From the Words of Davis Love Jr.

by Brian Dobak
September 7, 2011

In 1997, Davis Love III and his friend Michael Bamberger penned "Every Shot I Take", a literary homage to his father Davis Love Jr, who died tragically in a plane accident in November of 1988. Davis Love Jr., an instructor at Sea Island Golf Club, was one of the best teachers of his time and his teaching style and knowledge are the stuff of legend. In "Every Shot I Take", DLIII devotes the bulk of the memoir to his fathers renowned collection of hand written notes on the golf swing. Most of the book is applicable to teaching professionals in some form or another, however a few particular sections stand out as being penned specifically for teaching professionals.

In the section “Advice for Teaching Pro’s", Davis Love III writes:

“Dad was a meticulous man, determined to always improve himself. That’s why he was always writing himself notes, and I’m just so glad that he and my mother saved them, or most of them, over the years. Going through his notes, I found one he had typed for his own use during his early days in the business, when he was Head Professional at Charlotte Country Club. I’d like to share it with you because I think it gives an insight into how he analyzed situations, and I also think it offers some sound advice for teachers and students alike:

Talk to your member on the way to the practice tee. Find out what he shoots, what his problems are, and what he wants to get out of golf. Not every player wants to be the best golfer in the world. Many members do not have the time or inclination to completely revamp their swing. They do not want to go through the drudgery of mastering major changes in their swing, so don’t be too anxious to condemn or criticize any and every moment in their swing that deviates from the “normal” or the “correct.”

Any move in your members swing that repeats can be used to his advantage. No matter how wrong it looks, think long and hard before tampering with any part of the swing that consistently repeats. You can build around this motion and produce an effective swing because repetition is the key to success in this game, whether or not it conforms to the “standard” swing.

Stay away from major changes, unless it is in your junior program

Teaching with criticism is the easy way out, but not the most successful. Be a creative teacher! Put all your energy and enthusiasm into every lesson you give and you will find that you will reap benefits not only in satisfied customers and increase lesson business, but also increased shop sales as well.

In the section titled “Spray Paint”, Davis Love III writes,

“Dad never went anywhere without a can of spray paint, and it’s not because he was a graffiti artist. He was forever drawing lines on the grass of whatever practice tee he was standing on. The line would show the shape of the backswing and follow-through. On the backswing, the line would go straight back from the ball for a few feet, and then curve gently in. On the follow-through it would go straight to the target. He’d have his pupils swing along these painted lines in practice. With enough practice, the lines would “appear” in their minds eye on the golf course. That’s the best way to get to know the proper swing path.

Once I asked him, “Dad, what would’ve happened if you hadn’t discovered spray paint?” He said, “I would’ve had to pay a lot of money in college tuitions.” In other words, Dad felt that Mark and I became the players we did-good enough as seniors in high school to win golf scholarships for college-because we had down the principle of a good path and a good plane. Everything flows from that. But you don’t really need a can of paint to perfect your plane and path; you can lay down clubs, grip end to clubhead, or you can use tape or string. Regardless, when you’re learning about plane and path, get something tangible to help show you the way.”


This is a small sampling of the awesome content in "Every Shot I Take". The book is filled with anecdotes from both Davis Love III and his father Davis Love Jr. Regardless of the kind of path you are taking as a golf professional, PIFG highly recommends this book for your enjoyment and knowledge.