When Richard Mandell BLA ’90 steps onto a golf course, he’s approaching it not only as a seasoned player but also as a professional who might be sizing up his next project.
A native of Rye, New York, Mandell picked up golf in the eighth grade. It took him no time at all to decide that he wanted to be the one designing the beautiful, challenging courses he played on, and from there he envisioned a future that has played out precisely on track.
It started at UGA, where he studied landscape architecture.
“I enjoyed every moment I was at Georgia,” says Mandell. “Landscape architecture was a great program. I learned a lot, and they definitely set me up for success in my field.”
Operating out of Pinehurst, North Carolina, Mandell’s career as a golf course architect spans from coast to coast and even outside of the country. This year alone his firm is building new courses or completing renovations in the Carolinas, Ohio, Florida, and Minnesota. Future projects could take his work as far as India or France.
In the past decade alone, Richard Mandell Golf Architecture has received 15 different awards from such organizations as Golf Digest and Golf Inc. In 2017, he was chosen by Boardroom Magazine as Golf Course Architect of the Year.
Mandell’s expertise extends far past the drawing board. He’s taught courses on golf course architecture at North Carolina State University and even published Pinehurst: Home of American Golf (The Evolution of a Legend), which won the 2007 International Network of Golf Book of The Year. He’s also written articles for Links Magazine, Golf Illustrated, and many other publications.
But his true measure of success is the experience people get from his design work.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to see people enjoy the work that we do and be excited about what we’ve done,” he says. “To see the excitement in a golfer’s eyes when they play a course that we’ve designed is a great feeling.”