Monday, April 18, 2016

McConnell Golf's Chart Toppers

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf courses continue to dominate the rankings of North and South Carolina’s best

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — McConnell Golf ’s attention to quality is a big reason why the golf courses and clubs that bear its name in North and South Carolina consistently rank among the best. Given that both states have been described as having “50 Top-10 golf courses,” earning high marks is not an easy task.

Now in its second decade of existence, McConnell Golf has continued to grow its impressive stable of clubs not only around the Carolinas, but also now including Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. — its highly regarded Donald Ross-designed golf course and a fixture in Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses. The purchase of Holston Hills gives McConnell Golf four Ross-designed golf courses, and continues to reaffirm its commitment to acquiring golf courses designed by the industry’s greatest legends, including Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and others.

For those reasons and more, as they have done time and time again McConnell Golf courses dominated the 2016 state rankings.

In North Carolina’s prestigious Top 100, McConnell Golf’s Old North State Club in New London, N.C., moved up a spot from No. 4 to the No. 3 best golf course in the Tar Heel State, where ONSC trails only Pinehurst No. 2 and Grandfather Mountain.

Meanwhile, Sedgefield Country Club’s Ross Course in Greensboro, home of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, continued its rapid ascension up the charts. Last year the Sedgefield Ross Course made one of the year’s most significant leaps among the state’s best, up to No. 16 from No. 22 in 2014 — and this year it moved up three more spots to No. 13.

Close behind, Raleigh Country Club moved up three spots to No. 18 in the state — No. 1 in the Triangle — while the Fazio-designed gem at Treyburn Country Club in Durham (No. 30) again earned a spot in North Carolina’s Top 30.

Not to be outdone, McConnell’s popular Dye layout, formerly the Cardinal Golf and Country Club and now part of Sedgefield’s 36-hole offering, checked in at No. 61 in the state, trailed closely by another recent McConnell Golf purchase, The Country Club of Asheville, which ranked No. 62 in 2016. The Hale Irwin-designed Tournament Players Club Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, home of the Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, stood at No. 71.

The North Carolina Golf Panel is comprised of golf media including some of the top daily newspapers in the state, as well as golf club professionals, noted amateurs, college golf coaches and business leaders. Each year, the Panel provides a well-researched list of the top golf courses in the state.

North Carolina’s Top 100 courses are determined by a scoring system where panelists consider among these factors: routing, design, strategy, memorability, fairness, variety and aesthetics — all detailed in the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine and at

In the 2016 South Carolina rankings, McConnell Golf’s Palmer-designed Musgrove Mill in Clinton checks in at No. 23 in the Palmetto State and No. 3 in the Upcountry, followed in the state rankings by The Reserve Club of Pawleys Island at No. 35 — No. 5 in the Grand Strand — and up five spots from last year. Those two along with Grande Dunes Members Club in Myrtle Beach were recognized as South Carolina’s Best Private Group Value.

The South Carolina Golf Course Ratings Panel is composed of golf enthusiasts representing a diverse range of occupations, handicaps and backgrounds. These individuals have been charged with the task of identifying the best that South Carolina golf has to offer. The Panel consists of 125 members, twenty-five percent of which represent each of the following geographical regions: The Upstate, The Midlands, The Lowcountry, and The Grand Strand. They rate golf courses using a variety of criteria including routing, variety, strategy, equity, memorability, aesthetics and experience.

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