Successful real estate agent hopes to make golf his career
Bell qualified for Oasis Championship with a back-nine 28
February 06, 2019
By Bret Lasky, PGATOUR.COM
- February 06, 2019
- “It was definitely the best nine holes of my life,” said Don Bell of his 28. (Bret Lasky/PGA TOUR)
Like many professional golfers, Don Bell likes to be first to the course. He arrives everyday at 7:00 a.m.
But that’s where the similarities end.
Bell, who earned the final spot in the Oasis Championship through the Monday Qualifier, has been a real estate agent with REMAX in the Daytona Beach, Florida area for the last 16 years.
Bell made four starts on the Web.com Tour in the early 1990s and just one start on the PGA TOUR in 2001. He regained his amateur status in the early 2000s and began to work in real estate.
“Don Bell Sells” was born. He’s grown into a highly successful agent. He closed on three houses last week and inked 44 closings in 2018, which is well above the industry standard for an agent. One year, when he was focused full-time on real estate, he closed on 98 homes.
This remains far from a side gig for Bell. His email is a mix of advertising artwork that needs his approval from his marketing team and inquiries for showings. It’s the same with his phone. He had a voicemail from Showing Time, the company that helps with his listings, and Zillow called during this interview on Tuesday at the Oasis Championship, trying to get him to advertise with them.
“People are always calling me about ‘I want to show this or make an offer on that or come list my house’ and that’ll go on until 8 or 9 at night,” explained Bell about the balancing act. “I try to spend some time with my kids (he has three kids that range in age from 9 to 19). It’s busy. At 9:30, I lay down and pass out and wake up the next day and do it all again.”
He’s juggling because he’s dreaming.
He built a successful career in order to chase his dream of competing weekly as a professional golfer.
“I would love to continue on the golf side, but I have to play better,” Bell admitted while he was getting his Callaway irons regripped at Broken Sound. “I can’t just not make money because I have a wife and three kids to take care of. I would love to be able to make a living playing golf, that is the ultimate goal. You got to dream and I’m going to keep dreaming.”
Just before turning 50, Bell competed in the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Mid-Am and the Senior British Open. He was the Player of the Year in the state of Florida.
The reality is that he has made just one start on PGA TOUR Champions each of the last five years with limited success.
However, in 2018, he rededicated himself to a more focused approach to golf. He started working with instructor Todd Anderson in August and has taken his fitness more serious than ever before.
Back to the Monday Qualifier.
He was even par through nine holes after a bogey at the midway point and was very much on the bubble.
Then, he caught fire.
Bell drained a 75-foot birdie putt on hole No. 10 and reeled off seven straight birdies. He also made a 25-foot uphill birdie on hole 13.
He won the qualifier at 8 under with a 28 on his final nine to earn a spot this week.
“It was definitely the best nine holes of my life,” said Bell. “It was a lot of fun and I’m hoping it’ll boost my confidence. When I start to doubt, I can look at that scorecard and all those circles.”
While he hopes to one day focus more on golf, Bell believes he can do both. He cited David Frost, who sells wine, as an example of balancing another career while competing on PGA TOUR Champions.
His license plate on his car reads “Bel Selz” and his email address also plays off the crafty slogan.
But he’s dreaming of a day where birdies and bogeys dominate the discussion instead of listings and closings.
At least for this week, his dream is a reality.