Our Story

1991 David Southworth joins with Paul Fireman, of Reebok International fame, as Willowbend Development is born. Willowbend’s first project is its namesake private club—but the company soon goes on to create many other new clubs, resorts, and communities around the world.
1992 Willowbend on Cape Cod opens to widespread acclaim. Heralded as a club that’s truly “for everyone,” Willowbend breaks with tradition in many ways and positions itself solidly as a place where the quality of the experience is what matters, not a lot of stuffy rules.
1994 Willowbend Development joins with Tishman to acquire and develop the Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort in Puerto Rico. Endowed with an amazing beach and pool area, luxe hotel rooms and two championship golf courses, Rio Mar ups Puerto Rico’s game.
1996 Willowbend Development acquires national brokerage & consulting firm Golf Realty Advisors. The move adds to Willowbend’s expertise across a wide range of businesses and brings new capabilities to the Willowbend Development team.
1996 Rio Mar opens with great fanfare, as representatives from the government of Puerto Rico and other dignitaries gather to commemorate the debut of the island’s most luxurious new resort property. From day one, the resort attracts discerning travelers from around the world.
1997 Willowbend Development wins the rights to acquire and develop Liberty National Golf Club on New York Harbor. This prestigious property, which has since hosted multiple PGA Tour events, sits within sight of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline.
1999 Ocean Villas opens – a 113-unit condominium project adjacent to The Westin Rio Mar. This new real estate product adds to Rio Mar’s momentum and cements its spot as the place to live and visit in Puerto Rico.
1999 Willowbend Development buys a half-interest in a previously failed community in Tucson, Az. named Starr Pass. A four-year plan is drafted to create Tucson’s best-ever resort community, with unprecedented amenities and a luxury lifestyle unique to Starr Pass.
2000 Willowbend Development acquires a minority interest and development rights in a to-be-developed upscale resort in Puerto Rico called Coco Beach. Plans call for luxurious accommodations, real estate offerings, and two championship golf courses.
2001 Demand for our services takes a new turn. Willowbend Development concludes its first decade in business as a resort golf development company and adds to its capabilities the management of upscale golf resorts on behalf of other owners.
2003 The 575-room JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort opens in Tucson to widespread acclaim. The Tucson area has never seen anything like this property, which merges an upscale desert design with a wide range of amenities and luxurious real estate choices.
2005 As Paul Fireman takes a step towards retirement, Willowbend Development is split between David Southworth & Paul and is renamed Southworth Development. Paul retains ownership of Liberty National and Willowbend, while David retains Coco Beach. Southworth Development is hired by Paul to manage his interests in Rio Mar and Starr Pass and to construction-manage Liberty National.
2006 David Southworth’s longtime friend, Joe Deitch, joins Southworth Development as Chairman and Co-Owner. A true visionary, Joe is the Founder and Chairman of Commonwealth Financial Network, America’s largest independent broker-dealer firm with over $150 billion under management.
2006 After launching the resort and 12 hugely successful years in which it became the crown jewel of the burgeoning resort scene in Puerto Rico, Southworth sells The Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort.
2006 Southworth Development purchases a controlling interest in Meredith Bay, a 600-unit resort-style gated community on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. The community offers stunning views of the lake and area mountains, along with room for considerable new development.
2007 Four years after the debut of the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort, Southworth capitalizes on its strong momentum and premiere position in the marketplace, and the property is sold.
2007 Southworth is hired to construction-manage and operate a new golf resort on Scotland’s southwest coast—The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, consisting of Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, The Ugadale Hotel and Cottages, The Royal Hotel, and five food and beverage outlets.
2007 Southworth assumes ownership of The Village at Machrihanish Dunes and begins accumulating award after award from magazines and organizations the world over-impressed by the resort’s luxurious accommodations, unique links golf course, and its warm Scottish welcome.
2008 Southworth Development purchases Renaissance Golf Club (now just “Renaissance”), a private golf club featuring an acclaimed Brian Silva Signature golf course in Haverhill, Mass. It later adds an award-winning clubhouse and a range of other first-class amenities.
2009 Southworth Development acquires Creighton Farms, a 964-acre luxury residential club community located in the rolling hills of horse country in Aldie, Va., just west of Washington, D.C. The property features an award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
2009 Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, The Ugadale Cottages, and The Old Clubhouse Pub open for business. The next year, its Ugadale Cottages are named “Hotel of the Year (Small Hotel Category)” by Scottish Golf Tourism.
2009 Renaissance debuts its 34,000-square foot clubhouse, replete with grille room, locker rooms, nine clubrooms for overnight stays, fitness center, and a spectacular ballroom that quickly becomes one of the Greater Boston area’s most sought-after wedding venues.
2012 Grand Opening celebrations are held to commemorate the openings of the 22-room Royal Hotel overlooking picturesque Campbeltown Harbour, and the 23-room Ugadale Hotel, which serves as the centerpiece of The Village at Machrihanish Dunes.
2012 Southworth Development comes home again as it purchases Willowbend, the renowned Cape Cod club community where David Southworth got his start, from Paul Fireman. New amenities and new real estate offerings are soon to be added to the community, which has since its inception been one of New England’s most acclaimed club communities.
2014 In partnership with a consortium of club members and residents, Southworth acquires The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, a private international sporting club located on Great Abaco Island in The Bahamas, from the Marriott Corporation.
2017 Southworth assumes full ownership of The Abaco Club on Winding Bay. The Club hosts the first of several PGA Web.com Tour events, The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, which is won in its inaugural year by Andrew Landry.