NEW ENGLAND GOLF MONTHLY | Celebrity Golfer David Southworth | CEO of Southworth DevelopmentWednesday, October 25, 2017
Q&A WITH DAVID SOUTHWORTH
David Southworth may not be a recognized “celebrity” to many avid golfers—and that’s fine with David, an avid golfer himself, who prefers to have his life’s work get all the recognition—but his passion in developing luxury golf and hospitality communities throughout the world in general and in Massachusetts in particular deserves celebration.
As the President and CEO of Southworth Development LLC, which is based in Newton, Mass, David has served as owner, manager, consultant, or construction manager to dozens of properties throughout the United States, The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Scotland. In a career that has spanned 26 years, David’s projects have topped $2 billion in investments, and he is a leader in the industry for the standards he sets for service, design, and amenities.
Southworth Development is a privately held firm owned by David and his good friend, Joe Deitch, who founded and is current Chairman of Commonwealth Financial Network, headquartered in Waltham, Mass, the nation’s largest independent broker/dealer. Southworth Development owns six premier properties at the moment: Willowbend on Cape Cod, Renaissance north of Boston in Haverhill, Machrihanish Dunes in Scotland, Creighton Farms in Virginia, The Abaco Club in The Bahamas, and Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire (the only one without golf).
David Southworth grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, during spring training for the Chicago Cubs, he was a bat boy for two years and a clubhouse boy for the next six.He left Scottsdale and the Cubbies for Ithaca, New York, where he earned first a degree from Cornell University’s prestigious School of Hotel Administration and then a job with Hyatt Hotels. One of his first golf/hospitality jobs after Hyatt was an eight-year stint at Pompano Beach Club in Bermuda
In 1992, David began his residential/golf development calling when he joined forces with Paul Fireman, founder of shoe apparel giant Reebok International, as President, CEO, and half owner of Willowbend Development. Their first property together was Willowbend, which the two turned into one of the most luxurious private clubs and communities in New England.
David worked with Paul Fireman from 1991 to 2005 until he went off on his own with Southworth Development. In 2008, his company purchased the meticulously crafted Brian Silva designed Renaissance course and community, and in 2012, it bought Willowbend from Fireman. Fireman, by the way, is the builder and owner of Liberty National Golf Course, New Jersey, where the Presidents Cup has just been played.