Tuesday, April 2, 2019

High Marks for McConnell Golf

Led by perennial stalwarts Old North State, Sedgefield, Raleigh and Treyburn CCs, McConnell Golf again dominates North Carolina Golf Panel’s Top 100 courses for 2019.

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — In 2019, as they do year in and year out, McConnell Golf courses dominated North Carolina’s state rankings.

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf owns golf courses designed by the industry’s greatest legends, including Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and others.

In North Carolina’s prestigious Top 100 for 2019, McConnell Golf’s Old North State Club in New London, N.C., designed by Fazio, was ranked No. 7 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, jumped to No. 11 in the state and No. 2 in the Triad.

McConnell Golf’s Ross-designed Raleigh Country Club held fast at No. 20 in the state (No. 2 in the Triangle), while the Fazio-designed gem at Treyburn Country Club in Durham moved up three spots to No. 31 among North Carolina’s finest. McConnell’s popular The Cardinal by Pete Dye in Greensboro checked in at No. 54 in the state.

Another Ross design, The Country Club of Asheville, enjoyed one of the state rankings’ biggest jumps of the year — 11 spots, up to No. 48 — following a recent McConnell Golf renovation spearheaded by Ross-specialist Richard Mandell of Pinehurst.

In Raleigh, the Hale Irwin-designed Country Club at Wakefield Plantation, annual home of the Web.com Tour’s Rex Hospital Open, stood at No. 77 in the state — truly demonstrating how strong the golf is in North Carolina.

Finally, McConnell Golf’s Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville entered the state rankings this year at No. 96.

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. Brook Valley was also voted as the No. 5 “Most Fun Course to Play” in the state’s eastern region.

In the specialty category “Best Practice Facilities,” Raleigh Country Club ranked No. 1 in the Triangle, while Old North State Club was No. 3 in the Piedmont Triad.

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 2019 rankings are in the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine and at NCGolfPanel.com.

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 — a fixture in Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses. McConnell Golf purchased Holston Hills in late 2015 and has invested $1.4 million in capital improvements including a new fitness center, locker room upgrades, and a banquet and dining room renovation.

Last year, in the biennial South Carolina “50 Best Courses” rankings, McConnell Golf’s Palmer-designed Musgrove Mill in Clinton checked 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.

More information: McConnellGolf.com

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