Get to Know

Get To Know: Richard Mandell

Golf architect | Richard Mandell Golf Architecture

Richard Mandell — Get To Know

Richard Mandell, owner of award-winning Richard Mandell Golf Architecture in Pinehurst, N.C., shares a simple recipe for being a good leader and success, along with a top-notch playlist.

The First Call: Give us a short overview of your company.
Richard Mandell: Richard Mandell Golf Architecture has designed new courses, renovated, restored, and redesigned more than 70 golf courses in 15 states and China since 1992. RMGA has won numerous awards in the last four decades, including two awards in 2020 for original work at Braemar Golf Course in Edina, Minnesota.

TFC: What is your handicap index?
RM: 12.

TFC: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
RM: I work to instill strategy into every golf hole I design.

TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
RM: I wake up at 5:30 each morning and am at the office by 8 a.m.

TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader? 
RM: Organizational skills, open-mindedness and patience.

TFC: What changes, if any, have you made based on the events of the past year? 
RM: I just don't touch doorknobs as much.

TFC: What's the secret to your success?
RM: Hard work and an ability to keep grinding.

TFC: Who is your role model?
RM: Job.

TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
RM: Understand that most people just don't return phone calls.

TFC: What’s the last book you read?
RM: Biography of Walt Disney.

TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
RM: “No Time To Die” — James Bond.

TFC: What’s on your playlist?
RM: Prince, Billy Joel. Anita Baker, Al Jarreau, Jeffrey Osborne, Raphael Saadiq, Weezer.

TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me …
RM: With my kids on the basketball court or the soccer pitch.

TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
RM: A great meal.

TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
RM: I interned for Dan Maples in Pinehurst and worked for him upon graduation. I then worked for Denis Griffiths before starting Whole In One Design Group with three civil engineers in Easton, Maryland. I eventually bought them all out and began Richard Mandell Golf Architecture in October 1999.

TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
RM: White Bear Yacht Club in White Bear Lake, Minnesota; Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina; National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York; Cypress Point Golf Club in Monterey, California; Royal Cinque Ports in Deal, Kent, England.

TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to?
RM: I am a free agent.