A new course with "Max" impact
By Torleif Sorenson on 10/18/12
On Friday, October 19, the City of Laredo will officially open the latest course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course, already nicknamed "The Max," will play over 270 acres of what is called "Mesquite country," with views of the Rio Grande Valley in abundance.
The course is named in memory of Max Mandel (1914-2002), a U.S. Navy officer and later an attorney who was longtime president and chair of the board of Laredo National Bank. Mandel's family donated some 390 acres of land, water rights for irrigation, and over $1 million to the City of Laredo to get the course built. Groundbreaking for "The Max" occurred almost exactly two years ago, on October 27, 2010.
"The Max" is one of only two public-access courses in Webb County; Casa Blanca GC is located 21 miles to the southeast. But that Leon Howard design is a medium-length course playing from 5,305 to 6,539 yards. In contrast, RTJ Jr. designed "The Max" to stretch from 4,759 to 7,069 yards.
After an appropriate period of operations "shakedown" and course usage, it will be interesting to see whether or not the city can entice the Texas A&M International University men's and women's golf teams to host a Heartland Conference or other Division II event at The Max. (TAMIU's home course is Laredo Country Club, about four miles northwest of campus.)
This writer certainly hopes that the City of Laredo is able to draw golfers and tourists alike (and their money); they certainly didn't scrimp on design or overall vision. And if any of you oobers get the chance to play "The Max," we certainly want to hear from you!
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Image via Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course
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