Saturday, March 21, 2015

Greenville's Brook Valley Country Club Hosts Friday, March 20 Opening Day Activities

New owner McConnell Golf unveils anticipated $2 million in major improvements to BVCC clubhouse and Ellis Maples-designed golf course

(GREENVILLE, N.C.) — When Raleigh-based McConnell Golf purchased Brook Valley Country Club last October, the owner of 10 premier private clubs across the Carolinas immediately jumpstarted a two-year, $2 million capital improvements plan designed to transform BVCC into a McConnell Golf-caliber club.

On Friday, BVCC members and select media will enjoy their first official look at the club’s facelift during a scheduled opening day and media sneak-peak. Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas joins McConnell Golf CEO John McConnell for a ribbon cutting, followed by ceremonial tee shots by four Advisory Board members.

Renovated BVCC clubhouse ready for the active family summer months
BVCC is being rejuvenated to bring new life back to its facilities, including the clubhouse and historic golf course. Friday’s reopening was timed to allow members to enjoy pool season and children competing on BVCC’s “Barracudas” swim team, along with dining, golf, tennis and numerous other enjoyable family focused events.

In the BVCC clubhouse, the dining areas are being remodeled and restructured for events and member gatherings. McConnell Golf has gone to great lengths to ensure spectacular views are maximized with seating both inside and out.

The dining room will seat approximately 100 people with both causal and elegant themes; booths will be installed for tables to seat two people and groups of up to 20. The bar and lounge area will offer casual accommodations around a fireplace and a new snack bar, featured at the end of the dining room, will accommodate golfers at the turn, providing food and drinks with adjacent patio seating. In addition, a new covered porch is being added with all modern furniture and creature comforts.

The pro shop is being updated with a fresh new appearance, while all of the men’s and ladies restrooms on the main level are being fully remodeled.  Hardwood floors are being installed throughout the main level of the club and accompanied by new tile and custom carpet.

The ballroom is being carpeted for a softer look and new French doors are being installed allowing multiple events to take place at the same time.

One new addition to Brook Valley will be a boardroom for meetings featuring an impressive table with state-of-the art and teleconferencing capability.

Ellis Maples expert Kris Spence rejuvenates BVCC golf course, practice area
Meanwhile, Brook Valley’s golf course and practice area are being renovated under the tutelage of renowned, Greensboro-based golf course architect Kris Spence, expected to propel BVCC high into the North Carolina golf course rankings.

Brook Valley opened in 1966 featuring a layout designed by famed architect Ellis Maples — a golf course superintendent and professional who later focused his career on architecture after working and learning from the legendary Donald Ross. “With Brook Valley, we maintained our vision of purchasing clubs whose golf course was designed by a famous architect,” said McConnell Golf CEO John McConnell.

Spence has carved out a productive niche for himself around the Southeast by restoring Ross and Maples designed golf courses. Like Ross and Maples, Spence comes at architecture from the perspective of a golf course superintendent.

Using original Maples drawings, Spence’s work at Brook Valley includes bunkering and one green modification (No. 2), along with significant tree removal, a pond dredging and the relocation of a number of cart paths. Spence called Brook Valley an “out of the box” design for Maples, mostly due to its intricate cross bunkering.

“We are bringing the Ellis Maples bunkering back, as well as adding a few bunkers to modernize the golf course,” Spence said. “Brook Valley is a very nice mix of golf holes with a lot of variety. The par-5s in particular are some of the best three-shooters I’ve seen.”

Known for their top-shelf practice facilities, McConnell Golf had Spence take BVCC’s existing practice facility — which was too short and did not have the elements of a well-defined target — and increase the size by lengthening the practice tee itself.

“We put full construction under (the practice area) with drainage and laser leveling,” Spence said. “We added a short-game area between the practice tee and the clubhouse that includes a short-game green, a bunker and chipping fairway around it and also added a small warm-up green behind to the first tee box — another McConnell Golf signature.”

“I think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised,” Spence said. “I’ve been approached by a lot of members during the construction period and they have a real love affair with the golf course."

As part of the McConnell Golf stable, Brook Valley members receive the added bonus of having access to all the McConnell Golf courses. Every one of the McConnell Golf clubs ranks among the very finest in their respective states and many are known for hosting top-tier championship events.

“Brook Valley is another rescue by John McConnell,” Spence said. “I am really impressed with all the work (McConnell) wanted done around the club. John wants a golf course and club to represent this company quality, and his standards are very high.

Everywhere they go around the Carolinas, McConnell Golf raises the bar
McConnell Golf’s acquisition of Brook Valley is also expected to create real estate value for the 600 houses in the surrounding Greenville neighborhood.

“Having the neighborhood rise up and show that they are supportive and willing to become members was really a determining factor (in the club purchase),” McConnell said. “The neighborhood is committed to purchasing memberships and supporting the club and helping recruit others in the community. That’s huge.”

With the recent additions of Brook Valley CC and the Country Club of Asheville (NC), McConnell Golf ( now owns ten 18-hole, private golf courses plus one nine-hole course around the Carolinas. McConnell Golf’s stable of clubs in North and South Carolina includes Sedgefield Country Club Ross Course and Dye Course in Greensboro, N.C.,  Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh, N.C., TPC at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C., Old North State Club in New London, N.C., Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C., The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C., and Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton S.C. McConnell Golf also manages the prestigious Grande Dunes Members Course and Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach for LStar Development.

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