Tuesday, April 10, 2018

McConnell Golf's Chart Toppers

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf continues 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.

In 2018, as they do year in and year out, McConnell Golf courses dominated both state rankings.

Now in its second decade of existence, McConnell Golf continues to expand its impressive stable of clubs not only around the Carolinas, but also including Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., and its highly regarded Donald Ross-designed golf course — a fixture in Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses. McConnell Golf owns 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.

In the North Carolina Golf Panel’s prestigious Top 100, McConnell Golf’s Old North State Club in New London, N.C., designed by Fazio, was ranked No. 5 in the Tar Heel State and No. 1 in the Piedmont Triad. Meanwhile, Sedgefield Country Club’s Ross Course in Greensboro, home of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, moved up a spot to No. 12 in the state and remained No. 2 in the Triad. Close behind is the Ross-designed Raleigh Country Club at No. 20 in the state (No. 2 in the Triangle), while the Fazio-designed gem at Treyburn Country Club in Durham (No. 34) again earned a prominent spot among North Carolina’s finest.

Not to be outdone, McConnell’s popular Sedgefield Dye Course remained at No. 52 in the state. Close behind is another Ross design, The Country Club of Asheville, which moved up three spots to No. 59 following an extensive McConnell Golf renovation spearheaded by Ross-specialist Richard Mandell of Pinehurst.

Finally, the Hale Irwin-designed Tournament Players Club at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, home of the Web.com Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, stood at No. 74 truly demonstrating how strong the golf is in North Carolina.

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. The Top 100 is determined by a scoring system where panelists consider among these factors: routing, design, strategy, memorability, fairness, variety and aesthetics. The 2018 rankings are in the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine and at NCGolfPanel.com.

Members of the Panel also voted on the top dozen courses in six regions of the state and ranked the top five courses per region in three specialty categories, including “Best Amenities.” Old North State Club and Sedgefield Country Club Ross were ranked 1-2 in the Piedmont Triad for Best Amenities, while Raleigh CC was ranked No. 2 in the Triangle.

In the biennial, 2018 South Carolina “50 Best Courses” rankings, McConnell Golf’s Palmer-designed Musgrove Mill in Clinton checks in at No. 23 in the Palmetto State and No. 4 in the Upstate, followed in the state rankings by The Reserve Club of Pawley’s Island, a Norman design, at No. 37 and No. 6 in the Grand Strand.

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, 25 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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