Wednesday, April 5, 2023

McConnell Golf 2023 Chart Toppers

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf’s vast portfolio of private golf clubs around the southeast continues to stand out among the best of the best in a wide range of prestigious golf course rankings.

(RALEIGH, N.C.) — In golfing circles, the state of North Carolina is renowned for boasting “50 Top 10 courses.” And in 2023, led by perennial stalwarts Sedgefield Country Club, Old North State Club, Raleigh Country Club and Treyburn Country Club, Raleigh-based McConnell Golf once again dominated North Carolina Golf Panel’s Top 100 courses.

For the third consecutive year, all 10 of McConnell Golf’s North Carolina-based layouts were included among the state’s Top 100 rankings, including a trio of layouts ranked in the state’s Top 20. The N.C. Golf Panel presented its 28th annual report on the state’s 100 best courses in the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine.

McConnell Golf CEO John McConnell, who founded the company 20 years ago, was also recognized in Business North Carolina’s April issue in a separate article about the state’s 15 most influential golf industry titans.

Greensboro’s Sedgefield CC, a Donald Ross design that annually challenges the world’s best golfers during the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, ranked No. 9 in the state again in 2023, followed by McConnell Golf’s perennial state Top 10 — Old North State Club, a Tom Fazio masterpiece along Badin Lake’s Uwharrie Point near New London — which stayed at No. 10 in this year’s rankings.

Ross’s historic final design and McConnell Golf’s first club, Raleigh CC, also made the state Top 20 again in 2023, remaining at No. 19. Raleigh CC will enjoy the return of professional golf this year from June 1-4, when the club will host the Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH after 18 years at another McConnell Golf venue, The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation in North Raleigh.

In 2020, McConnell Golf completed a $5.5-million renovation at Raleigh CC, a modern-day reimagining overseen by architect Kyle Franz. The layout lends itself to an excellent fan experience, with each hole in close proximity, giving spectators the privilege of watching multiple holes from expansive and convenient viewing areas.

The Fazio-designed gem at Treyburn CC in Durham was ranked No. 33 among North Carolina’s finest while another Ross design, Country Club of Asheville, remained in the state’s Top 50 at No. 50, following a 2016 McConnell Golf renovation spearheaded by Richard Mandell of Pinehurst. McConnell’s popular semi-private property, The Cardinal by Pete Dye in Greensboro, checked in at No. 52 in the state, up three spots from 2022.

Another Fazio design, Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, a Tom Fazio creation that McConnell Golf bought in 2020, made the biggest jump in the 2023 rankings, up 11 spots to No. 64 in the state, followed at No. 81 by Charlotte’s Providence Country Club. McConnell Golf added Providence CC to its portfolio in 2016 and hired Greensboro architect Kris Spence to renovate the course two years later.

In Raleigh, Hale Irwin’s design of The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation stood at No. 89 — further demonstrating how strong golf is across North Carolina. Meanwhile, McConnell Golf’s Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville remained a part of the state’s coveted Top 100 at No. 99.

McConnell Golf, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is the region’s largest owner of premier private clubs with a portfolio across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, including 13 18-hole, private golf courses, two semi-private courses and one 27-hole public course. The organization was built upon the concept of “pure golf for the true golfer,” focusing on enhancing both the individual clubs and its company’s overall membership value.

“Our courses continue to merge history, beauty and opportunity for our avid golfing membership and their guests,” said McConnell. “With numerous recent enhancements at McConnell Golf courses and other projects planned, I am proud of what we have accomplished and eager to see how the rankings play out in the future.”

McConnell Golf is the only individual golf course proprietor in the world that owns four Ross-designed courses. Its impressive stable of clubs also includes Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., and its highly regarded 1927 Ross-designed golf course — current host of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open and a fixture in Golfweek’s Best Classic Courses. McConnell Golf purchased Holston Hills in late 2015 and has invested heavily in capital improvements including a new fitness center, locker room upgrades, and a banquet and dining room renovation.

Other notable rankings of McConnell Golf courses:

- Golfers’ Choice 2023: Top 25 College Golf Courses - Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech (No. 8)

- Golfers' Choice 2023: Best golf courses in Virginia - Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech (No. 6)

- Golfers' Choice 2023: Best golf courses in North Carolina - The Cardinal by Pete Dye (No. 7)

- Golf Digest - We ranked every PGA Tour course—from best to worst - Sedgefield Country Club (No. 19)

- Golfweek's Best 2023: Top 200 residential golf courses in the U.S. - Old North State Club (No. 102), Treyburn Country Club (No. 122)

- The 20 best golf courses in South Carolina (2022/2023) - Musgrove Mill Golf Club (No. 20)

- The 20 best golf courses in North Carolina (2022/2023) - Sedgefield Country Club (No. 20)

- The 10 best golf courses in Tennessee (2022/2023) - Holston Hills Country Club (No. 2)

- Golfweek's Best 2022: Top public and private courses in Tennessee - Holston Hills Country Club (No. 2)

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