Ground Broken on New Course in Laredo

On October 27th, the city of Laredo broke ground next week on a new Robert Trent Jones II-designed municipal course.

Nestled on 270 acres alongside the Rio Grande River, Jones and team will be converting the property into a signature layout where golfers of all abilities will enjoy a challenging but affordable course.

Landscapes Unlimited is building the course, incorporating South Texas landscapes - and the Rio Grande - into the features. The facility, which will be operated by Foresight Golf, may open in fall 2012.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course was held at 10 a.m. at Las Islitas (Spanish for little islands) Farm, located approximately 12 miles on FM 1427 from Laredo. Many residents attended the festivities.

Jones was on hand for the ceremony along with local golfers, area golf pros, coaches and students.

“Not only from the jobs this project will create locally, but also, the type of companies that will want to come to Laredo because of the quality of this golf course.”

Max Mandel was a longtime Laredo banker who looked for ways to use the resources of the Laredo National Bank, where he served for 40 years in various capacities, including President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, to build a stronger economic foundation for Laredo, including financing several of Laredo’s key infrastructure projects, such as Laredo’s International Bridges I and II, and many other projects, including purchasing bonds both Laredo school districts.

Before his passing, he was also a great leader and supporter of Los Dos Laredos; his wife, Roslyn Alexander Mandel, and their children continue that legacy with the largest donation ever to the city of Laredo.

“Max was a wonderful person who had a deep love affair with Los Dos Laredos, Mexico, the Rio Grande and all of the wonderful culture and people of Los Dos Laredos,” said Gary G. Jacobs, married to Jessie Mandel Jacobs, and a principal partner in this project.

“Max was a visionary who could see Laredo and Nuevo Laredo only getting strong and better over time. When Tom Herring came to Max with a vision to build the Border’s first 4-star hotel, he was 100% supportive.

"When the maquila industry legislation was first passed in the 6'0s, Max was first on board for Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.

“When he passed away, Roslyn and the family wanted to do something for all Laredoans that would be a fitting tribute to Max. He loved the farm we call ‘Las Islitas’ and we thought this would a project of which he would be proud of and happy for his beloved Laredo.

"We are pleased that eh Laredo City Council accepted the gift and is building a world class golf course on the river, rather than walls and fences. Max is smiling,” said Jacobs.