off a T19 at the PGA TOUR Champions season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, Davis Love III will make his debut in a new role this week at the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The Hall of Famer will put down his clubs and pick up a microphone in San Diego as part of CBS’ revamped golf team that now also includes Frank Nobilo and Trevor Immelman.
Love, 55, says he long has been an admirer of CBS’ golf coverage. He went so far as to say some of his best friends have been part of the network’s team over the years.
For the Hall of Famer, the move is about timing and his desire to try out a new role.
“They were after me for a while, and I was looking to get into the business,” Love said Wednesday. “So the timing was really great.
“I’ve been beat up the last few years playing and knew I didn’t want to play 25 or 30 weeks a year. This is just a great opportunity. I appreciate them thinking I’d be good and wanting me on their team. I’ve been hanging around their crew a long time and a lot of my best friends are on that team. I’m excited about it.”
Love will start off as an on-course reporter. He anticipated being assigned to follow either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson this week.
“I know that sounds like being thrown into the fire, but actually I get to cover my friends,” Love said. “I have a lot of stories about them. I know their games. I’ve played with them a bunch.
“It (on course) is a good place for me to start rather than try to throw it to commercial or another tower, things that take practice. I’ll get that a little more slowly. I’m gonna learn the business and the flow of the show.”
It’s hard to believe anyone knows more about golf than Love. His father was a renowned golf teacher, and Love has been playing professionally for 35 years. He has won 36 times worldwide, including 21 times on the PGA TOUR. He has been a Ryder Cup captain twice, and he has spent time designing courses as well.
He is the third-oldest player to win on the PGA TOUR, taking honors at the 2015 Wyndham Championship at 51.
Love listed Dave Marr as his favorite golf commentator. He also mentioned former CBS lead analyst Ken Venturi as another whose comments carried a certain gravitas.
“Venturi made the transition from a player to the tower and said things that made sense to me,” said Love, who mentioned he will be an on-course reporter for at least his first four events. “I didn’t always agree, but he made me think and I liked listening to him. That was early in my golf watching years.”
Love said he has spent the past few months watching a lot of televised golf with a different ear than he ever has. He’s curious to know not only what’s being said but why it’s being said and when.
He believes his job is to bring to viewers the things they can’t see, such as why a player chose a certain club or played a shot in a certain way.
“I don’t want people think I’m all of a sudden going to be Johnny Miller, but if Phil tells me he’s hitting his driver really well and he’s missing every fairway, I’ll have to say maybe this isn’t working. I have to be honest.
“What I’ve come up with is what people want to hear from me or Dottie (Pepper) on the ground is what are those guys doing that you can tell us that we can’t see. You can watch on TV and see Phil hit driver into the rough and he has to chip out. Tell me why, tell me how he’s going to get out. Tell me how difficult the shot is and how do I play it if I’m in that position. They want inside the ropes, inside the head, a little something that somebody can’t tell them by watching.”
Love said Pepper has been an invaluable resource, and lead CBS analyst Nick Faldo also has chimed in with good advice.
Still, Love doesn’t know what to expect his first time out.
“This week could be pretty rocky,” Love said. “I’ll stay away from reading social media. But, hopefully, I can get a little bit of my personality and my information out there.”
Love said he’s probably going to cut back on his PGA TOUR playing schedule and maybe play a couple more events on PGA TOUR Champions. He played nine on the regular tour and six on Champions in 2019.
“I don’t want to give up on playing,” Love said. “The Champions Tour is a lot of fun and I see myself going more that direction.”