One way to avoid the crowds is to build your own golf course. That’s what Albert Lord did in Harwood, near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, about 30 miles east of Washington, DC.

Lord built his course around a 1831 plantation house, which he restored and stands near the 11th and 12th holes. It is also within driving distance of the Capitol, convenient for doing student loan business.

Lord made his fortune as an executive for Sallie Mae, taking home more than $200 million from 1999 through 2004. That doesn’t include stock options, which were estimated at nearly $400 million in 2007. As CEO, chairman, and in other roles at the company, he was a prime mover in taking Sallie Mae private and making it the predominant college student loan company, handling about a quarter of all federal student loans. Since its founding in the late 1960s, Sallie Mae had been a government-run enterprise to administer student loans; but through…

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