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Davis Love III Debuts His New Design in Gautier


On October 6, 2002, Davis Love III attended the grand opening of Shell Landing Golf Club, Love Enterprises’ newest course designs. The course is located in Gautier on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. In inaugurating the course, the world’s seventh-ranked player shared his insights into the game, the recent Ryder Cup, and his philosophy of golf course design.

Love explained, "I have not hit a golf club since the eighteenth at the Ryder Cup, so I hope the course isn't set up to hard today, Kenny." He was referring to Kenny Hughes, Shell Landing’s director of golf.

Love held court with a group of local media, members and fans who wanted to know about the European team’s antics on the 18th green at The Belfry at the conclusion of the Ryder Cup. They asked if he was bothered by Sergio Garcia's run down the fairway after the Europeans had secured victory.

While they waited for his response, Love deferred comment and talked about someone he called, "the classiest guy of the Ryder Cup." He was talking about Pierre Fulke, his opponent on the final day. Love explained that the Swede offered to concede the hole because the Europeans had already won. Love explained, "It was a Nicklaus-like gesture that deserves more attention and (represented) what the Ryder Cup is all about."

Back to the new course, Love said his company has a "commitment to preserving the land in a natural state by designing a course that will compliment the existing terrain."

Love Enterprises was formed in 1994 and boasts a staff with a lot of know-how in the golf industry. Love and his brother, Mark Love, team with Bob Spence, Paul Cowley and Scot Drader to create courses that blend with the land – such as the case with Shell Landing in Gautier. Coastal courses generally don’t have much rolling terrain, but Love’s design team retained those endemic characteristics to create a unique course on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

After speaking to the crowd in Shell Landing’s new clubhouse, Love led the assembled guests to the facility’s large practice range for a clinic. Love then played the 7,000-yard course from the back "Snapping Turtle" tees. Despite a neck injury, Love played all 18 holes. He capped off the round with a booming drive on 18 that led to a 1-under-par round of 71.

Shell Landing brings this coastal resort area to over 288 holes of golf designed by such notables as Arnold Palmer, Donald Ross, Jack Nicklaus, Mark McCumber, Earl Stone, Willard Byrd, John Lafoy and Jack Daray. With 26 miles of Gulf of Mexico coastline, over 17,000 rooms and 12 Vegas-style casinos, no wonder the area is becoming known as the "Golf Coast."

For more information on Shell Landing or golf vacations on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, call 1-866-383-GOLF. Or contact Kevin Drum, Executive Director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Golf Association, at 228-374-4653, extension 24.