In a state revered for its numerous highly regarded golf courses, McConnell Golf continues to stand out
RALEIGH, North Carolina – In golfing circles, the state of North Carolina is renowned for boasting “50 Top 10 courses.” And in 2022, led by perennial stalwarts Sedgefield Country Club, Old North State Club, Raleigh Country Club, and Treyburn Country Club, Raleigh-based McConnell Golf once again dominated North Carolina Golf Panel’s Top 100 courses.
McConnell Golf was built upon the concept of “pure golf for the true golfer,” focusing on enhancing both the individual club’s and its company’s overall membership value. The McConnell Golf portfolio throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee and Virginia includes courses designed by Donald Ross, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin, and Ellis Maples. McConnell Golf is the only individual golf course proprietor in the world that owns four Ross-designed courses.
“Our courses continue to merge history, beauty and opportunity for our avid golfing membership and their guests,” said McConnell Golf President & CEO John McConnell. “With numerous recent enhancements at McConnell Golf courses and other projects planned, I am proud of what we have accomplished and eager to see how the rankings play out in the future.”
The Golf Panel — which ranks all 10 of McConnell Golf’s North Carolina courses in the state’s top 100, including a trio of layouts rated among the top 20 — was founded in 1995 and is considered the most authoritative statewide source of golf course rankings. The 135-member organization is comprised of golf media, club professionals and general managers, accomplished amateur players and college golf coaches, and others who play a role in promoting North Carolina golf.
Each year, the Panel provides a well-researched list of the top courses in the state. The Top 100 is determined by a scoring system where panelists consider among these factors: routing, design, strategy, memorability, fairness, variety, and aesthetics. Members of the Panel also voted on the top dozen courses in six regions of the state. For the complete list of the Top 100 Courses for 2022, Top 50 Courses You Can Play and other rankings, check the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine or visit NCGolfPanel.com.
In North Carolina’s prestigious Top 100 for 2022, McConnell Golf’s Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, a storied Ross design that is home to the PGA Tour’s annual Wyndham Championship, flip-flopped with McConnell Golf’s Old North State Club on Badin Lake near New London among the state’s Top 10, with Sedgefield moving to No. 9 and ONSC to No. 10.
Sedgefield was ranked No. 1 in the Piedmont Triad region of the state while ONSC, designed by Fazio, was ranked No. 2 in the Triad.
McConnell Golf’s Raleigh Country Club moved up one space in the state rankings to No. 19 (No. 2 in the Triangle) following a $5.5 million restoration of Ross’ last design. Architecture experts predict RCC will continue to jump higher in the state rankings with architect Kyle Franz’s modern-day reimagining of the iconic course.
The Fazio-designed gem at Treyburn Country Club in Durham was ranked No. 32 among North Carolina’s finest and No. 6 in the Triangle. Another Ross design, Country Club of Asheville, remained in the state’s Top 50 at No. 49 — No. 10 in the Western region — following a 2016 McConnell Golf renovation spearheaded by Richard Mandell of Pinehurst. McConnell’s popular semi-private property The Cardinal by Pete Dye in Greensboro checked in at No. 55 in the state and No. 15 among the Top 50 Courses You Can Play for 2022.
Another Fazio design, Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, which McConnell Golf bought in 2020, was ranked No. 76 in the state followed at No. 80 by Charlotte’s Providence Country Club. McConnell Golf added Providence CC to its portfolio in 2016 and hired Greensboro architect Kris Spence to renovate the course two years later.
In Raleigh, Hale Irwin’s design of The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation, the annual home of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, stood at No. 86 — further demonstrating how strong golf is across North Carolina. Meanwhile, McConnell Golf’s Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville remained a part of the state’s coveted Top 100 at No. 98.
McConnell Golf’s impressive stable of clubs also includes Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., and its highly regarded 1927 Ross-designed golf course — recent host of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open and a fixture in Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses. McConnell Golf purchased Holston Hills in late 2015 and has invested heavily in capital improvements including a new fitness center, locker room upgrades, and a banquet and dining room renovation.
In the 2021-22 Golf Digest state-by-state rankings, Holston Hills was ranked No. 6 in the state. In South Carolina, Arnold Palmer’s spectacular design at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton was tapped as the state’s 19th best layout. In North Carolina, Old North State Club was ranked No. 24 in the state by Golf Digest, while Treyburn CC was ranked No. 30.
In the recent South Carolina “50 Best Courses” rankings, Musgrove Mill checked in at No. 23 in the Palmetto State and No. 4 in the Upstate, followed by The Reserve Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, a Norman design, at No. 37 and No. 6 in the Grand Strand.
“McConnell Golf is a company that has set its vision on building clubs of the future,” said McConnell Golf Chief Operating Officer Christian Anastasiadis. “We see things differently than other clubs or operators, focusing on the little nuances that make a trip to the club memorable for the customer.”