Southworth Development specializes in the creation of residential resort and hospitality-branded real estate communities. Founded by David Southworth, the company has grown to become one of the industry's great success stories. During his career, David has developed over $1 billion in golf and hospitality projects. Today, Southworth Development is recognized as a leader in the field, known for its dedication to quality and consistency.
In 1992, David was one of the founders of Willowbend Development and served as its President & CEO. Over the ensuing fourteen years, Willowbend developed its namesake community located on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, as well as The Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort & Country Club in Puerto Rico, the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Arizona and Liberty National, an exclusive golf club and residential community, located adjacent to the Statue of Liberty on New York Bay in Jersey City, New Jersey.
In 2005, Southworth Development was formed, and David continued to develop award-winning golf and resort communities, beginning with The Village at Machrihanish Dunes on the west coast of Scotland. Opened in 2009 and designed by David McLay Kidd, the seaside links course at Machrihanish Dunes has been heralded as a “A Future Classic” and “Future Top 100 in the World” and is a perennial favorite among the 'Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland'. In addition to golf, the village consists of two historic seaside Scottish hotels which were lovingly restored to their former glory and reopened in 2012 along with the creation of single-family residential home sites and award-winning fractional ownership golf cottages.
In 2006, Southworth Development took a quantum leap forward when Joe Deitch, a longtime close friend of David Southworth, joined the company as Chairman and visionary partner. Along with David, Joe has helped position the company to succeed in the dramatically changing world of real estate and resort development. Joe’s passion for the business and his many talents have helped create an organization that’s unique in the real estate development world – a veritable “dream team” of professionals from many different disciplines. As the Founder and Chairman of Commonwealth Financial Network, the nation’s largest privately owned, independent broker/dealer firm with over $80 billion in management, Joe’s financial acumen is well known. His expertise has strengthened the Southworth company on many levels. But Joe is much more than just a numbers guy. He’s a true visionary with an innate ability to spot, and capitalize on, the trends that shape our industry. His marketing savvy helps steer the company on a regular basis. And his personal commitment to the ideals of quality, community and integrity reinforces all that Southworth stands for.
Also in 2006, Southworth purchased a controlling interest and assumed the role of developer and managing partner of Meredith Bay, a remarkable new 600-unit gated community on New Hampshire's famed Lake Winnipesaukee. The resort community features Adirondack-style single-family homes, homesites, townhomes and condominiums with enviable views of the lake along with a list of amenities that includes tennis, swimming, hiking and walking trails, a marina and private beach club.
In 2008, PGA Village - The Bahamas was announced. The community sits on a 1,906-acre oceanfront site and when completed will consist of 36 holes of oceanfront championship golf designed by Rees Jones, a PGA Learning Center and Historical Center, a five-star boutique hotel, casino, residential/retail village and over 1,500 residential units.
Also in 2008, Southworth purchased Renaissance Golf Club, in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the first Brian Silva Signature Golf Course, which was named New England's "Golf Course of the Year" by the NEGCOA and a Finalist for the "National Golf Course of the Year" as well as the 2006 Runner Up as Golf Inc.'s Private Club "Development of the Year.” The Club's beautiful 30,000 square-foot clubhouse opened in 2009.
In March of 2009, the company acquired Creighton Farms, a 964-acre, luxury residential golf community located just outside of Washington D.C. in Aldie, Virginia. Creighton Farms features a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, recognized as one of the ‘Best New Courses in 2008’ by Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Travel + Leisure Golf – one of only two private courses in the world to be recognized by all three publications that year. It was also recognized by Golfweek as one of the nations “Best New Courses” for 2009. The club's stunning 34,000-square-foot American Vernacular-style clubhouse featuring 9 luxury overnight club rooms opened in 2012 and saw it play host to the first-annual Jack Nicklaus Invitational charity golf tournament.
In March of 2012, Southworth Development announced it had come to an agreement with David's long-term friend and former business partner, Paul Fireman, to purchase Willowbend on Cape Cod. Being the club where David began his development career, serving as President and CEO of Willowbend Development from 1992 to 2005, this was a unique opportunity to take over stewardship of the club and community that had always been like a second home. Featuring 27 holes of championship golf, luxurious estate homes and guest villas, a world-class tennis facility, Olympic-sized pool, state-of-the-art fitness facility and spa, Willowbend has long been considered Cape Cod’s most prestigious and exclusive private enclave playing host to not only the rich and famous, but celebrities and professional athletes from around the globe.
Following Southworth Development’s acquisition of The Abaco Club, the Executive Chefs from three Southworth sister properties visited Abaco as guest chefs to give the members a taste of Southworth.
Dawson Frock from Renaissance just north of Boston started the rotation, bringing his affinity for classic, fresh local ingredients with him. As the Abaco Club’s first guest chef, he dazzled members’ palettes with his Blackened Grouper, Maple Glazed Chicken Breast and Bahamian Conch Chowder.
Next to visit was Chef Reid Badger from Creighton Farms outside of Washington DC. Known for making everything from scratch, Chef Reid crafted a number of sumptuous dishes while in Abaco, including Lemon Grass and Lime Ice Cream, Mango Cake made with mangoes and a hint of ginger, and Home-Made Bread with olive and basil ciabatta.
