Wednesday, October 18, 2017

McConnell Golf Prepares to Host Donald Ross Society

Annual event will be in North Carolina from October 18-22, and will include Raleigh Country Club and Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club

(RALEIGH, NC) — Raleigh-based McConnell Golf has forged an impressive reputation in the industry in large part due to its portfolio of outstanding private golf clubs around the Carolinas and Tennessee, including courses designed by many of the world’s greatest architects.

Along with modern-day architects like Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Arnold Palmer, McConnell Golf owns four courses sculpted by arguably the most legendary designer of them all, Donald Ross — more than any other private club owner in the country.

So it makes sense that McConnell Golf will help host the Donald Ross Society’s annual meeting for 2017. The event will be held in North Carolina from October 18-22, and will include McConnell Golf’s Raleigh Country Club on Wednesday, October 18 and Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro the following afternoon.

The Society will also have a dinner at Sedgefield on Thursday evening, when North Carolina-based architect Kris Spence will discuss his restoration work at the golf course that is the annual site of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.

Raleigh Country Club was the final design of Ross’s storied career — and the first in the McConnell Golf portfolio, which has grown to a dozen clubs since the company purchased Raleigh CC in 2003.

A transplanted Scotsman, Ross transformed the American sports landscape in the first half of this century. At his death in 1948, he left behind a legacy of 413 courses, including such gems as Pinehurst No. 2, Seminole in Florida and the site of the 1996 U.S. Open, Oakland Hills outside Detroit. More than 100 U.S. national championships have been played on Ross designs — one of many reasons his name still resonates among the game's aficionados.

Founded in 1989 to help safeguard the integrity of courses from the “Golden Era" of Golf Course Architecture, the Society's particular focus is the work by Ross before 1948. The Society believes that the golf courses designed by Ross are works-of-art that merit close care and meticulous preservation. When renovation work is needed, they believe that — wherever possible — the course should maintain its original look, shape, and playing character; and when accommodations are needed for the modern game, they should be consistent with the original design intent.

Along with Raleigh Country Club and Sedgefield Country Club, McConnell Golf owns the recently renovated Country Club of Asheville and Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. The co-founder of the Donald Ross Society, Michael J. Fay, has said that he would rather play Holston Hills on a consistent basis than any other golf course in the South, while acclaimed golf course architect Tom Doak says Holston Hills is the closest golf course to what Ross originally designed that he’s ever seen.

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