Net Worth: $550 million
Source of Wealth: Golf Courses
Residence: Santa Monica
Golf is more than a game for David Price. Since buying three golf courses and founding American Golf Corp. in the ’60s, Price, 64, has amassed a wealth estimated to be about $550 million.
Santa Monica-based American Golf now manages more than 260 public golf courses. Price took another company he founded, National Golf Properties, public in 1993. National Golf is a real estate investment trust that owns golf courses primarily in the U.S. Price remains chairman of both companies.
A native of Los Angeles, Price began his career as an attorney. After graduating from UCLA School of Law, Price worked at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. His life took a turn after his sister, Joan, introduced him to wealthy real estate developer, Joe Drown. Price became Drown’s personal attorney, managing several of his operations, including the Hotel Bel-Air.
Price and his sister saved and borrowed enough to purchase three golf courses in 1969, including the Westchester Golf Course near Los Angeles International Airport.
It took five years before they turned a profit. Their success came by getting into the golf course management business through the company they founded, American Golf, and by offering cities and other golf course owners a chance to run their courses at lower cost.
Their timing was perfect coinciding with a golf boom and an increasing desire among municipalities to contract out their golf course management.
Price also founded American Golf that same year, which became one of the first companies in the country to manage golf courses (primarily municipal courses).
A former Navy fighter pilot, Price flies and races planes and provided funding in 1989 to build what was then called the Donald Douglas Museum and Library and is now the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica.
His wife, Dallas, has attempted to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents and succeeded in scaling five of them. The couple has five children and eight grandchildren.
Lisa Steen Proctor