Principal, Apex Growth Strategies
Before forming Apex Growth, which consults with businesses and private-equity firms, Binder was a familiar face around the golf industry as executive vice president of Spalding.
A 5-handicap, he still keeps a hand in golf as a board member of the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy.
Binder describes Hartford as “a classic New England city where a renaissance is under way” thanks to new commercial and residential development and “a vibrant arts community.” We asked Binder to tell us about the city long known as “the insurance capital of the world.”
Three Favorite Courses:
1. Wampanoag Country Club – A classic Donald Ross design you love playing day after day. Not long (6,600 yards), but put the ball in the wrong spot on the greens and it can be a very difficult day.
2. Hartford Golf Club – 27 holes, designed again by Ross and Devereaux Emmett. Must drive the ball well and play the right angles into the greens. The par 5s are reachable with length off the tee and provide great risk-reward choices.
3. TPC River Highlands – It’s always fun to play the courses the Tour plays. It’s not as easy as Tour players make it look.
Best 19th Hole: Tumble Brook Country Club: Unbelievably great food, and the golf staff makes it all fun.
Best Hotel: Hartford Marriott. New hotel is part of the exciting revitalization of the downtown area. Great martini bar at their events.
Three Favorite Restaurants:
1. Dish Bar & Grill: Open only a few months and already acknowledged as the hottest place in town. Foodis fantastic, the menu is diverse, the drinks are great, the design is cool and the people are a blast.
2. Bin 228: Great little place with excellent choice of wines and terrific food.
3. Feng: Excellent sushi, beautifully presented. The design of the bar is very cool.
Best NonGolf Attractions: Wadsworth Atheneum and Charter Oak Cultural Center, both extraordinary places where art, music and dance make Hartford a place for new experiences. You’ve also got to go to UConn basketball games, women’s and men’s.
Three Hartford Area Golfers to Fill Out Your Fantasy Foursome:
1. Geno Auriemma, UConn women’s basketball coach – I’ve seen him around the city and he’d
2. George David, chairman of United Technologies – It’d be fascinating to learn about the challenges in leading such a large, diverse organization.
3. Ivan Lendl – We’ve played many times before and he is great. He takes my money every time, but I hit it past him . . . makes him crazy.