Mike Meldman, also a co-founder of Casamigos Tequila, founded Discovery Land Company, a collection of private and premium golf communities.

In real estate circles with a high-end reputation, avid golfers and fans of luxurious homes aren’t as part of the elite if they don’t own properties within the Discovery Land Company community. In the simplest sense, they should be aware of the company’s name and, most importantly, want to become an owner.

Mike Meldman © John Russo 2018

In 1994, the company was founded with the help of Mike Meldman, who is also the co-founder of Casamigos Tequila, the real estate business is comprised comprising 27 private, high-end golf courses located in North America, the Caribbean, and, most recently, Europe with the debut of CostaTerra Golf & Ocean Club in Portugal’s Comporta region.

How ironic that Meldman wasn’t a professional golfer when he founded his business and was driven by the increasing popularity of master-planned golf communities? “I saw the potential to establish an entity that could fill an unmet need in the market,” Meldman declares. “I wanted stylish but not formal properties as all the golf clubs available. They also needed to offer plenty of amenities that were fun.”

These principles have brought about an incredible amount of success. Today, Discovery Land Company counts a lengthy list of names with boldfaces as its members. The list of famous CEOs includes Gisele Bundchen, Tom Brady, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Jordan, Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman, iHeartMedia COO, CFO Richard Bressler Rande Gerber, and Cindy Crawford.

Silo Ridge Field Club in New York’s Hudson Valley

Homeowners with high profile aside, Meldman’s business has grown exponentially after the outbreak of COVID. “There was a significant demand for houses in Discovery communities before the outbreak; however, COVID has drastically increased the demand,” he says. “An enormous amount of Discovery members were quarantined in our facilities when the virus struck in the U.S. in March 2020.” More than 100 families stayed at Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana, Meldman says. Many more were quarantined in the Madison Club in La Quinta, California, and Silo Ridge Field Club in New York’s Hudson Valley.

“Toward the close of April, when it became clear that the disease would persist for a while, We began to receive significant interest from buyers who wanted to buy new homes over FaceTime or even get rid of properties they considered before the COVID outbreak,” he says. “It was clear that families were seeking out our communities for help to shield themselves from the dangers of the disease.”

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady are Discovery owners. Raymond Hall

It is worth noting that the Yellowstone Club has especially experienced remarkable growth since the beginning of 2020, as per Meldman and a lot of families planning to relocate have a look at Driftwood Golf & Ranch Club outside of Austin and Troubadour Golf & Field Club in Nashville. Other clubs have experienced an increase in sales for families of younger age, which isn’t usually drawn to golfing communities. In reality, the assumption is that they’re for retired people.

Meldman himself has an apartment in each of the 27 towns he has. If he had to choose one, he believes that his breakfast on the course at Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club is at the top of the list.

Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club in the Bahamas Discovery Land Company

It’s located within The Bahamian Island of Great Guana Cay; Baker’s could be the most coveted piece of Discovery’s portfolio, and one which has been a favorite of Meldman’s from the moment he first began to develop the site around two years back. “The moment I set onto this island, I was convinced that I could make something amazing,” he says. “It had beautiful beaches and, unlike others in the region that are as flat as a pancake, The topography of the contours, dunes, and contours was amazing.”

In the 20 years following, the three-mile section of the waterfront that Meldman was planning to use for Baker’s was transformed into a desirable community that included 220 houses and a golf course, tennis courts, a water sports center, and a village that had a supermarket and restaurant.

However, in 2019 the hurricane Dorian struck and destroyed the island and Baker’s, which was beyond comprehension.

Reese Witherspoon Dimitrios Kambouris

“Most of the population was destroyed,” Meldman recalls. Baker’s was hit with about $250 million in damage caused by that storm, Meldman adds, and the only way ahead was to start over.

The development is fully reviving and is a perfect example of a classic Discovery experience. The amenities include an 18-hole Tomasio golf course, tennis and pickleball courts, farm-to-table restaurants, a spa, a market, and a medical team. An Outdoor Pursuits program is also the highlight and allows participants to participate in particular activities based on the area. For Baker’s Bay, snorkeling, bonefishing and boating, and kitesurfing. In Silo Ridge, options include horseback riding, clay shooting archery, hiking, and horseback riding.

The Tom Fazio–designed golf course at Driftwood, outside of Austin

The mentioned Bressler of iHeartRadio has a residence in Baker’s Bay and at Silo Ridge and CostaTerra and claims that the amenities offered by the brand and relaxing atmospheres are top-notch. “Mike recognizes that these are not just luxury homes,” he says. “I have other houses that aren’t part of Discovery and can confidently say that the one he’s built is a class in its own right.”

Brent Saunders, the CEO of Vesper Healthcare Acquisition Corp. and Baker’s Bay homeowner, shares Bressler’s views. “Discovery provides the benefits of a home and a luxury vacation all in one place,” Saunders declares. “The facilities, service facilities, staff, and amenities are the top on the market.”

Beyond the beauty benefits, some have a profound emotional effect. Meldman’s plan to infuse boring golfing communities with a dose of fun and promote connections between friends and family is a crucial element to the success formula.

“Discovery is a major part of our family’s memories,” Bressler says. “We have enjoyed many enjoyable memories at our homes in the community.”

Meldman also has witnessed the rewards by the numerous enjoyable times he’s spent with his boys in his various homes. “We often laugh as well as bond” Meldman notes. “I would like this for all of my homeowners. This, to me, is the essence of what Discovery is all about.”

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