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"Richard's attention to detail is second to none. We've nothing but astounding comments from members.  This art created by Richard will rank Water's Edge best in the region, if not the state."

-Ron Willard Sr. | Owner, Water's Edge Country Club 

"Tee Shot Distance Equity: Making Golf More Fun

Carolinas Golf | Winter 2018, Richard Mandell


"True equity comes not when golfers play from the same distance. Rather, it comes when golfers have the opportunity to play the same club. If everyone were bale to hit a 7-iron from the landing area, each player's strategic experience would be the same. Design-wise, providing the same possible experience brings the most enjoyment to golfers."

"Length is Not the Key to Great Course Design: Strategy Makes the Game of Golf"

Carolinas Golf | Fall 2017, Richard Mandell

"The idea that a longer golf course makes a better golf course is the primary reason the game has been fighting and identity crisis. Greens committees have been so busy making their golf courses longer to "protect par" that they have stretched the fun right past the course's boundaries."

Kindred Spirits

Links to St. Andrews, Love Letters to the Home of Golf | March 2015, Richard Mandell


"Perhaps the place in the world that best resembles the town of St Andrews is my home of Pinehurst, North Carolina.  Known proudly as the Home of American Golf, the Village of Pinehurst certainly has earned its nickname.  Pinehurst Resort was founded by James Walker Tufts in 1895.  It was the first golf resort to have four courses, then five courses, emanate from the same clubhouse..."

Complex Situation

2014 U.S. Open & U.S. Women's Open  | June 2014, Richard Mandell


"Uneven lies, odd stances and very short grass makes it hard for players to know exactly how the ball will react on contact and once on the green. At the same time, the sloping greens require exactitude and creativity..."

The Big Switch

Carolinas Golf Magazine | Winter 2011/2012, Richard Mandell


""We are a bentgrass greens club," proclaimed one Carolinas green chairman I have been working with since 2004.  I really don't know what that means or why anyone should care.  It is because we all think that bent greens are the only answer, as in: "That's the way it has been done in the past?"  If so, that is probably one reason the golf business is suffering today.  Just because we have always done it is not a reason to stick with a failing element of one's business..."

Ellis Maples: Doing More With Less

Golf Course Architecture Magazine | April 2010, Richard Mandell


"A protégé of the great Donald Ross, Ellis Maples was a key part of one of golf's most enduring dynasties.  Architect Richard Mandell, who originally trained with Ellis's son Dan, profiles his work..."

Texas Wedge or Spinning Pitch: The Architects Choice?

Golf Course Architecture Magazine | January 2009, Richard Mandell

"Much has been said and written about the fabled Donald Ross plateau greens of Pinehurst No. 2.  And yet, the greens of Pinehurst No. 2 are not truly Ross greens.  Technology and a bulldozer gone awry in the seventies changed the course of architectural history.  Although Ross incorporated some very aggressive contours into the putting surfaces, those rolls were balanced by large enough putting surfaces to accommodate the heady slopes.  The greens were never intended to be as slick and small as they have become..."

Donald Ross: The Antithesis of Pinehurst 

Golf Course Architecture Magazine | October, 2007, Richard Mandell

"If ever an architect and a place were unequivocally linked, Donald Ross and Pinehurst, North Carolina were.  After all, he spent forty-eight years of his life there.  It was at Pinehurst that Ross got his real start in the world of golf course design.  Pinehurst No. 2 is his most famous work and the work everyone sees as defining his design style and philosophy today.  Yet at the same time, Pinehurst No. 2 may be the farthest from a true representation of his talents..." 

The Future of the Sandhills

Pinehurst - Home of American Golf (The Evolution of a Legend), Richard Mandell | June 2007, Richard Mandell

"Pinehurst has often been nicknamed the St. Andrews of America. Although there is a strong fraternal relationship between Pinehurst Resort and the St. Andrews Links Trust, that connection stops with the actual golf courses. Layouts in St. Andrews and the North Carolina Sandhills are carved out of sandy soils yet the sand golf features characteristic of Scotland are seldom replicated in the Sandhills..." 

Right Architect Can Mean Cost Savings

Golf Inc. Magazine | August, 2005, Richard Mandell

"Any golf course architect can design a great golf course with an inflated budget. Yet a great design without cost control is also a potential failure.  Unfortunately, many first-time owners aren't savvy enough about the process to understand that controlling golf course construction costs is simpler than they might expect, yet absolutely vital to long-term health of the project..."

"The Best Course No One Will Ever Play 

Golf Club | June, 2004, Richard Mandell

"Very often, strategic design and the utilization of natural landforms are completely overlooked by a developer who does not understand what golf course architecture is all about. Instead, perceived "ease of development" takes center stage over golf course design and the result is mediocre design solutions. I present this routing purely from a "love of the art of golf course routing" perspective and nothing more..."

Bethpage State Park, USA. Fourth Hole: Black Course 

Favorite Golf Holes by Design: The Architect's Choice, Paul Daley | August, 2004, Richard Mandell

"There was a trilogy of qualities which the great landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted achieved in all his works. The notion of 'picturesque' came from his preservation of the wilder and rougher qualities of a site. The 'sublime' was achieved by preserving a great and awesome setting, while 'beautiful' was best defined by Olmsted as pastoral, spacious stretches of turf, quiet streams, and open groves of trees..." 

Meaningful Selection and Placement of Hazards

Golf Architecture: A Worldwide Perspective - Volume One, Paul Daley | September, 2003, Richard Mandell

"History has shown there are too many hazards in the world of golf architecture. Albert Tillinghast and Alister MacKenzie made separate careers by consulting clubs to remove extraneous bunkers. Operators, owners, and players alike bemoan the proliferation of hazards, particularly sand bunkers. Why? Because most hazards originate less from a need to challenge and more as means of penalty and aesthetic..."

"The Evolving Art of Strategy"

Golf Architecture: A Worldwide Perspective, Vol. 2 | September, 2003, Richard Mandell

"Golf architecture operates in a cycle that reflects its history. When discussing the evolution of hazards, we inevitable return to the Old Course at St. Andrews. The Old Course was one of the first golf courses in the game's history and because of its chosen status as the first Royal and Ancient Links in 1834, became the standard to which other courses compared themselves..."

Blind Golf Holes

Links Magazine | March, 1996, Richard Mandell

"Society has certain disdain for what cannot be seen -- the future, a dark alleyway or a blind golf hole.  A blind golf hole is one on which interference of topographical features such as ridges, hills or mounds prohibit a golfer from determining a proper line of sight to a target on one or more shots. From a golf course design slant, it creates excitement, challenge and mystery..."


"Double Trouble"

Golf Illustrated | July 1993 issue, Richard Mandell

"It's like déjà vu all over again. Golf holes and golf courses are repeating themselves-a cloning experiment, if you will-at sites scattered throughout the country. The results are called replica courses..."

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