Davis Love III and Jim Furyk Copying Each Other’s Tournaments

Davis Love III and Adam Svensson, 2022 RSM Classic,(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Davis Love III and Adam Svensson, 2022 RSM Classic,(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /

Nothing succeeds like success, and while Davis Love III has a PGA Tour event and Jim Furyk has a PGA Tour Champions one, Love is quick to say he’s copying some things from the Furkys.

“I think in the beginning, Jim obviously saw us pop out of the ground as, you know, a really well-run tournament because we went and stole people from like Johnny Harris and the PGA TOUR ( Wells Fargo Tournament),” Love explained. “So Jim and Tab did the same thing. They went and found the right people.”

While some of the pattern to what they do is similar, a lot of it is different. And of course, it’s different Tours.

“Yesterday out in the pro-am, I was just counting skyboxes and tents and venues,” Love admitted.  “My granddaughters want to come back because of the Kid Zone they played in last year.”

The RSM Classic is the last tournament of the year. When it finishes, it will determine who is in and out of getting an exemption on the PGA Tour for 2024.

Furyks have pro-ams starting on Monday at Constellation Furyk and Friends. There’s a morning one and an afternoon one. And they go for four days.

They have skyboxes, big screens, and concerts, but that’s in part because they are in a city atmosphere, just 20 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, Florida, which is actually the largest city in the state. (Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando just have a bunch of other towns that back up to them.)

The first two years, the hotels in downtown Jacksonville even had water taxis to the tournament because the course is on the banks of the St. Johns River and has a dock at the back of the clubhouse. Today a sound stage was being readied for another concert. That’s two this week.

The Loves have a smaller municipality in Brunswick, Georgia, for the RSM Classic. Their pro-ams run for three days, but they have two courses to use at the Sea Island Resort, which is on a barrier island off the coast, east of Brunswick. They even have an off-site pro-am. That demonstrates the popularity of the pro-am.

The idea for using both courses for the RSM Classic, which is key to their success, came from Charley Hoffman who was on the Policy Board with Davis Love III.

According to Love, “Hoffman at a board meeting said, ‘I don’t know why Vegas, why we don’t play two courses out there because we could play a bigger field.’”

Love thought he could do that at Sea Island, and the reason both did it was to provide more playing opportunities for more players.

“I’m on the (PGA Tour Policy Board) board. I’m supposed to create playing opportunities,” Love explained. “At that time, we were playing a short field and it (playing two courses) helped.”

It gave Love’s tournament twice as many pro-am spots to sell, and for their tournament, that is where they raise their charity money.

“We have an easier time selling pro-am spots than we do corporate hospitality,” Love explained.

"“We have a great Monday pro-am. We have offsite pro-ams. We have so many people that are willing to support the charities by paying to play in a pro-am, but they don’t want to spend $50,000 or $100,000 for a skybox.”"

At RSM, their charity money comes primarily from the pro-am sales. It’s important to point out that hospitality skybox pricing for a PGA Tour event is usually higher than for a PGA Tour Champions one, but the locations of tournaments probably affect that also.

“Now I want to copy what they’re doing,” Love said. “They sell more than us, they build a lot more than us. It’s incredible.”

The RSM has the perfect spot on the calendar for Davis Love III and Co.

One thing nobody else can copy is the date on the calendar that Davis Love III now has.

The RSM Classic is the last tournament of the year. When it finishes, it will determine who is in and out of getting an exemption on the PGA Tour for 2024.

It will also finalize who will play in the second and third Signature (formerly Elevated) Events in 2024 because those in the 51-60 in FedEx points spots will be in, and those at 61 and higher will be out. The top 125 will be exempt for 2024 regular events.

Because of the changes to the PGA Tour for 2024, the field for the RSM may change a bit this year.

"“I think we’ll have kind of the same field at the top end because we have so many guys that live there or live close by,” he said. “Then we have so many wives and players that love coming to Sea Island. So, I think our top end will be basically the same.”"

Davis Love III doesn’t anticipate a lot of the top 50 players entering because they are already in the big events for next year.

“They’re getting ready to go play in the Bahamas (Tiger Woods’ tournament) and getting ready to go to Kapalua,” Love added.

“Every week on the Tour, the Champions Tour, there’s something big to play for. Now guys are trying to get into the Playoffs on the Champions Tour these last couple weeks.”

Next. Els, Furyk, and Clarke Captain New World Champions Cup. dark

Next week is the SAS Championship in Cary, North Carolina. It is the last tournament on the regular schedule for PGA Tour Champions players.

Their playoffs begin in two weeks at the Dominion Energy Classic, followed by the TimberTech Championship, and then the Charles Schwab Championship.