It's no secret that deals are closed on the golf course nearly as often as at a conference table. (Or at least what people who want to golf would have you believe.) Some among you really know your way around a course (we need a map or the golf cart with the beer person to guide us). We rounded up a list of some of the best golfers in the DFW commercial real estate community.
In high school, Cassidy Turley executive managing director/principal Craig Wilson worked at Indian Hill County Club outside Chicago where Bill Murray and his brothers used to work. Many of the characters in Caddyshack (written by Bill’s brother, Brian Doyle Murray) were based on real people from Indian Hill. Craig says he figured out quickly enough that they were still around when he worked there. And, “based on my experiences, parts of the movie weren’t that far fetched!” he tells us. Craig (far right, with friends Kevin Newton and Kelly Lovell at Shadow Creek in Vegas) says he doesn’t get to golf as much now, but for the last several years, he’s played in the First Tee of Greater Dallas’ annual golf marathon. The event is 100 holes in one day to help raise money and awareness for the organization. His bucket list: to play Pine Valley, Augusta National, and Cypress Point. His previous goal was to play them all in the same year; now, it’s simply play them all in the same lifetime.
Holt Lunsford Commercial prez Sam Gillespie vividly remembers when he shot his lowest score (68). It was Sept. 3, 1990 at Highland Golf and Country Club when he was a young Trammell Crow Co partner in Indy. But, his best round was when he hit all 18 greens in regulation at Merion Golf Course (something Tiger failed to do when the US Open was played last year). He also two-putted 17 greens and three-putted one shot. He shot a one over 72. Another proud moment: a double eagle on Lakewood Country Club’s 535-yard par five ninth hole. This photo (which hangs in Sam’s office) is Ben Hogan (left) on the 18th at Merion at the US Open in 1950. On the right is Sam in the same spot 56 years later. Sam tells us he’s looking forward to his annual “Crow Cup” 54-hole golf tourney in October when about a dozen or so former TCC partners get together.
Cresa national CEO Jim Leslie makes golf a family affair. He and his son, James Leslie, trek annually to Northern California to golf the circuit. While Jim modestly tells us he once had a 66 (until he threw his clubs in the lake and couldn’t finish the last seven holes), his son tells us he has a 4 handicap and routinely shoots in the 70s on some of the hardest courses around (including his home course, Preston Trail). James says his dad is known to go on a birdie binge of up to four holes in a row. “I am his 25-year-old son, we play almost every weekend the weather allows, and I still can’t beat him. Plus, he outdrives me half the time, which is the most frustrating part,” James tells us.
When EDGE Realty Capital Markets principal Mart Martindale says golf is in his blood, it really is. His dad, Billy Martindale, played for Texas A&M and was a PGA Tour player in the 1960s. He went on to design and develop more than 20 courses in Texas in including Royal Oaks. Mart (pictured second from left between Swingle Collins’ Houston Harris and Expedition Capital Partners’ Jason Claro and S.C. Cos’ Clay Evans) rhymes with smart for a reason; he tells us he tries to schedule client golf once a week. His lowest round: a 1 under par 70 at Brookhollow several years ago. He tells us that he and his dad plan an annual golf outing at Links at Lands End in Yantis with his dad’s golfing buddies from high school and college. “They call that tournament the East Texas Old Farts Classic. It’s quite a tradition.”
PS Business Parks regional manager Jeff Paschal started golfing at age 6 with his dad, Don Paschal, and fell in love with the game. He played on his college golf team and taught the game at Hank Haney for a few years after college. He hasn’t won a tournament since he was 15, but he’s had a lot of near misses, he tells us (like making it to the Prestonwood Club Championship playoff a few years ago). His current handicap: 3 (lowest ever was a +3). One thing he learned from golf lessons and from his Hank Haney teaching stint: you are never allowed to have a bad attitude. “If things aren’t going the way you want, you have to put in the work to make it better. Hank would always ask me how I was doing that day and I knew if it wasn’t good, my answer should be: ‘It isn’t real good right now, but this is what I’m doing to get better!’ Turn the negative into a positive,” he tells us.
Cresa Dallas senior advisor Alex Coe was a golf pro before he turned to tenant rep. His dad lured him into the game because he was tired of playing alone. Then, he was hooked. Alex was a two-time All-American and four-time WCC all-conference in golf at Pepperdine. After graduation, Alex was the low amateur at the 2006 US Open and represented the US in the Fuji-Xerox US vs Japan Cup. For eight years, he traveled to five continents playing on almost every pro golf tour, including PGA Tour Latin America, PGA Tour Canada, and the Web.com tour. His lowest score in a tournament was a 62 (-10). His proudest accomplishments: the All-American status and the US Open low amateur achievement. Alas, after all that playing time, he says he’s lucky to play twice a month now.
PLAYING FOR CHARITY
Colliers International hosted CRE types last week to line up their shots at Top Golf to benefit the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. Here’s DCAC CDO Chris Culak, Colliers top dog David Pinsel, DCAC prez/CEO Lynn Davis, and Colliers VP Travis Ewert. The DCAC is Colliers’ designated 2014 charity.
All this golf talk is just in time for the HP Byron Nelson Championship this weekend. We’ll be hanging with the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce folks in their villa on Thursday. Come say hello. There’s always room for more golf (sort of like chocolate cake). So, if you know any more golfers who should make the cut, send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. And, you can check out our last golf issue.