Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course - the 'sleeper' in the Class of '12

It's not the catchiest name you'll ever hear and its municipal status may not help its perception as the poor relation on Travel's list of new courses to watch for in 2012, but don't be surprised if this Robert Trent Jones II project on the banks of Texas' Rio Grande River punches above its weight.

Whoever put the routing plan on the Web didn't have small-screen folk in mind, so you'll have to alternate between a small version that's just too small and a magnified version that comes close to life size (tip - click the magnifying glass icon over the hole you want to see in more detail).

It would be silly to try and offer a definitive opinion without more visuals to hand so let's just say the following have piqued my interest...

  • shared fairway on 3rd and 7th
  • lengthwise strip bunker at the front of the 4th
  • tightening of the 6th green from the gentle one-shotter available off the forward tees to a pin front-left, to a back-tee, back-right pin combo that looks like it could test the finest
  • the southernmost prong of that first, tuning-fork shaped section of fairway on the 10th and how it might change the way you play the hole 
  • the 14th, partly because short par-fours are my favourite (especially when the designer sets himself the added burden of defending them with a lone bunker - that's five fewer than the daddy of the genre at Riviera gets, incidentally) and partly because I'm curious to know whether that knot of contours in front of the green represents a knoll or a Texas-style Valley of Sin
  • would I be right in thinking that 'signature hole' and '17th' will eventually be heard in the same sentence on the banks of the Rio Grande?

Pic of the Day - the 11th at Mississippi Dunes


  1. No I think the signature hole should be the par 3 15th. I think it is the best view on the course, the 17th does not compare.

  2. Thanks for posting. I was working from a map when I posted this, so all opinions from those 'on the ground' are welcome.