For one night a week, Richard Mandell leaves his golf architect's drafting table and takes up the blackboard pointer of a college professor. The Pinehurst N.C.- Based architect teaches a class on course design at nearby North Carolina State University-a learning experience for both him and his pupils. "Not only is it a lot of fun" says Mandell, "it really helps me articulate my ideas about course design more effectively." Growing up in Rye, N.Y. with the likes of Winged Foot, Bethpage, and Shinnecock Hills nearby, Mandell was an admirer of classic design. He migrated to the south to study landscape architecture at the University of Georgia, then apprenticed under Dan Maple and later with Denis Griffiths before joining forces with three partners in 1993 to form Whole In One Design Group (which he brought out and renamed Richard Mandell Golf Architecture in 1999).
Mandell's reverence for the game's classic courses is evident in his work at sites like the upscale Creekside Golf and Country Club in suburban Atlanta. His firm recently designed a nine-hole addition to Delaware's Seaford Golf and Country Club, for which it received a Dupont award for environmental excellence. He currently has works in progress in North Carolina, Maryland, Arkansas and New York, all favoring design elements that are functional rather than merely aesthetic. "I'm definitely a minimalist at hear," say's Mandell. "I respect the old-time architects like Tillinghast, Colt, Macdonald and MacKenzie, who all had a common respect for the land."
This article originally appeared in the April 2001 issue of Links Magazine.