19TH HOLE: Mandell Renovation Earns Legacy Award
Golf architect Richard Mandell of Pinehurst has been singled out for praise after completing the renovation of Water's Edge Country Club in Penhook, Va.
The Aspen Corporation, based in Daniels, W.Va., was recently awarded the Golf Course Industry Builders Legacy Award for Renovation of the Year with its work at Water's Edge. Mandell worked closely with Aspen and the Willard Companies (course owner) to undertake an extensive renovation specifically to update the golf course's infrastructure and recapture its standing as one of the top golf courses in the state of Virginia.
"I'm proud that with the cohesive team involvement of golf architect Richard Mandell and owner Ron Willard, we were able to complete the project within two weeks of the original deadline without compromising quality," said Aspen President Donnie Adkins.
Ronald Willard II was given the task of selecting the golf architect for the project and after interviewing several prospects and meeting with Mandell, told his father, "You don't need to talk to anyone else."
Mandell was asked to update the historic layout yet preserve the character of the site. He developed a renovation plan in 2005 and construction began the following summer.
The challenge of implementing the plan in a timely fashion was complicated by the extremely sensitive site, with many golf holes bordering Smith Mountain Lake. But the strength of Aspen and willingness to provide the best product by the Willard family made Mandell's task easier.
"I was quite impressed with Aspen Corporation's ability to plan ahead and focus on the hot-button areas of the site without losing focus on the goal," Mandell said. "To be involved in any award-winning project is flattering, but it is really a testament to the overall team, and particularly a contractor like Aspen."
Ronnie Adkins, Vice President of Aspen, echoed those sentiments.
"The Water's Edge project success is an example of how important it is to put the right team in place on such a demanding golf course renovation," he said. "Working with Richard Mandell made Aspen's task a lot easier. He understood the importance of teamwork and provided the leadership to keep the project and team focused."
Adkins stressed Mandell's involvement was a welcome change from other projects. "Richard provided clear direction during his site reviews," he said. "Decisions on site changes were efficient and quick. He also provided a written description at the end of the walk-through that matched what we had discussed. I have never experienced that before."
For more information about Richard Mandell Golf Architecture, see www.golf-architecture.com.
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