Davis Love III on THE PLAYERS moving back to March
May 09, 2018
By Davis Love III, Special to PGATOUR.COM
- May 09, 2018
Inside the PGA TOUR
THE PLAYERS Championship 2018 preview
Editor’s note: World Golf Hall of Fame member Davis Love III, who won THE PLAYERS Championship in 1992 and 2003, provides his thoughts on the tournament’s move next year back to March when the PGA TOUR reworks its 2018-19 playing schedule.
THE PLAYERS Championship has always been close to my heart. My dad hosted the very first one in 1974 at Atlanta Country Club. I was 10 at the time and I always tell people that I sold lemonade at the first PLAYERS. So that was pretty cool.
We moved to Sea Island, Georgia, a few years later and we came down to watch the tournament when it was played at Sawgrass Country Club. Then when the Stadium Course was first built at TPC Sawgrass, we got to go down and play it, which was pretty neat.
It's so amazing to come all that way from a little kid watching the first one to winning it – twice, even. I kind of count those as my majors, along with the PGA Championship, of course. I think people have realized with the buildup to THE PLAYERS and the strength of the field, that it’s a tough, tough tournament to win.
Both my wins came when THE PLAYERS was played in March -- just like it will be again next year. I think it’s great that our showcase event is moving back to March. I think it's nice to be the first major of the season. It's nice to be in its own slot. THE PLAYERS obviously belongs in that rotation as a major or the biggest non-major, if you will. So it's nice to start with that in Florida.
I liked the golf course better back in March, too. It can be blustery. It can be different weather. But I think the golf course plays better that time of year. It'll be firm. The more you get into the heat of the summer, it seems to soften up a little bit, whether it's the rain or humidity or whatever. For those of us who live in the area, we like the spring. March is when it starts warming up but it's not humid, so it's a good time of year to play golf.
There's so much buildup for the majors. It's great for golf to have them all spread out now from March all the way to the FedExCup Playoffs. Every month has something really, really big. So I think it's perfect. And THE PLAYERS is first, which I think is very good strategy.
I also think it's good for the PGA to get away from being jammed up with The Olympics and too close to the FedExCup Playoffs, so I think everything has its own space now.
Scheduling is the hardest thing we ever had to deal with as members of the Policy Board. I think now they've got it kind of laid out for the future that the fans can really understand that we're on the West Coast in January and February, and then in March the big ones, the majors, start and the FedExCup Playoffs are in their own month. We're not up against football and so I think it's all going to work great.
We’ll have a great Florida swing leading up to THE PLAYERS. I'm happy with it being back in March. I think it's going to be great. The players are all excited about it, too. I can tell you that without hesitation.
The players are excited about THE PLAYERS moving back to March.