Software developer Dale Jensen has always been a man of many interests--even as he was figuring out a way for ATMs to talk to banks. An investor in the Sand Hills and Firethorn Golf Clubs in his native Nebraska, in 1995 Jensen was quick to spot a homesite for himself at the Estancia Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., before its Tom Fazio-designed golf course was completed.
"Having walked sites before, I could tell from its routing how great the course would be," he says, "and the views are incredible."
Jensen, who sold his company, Information Technology Inc., for $383 million in 1994, paid $1.25 million for his mountainside lot. He then spent "a few more million" building a 12-room house without knowing who his neighbors would be. As it turned out, many were people he knew through his activities as a civic leader and part owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball and Arizona Diamondbacks baseball teams.
MONEY WELL SPENT. Jensen enjoys playing golf at Estancia because of the ease of getting a tee time. From 10 a.m. to noon in season, October to May, only members can tee off. He originally purchased a membership for "$75,000 or $80,000," a shrewd investment for privileges that now carry a $200,000 price tag. He also considers his $650 monthly dues well spent.
More than golf and good weather keep Jensen in the Phoenix area. He appreciates the city's diverse population and performing arts, one reason he is a backer of the new 5,000-seat Dodge Theater downtown. "It will have Broadway capabilities," Jensen says. Just don't expect him to show up for matinees during the golf season. By Lisa Furlong