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A Tale of Two Courses

He retired from American Express Co. at the end of last year. But former CEO Harvey Golub is so busy with charity and business commitments he rarely has time to enjoy his golf homes.

He bought the first one in 1995 at Santa Fe's Las Campanas, ranked No. 2 in New Mexico by Golf Digest. But since his primary residence is in New York, he decided it would make more sense to own something in the same time zone. "To me, that said Florida," he says.

Two years ago, he built a 15,000-square-foot retreat at Old Marsh Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, choosing a spot overlooking the marsh and beyond it, the 11th and 12th holes. "We wanted a place with a small membership, a gated community with nice homes, a great course, and people we would like," he says.

PRACTICAL, TOO. The club's limited membership, capped at 300 for a community of no more than 170 homes valued $1.4 million and up, has practical benefits. "It will always be a course where you'll never have a wait, and you won't need tee times," Golub says. Equity membership is currently $135,000, with annual dues of $9,100.

Old Marsh measures up in every respect, Golub says, despite the frustrations of its Pete Dye course. "I buy used balls now because the marsh is collecting a lot of them," he jokes. The difference between sea-level Old Marsh and the high-desert Jack Nicklaus course at Las Campanas is marked. "At Las Campanas, you can see for 40 or 50 miles," he says. "At Old Marsh, you can see for 200 to 300 yards." By Lisa Furlong

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