Southworth Development has acquired the spectacular Abaco Club on Winding Bay from Marriott Vacation Worldwide Corporation. Southworth acquired the community, in an all cash purchase, in partnership with a consortium of members and residents of The Abaco Club.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay is one of the world’s great sporting clubs, with residences that rival the finest in any island setting. The Club features over 2 miles of white-sand beach; an acclaimed tropical links golf course, which has been consistently ranked as the #1 course in The Bahamas by Golfweek Magazine; tennis; a wide range of water sports, world-class bone fishing, deep-sea fishing and boating off Abaco’s famed shores and surrounding islands.
The Right Honourable Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, said: “We welcome Southworth Development’s involvement in The Abaco Club on Winding Bay and look forward to working with such a renowned group. Renewed interest and long-term investment in the property will benefit Great Abaco and The Bahamas in the form of increased home building, tourism and jobs. ”
Southworth is planning a multi-million dollar renovation of the existing facilities which will begin immediately. In addition, a new state-of-the-art golf practice facility will be added, along with a new marina and boathouse.
Since being named "Resort Experience of the Year" by Golf Tourism Scotland as well as the proud recipient of their "GEO Sustainability Award" in 2013, Machrihanish Dunes has continued to impress, adding several more accolades to their list. Mach Dunes was honored to be named "Scotland's Best Experience" by the readers of Bunkered Magazine as well as landing among the Top 100 courses in all of Great Britain & Ireland by a large panel of expert raters from National Club Golfer. Good company indeed! Below are a few of the recent awards that Machrihanish Dunes has proudly received.
National Club Golfer: 2015 “Great Britain & Ireland Top 100 Links” #55
National Club Golfer & Lady Golfer: The 2014 Golfas “Golf Resort Award” #1
Golf World Magazine (UK): 2014 Top 100 Golf Courses in Britain & Ireland #68
Lady Golfer: 2014 “Top 50 Play & Stay" in the U.K. #3
Golf Digest: 2014 “Top 36 Destinations for Buddies Trips” | Scotland #1
(Machrihanish Dunes, The Old Course, Trump International Golf Links, and Carnoustie)
IAGTO: 2014 “Sustainable Golf Course of the Year" #2
Bunkered Magazine: 2013 Scotland’s Best Experience #1
On September 14th, Willowbend held its second annual Honoree Day—an event created to celebrate the contributions individuals have made to the community as well as the world at large. This year, Willowbend honored Jack and Barbara Nicklaus for their philanthropic efforts, namely their work with veterans, particularly those wounded in service to their country, and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
The Nicklauses are an unstoppable force when it comes to helping people and raising money for worthy charities. In 2004, Jack and Barbara created the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which has raised several hundred millions of dollars for pediatric health care programs throughout the country.
In 2012, Jack and Barbara teamed up with Southworth's Creighton Farms outside Washington DC to create the Creighton Farms Invitational Hosted by Jack Nicklaus. This event raises money for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and children’s hospitals in the metropolitan Washington DC area. Last year’s event raised over $700,000 for the Foundation and promises to raise even more in 2015.
Willowbend welcomed Jack and Barbara with a luncheon and a fireside chat with over 200 Willowbend members and their guests. After discussing a variety of topics including Jack’s golf career and enjoying a barrel of laughs, Southworth Development owners David Southworth and Joe Deitch along with the whole Willowbend community presented Jack and Barbara with $100,000 for their charity.
One of Scotland’s most dramatic golf courses, Machrihanish Dunes, is celebrating the Year of Natural Scotland by herding an unusual bunch of ‘locals’ back onto the course.
Keeping it neatly nibbled during the winter months, the maintenance of this stunning coastal course is a labour of love for these ‘natural lawnmowers’; a flock of 40 black Hebridean sheep.
Set to swing back into action on October 18, these woolly wonders are not only a hit with visitors but provide a perfect example of environmentally friendly practice in Scotland, the Home of Golf. So much so, these ‘natural lawnmowers’ can be credited with helping Machrihanish Dunes secure the 2012 Association of British Travel Agents title of ‘Number 1 Eco Golf Course in the World’.
David Southworth, President and CEO of Southworth Development, owners and managers of Machrihanish Dunes, said: “Here at Machrihanish Dunes we are very proud of our eco friendly status and in particular the iconic characters who have helped us achieve our environmentally friendly credentials.
“By using the ‘natural lawnmowers’ to thin out the rough on the course we are able to help preserve several rare and protected species of orchids that grow here on this site and in few other places. The added benefit is visitors can enjoy the company of these unique companions as they play a round.”
Thanks to its eco friendly practices, stunning coastal setting and dramatic Atlantic backdrop, Machrihanish Dunes came in at number 25 in the ‘GolfWorld Magazine: 2012-13 Top 100 Courses in Scotland’.
The Village at Machrihanish Dunes announced today that it was the winner of two top awards at the Golf Tourism Scotland Excellence Awards, which were presented at the group’s annual dinner held on Friday, 22 November. The two awards it received were the ‘Resort Experience of the Year’ award and the ‘Golf Tourism Scotland GEO Sustainability Award for outstanding environmental practices. Machrihanish Dunes was also a finalist in the ‘Club and Course Experience of the Year’ (Green fee of £75 or less) category and its Ugadale Hotel was a finalist for ‘Accommodation Experience of the Year’ (22 rooms or less).