Rick grew up in golf communities and learned from some of the country's most influential people in golf including Peggy Kirk Bell, Warren "Bullet" Bell, and Robert von Hagge. is connection with von Hagge would lead to a position at von Hagge & Devlin, Inc. after Rick graduated from North Carolina State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Environmental Design. In 1986 he became Vice President of Golf Course Construction at Nicklaus/Sierra Development Corporation. Rick began his own company, Robbins & Associates International, in 1991. Rick has designed golf courses around the United States and around the world including countries such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.