Street. SIMMONS ISLAND, GA — Day after day, Robin Love would wake up unannounced at the same time every morning: 5 o’clock, which is when their three-story, 12,000-square-foot home of more than 20 years caught fire at 27. March 2020.
“When you see 4:55 or 5 on the clock, you can’t go back to sleep,” said her husband, World Golf Hall of Fame member Davis Love III.
Often after a disaster, Robin would get out of bed, drive to the site of her old home and sit by the seven-stall horse barn that had survived the fire and watch the sunrise. When Davis wakes up, he wonders where his wife has gone and will call her. He was wondering with concern in his voice, “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“I do it because it makes me feel better,” Robin said.
In the aftermath of losing their home, and with it a lifetime of memories and memories, in a fire of two alarms, the Lovers experience a range of emotions from disbelief to anger and finally acceptance. Nothing symbolizes this transformation more than the horse barn.
“She wanted to tear it down,” Davis recalled. She would say, “I just stood in that barn and watched my house burn.” She said, “I don’t think I could ever go back there.”
This is the story of Robin Love’s come full circle, and now the couple is about to begin rebuilding their family home nestled among live oaks and palms on a secluded five-acre plot with a prime marsh frontage.
Davis and Robin Love dated in high school at Glenn Academy, and the pair are the unofficial mayors of this picturesque corner of Southeast Georgia, the largest of a chain of barrier islands nicknamed the Golden Isles. for a decade, Loves hosted the RSM Classic pro-PGA Tour draft party For the tournament in a tent in their backyard, guests feasted on the best country cuisine on the island, and Robin made sure every detail was right—down to the flowers on the tables. Their daughter Lexi married into the house, and so were a few friends. Charity events were held there. Losing their home was a traumatic experience, each of them dealing with pain and anguish in different ways.
“I remember hearing about Raymond Floyd (whose house burned down in 1992) and I think that’s really sad but until you go through it you can’t imagine,” said Davis. “It’s hard because people ask questions all the time like do you have a racket from that time? And I’m like, ‘No, I actually don’t.'”
“It’s a little like when someone dies, say you lose a parent, and you come up with something to say to everyone. I’m really good at deflecting. I’ll say, ‘Look at a new speculator.’ I’m really good at changing the subject because you don’t want to say, ” I lost everything I had in a fire and I had nothing left.” And they said, “Oh, I shouldn’t have talked about that.”
As he had done many times before, Davis relied on the advice of famed sports psychologist Bob Rotella.
“He’s a psychologist first, a sports psychologist second. He helped me with my brother-in-law’s suicide, the loss of my father, all the things that happened to me,” Davis said. “If it wasn’t for Rotella, I wouldn’t have been able to get over him.”
first love question “What do I tell my granddaughter?” Davis remembers. “She wants to go see the house that’s still burning. What do I do? She was five years old. If she wants to go, take her,” he says. Tell her it’s just stuff and we’ll rebuild it and you can help pick out stuff for the house. Let her know that everything is fine and that life will go on. We get there and she says, “Poppy, is the barn, okay?” I said: Yes, the barn is fine. She said, “How about the boat?” I said: the boat is fine. He’s in the dock. She said, “Well, everything will be fine.” Rotella let me be a part of it, and she saved the day for me. There are 10 other stories like this, in which it helped me to say or do the right thing that made other people feel good.”
Rotella said Love handled his “gut check” the way he always does: “He’s the strong person who directs his energy to help other people.”
Rotella has always preached the importance of viewing everything that happens in life as a blessing. As such, all of his teachings are about perspective and how to respond to the vagaries of life. Love advised, “If you find a silver lining, you can handle anything.”
Rotella had another refrain that he repeated: It’s going to take time, so don’t do anything drastic.
The Loves moved into a nearby house on the island and went so far as to put the property where their previous home was on the market, but Davis deliberately set a price so outlandish he knew it wouldn’t sell. In the back of his mind, he was hoping Robin would change his mind. Their new home was beautiful in itself, and soon became a popular gathering place for friends as Robin resumed her role as “most important hostess”. (Georgia football has gone undefeated in the past two seasons since the Reuben began showing Bulldog games in their new platform.) But as Robin said of their new home, “It’s like it’s not really mine. I built everything else where we lived.”
Before long, Robin begins to return to the old home site. She fed her kittens there, tended the garden, and dealt with the emotional trauma she experienced in her own way. Davis remained worried. He insisted that he would not leave her to play golf until she met a therapist. Robin made an appointment, went to the first session and at the end shook hands with the therapist and said, “Thank you so much, you did this for my husband, and I’m not going back.”
Slowly but surely, Robin decides that there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on the past. The wheels moved forward, and began to find comfort in their old place.
“The Earth is still here,” she said. “The house just went.”
The Loves continued to maintain the pool at their former home and this is where Robin made her recovery. Davis says this is still a work in progress for her, and admittedly she has been reluctant to talk about this story. Some memories can trigger an outpouring of emotions.
“Christmas is going to be tough. Mom’s needlepoint socks for everyone in the family, that’s the stuff that gets you. Golf stuff, that’s just stuff, but family heirlooms can’t be replaced,” Davis said. “I’m not going to have pictures to pass on to my kids because 90 percent of them are gone.”
On the first anniversary of the fire, Robin went to the barn, watched the sunrise, said her prayers thanking God that they both got out alive and vowed to build a new one.
“She’s an incredibly strong character and has been through a lot,” Davis said. “Many people would crawl into a hole and never get out.”
The Loves hired the architect who designed the house they bought after the fire and incorporated their favorite elements from their temporary digs into the new design. They are due to seek approval for the plans in January, and hope to begin construction on the beachfront cottage-style home early next year. The goal is to host an RSM Classic Pro-Am party in the old backyard of their new home in November 2024. Then, and only then, will the circle be complete.
“It was my forever home and gone, so the next one should be my forever home,” Robin said. She paused, laughed, and said, “It must be so. I’m getting too old.”