(RALEIGH, N.C.) — For the first time in its 17-year history, Raleigh-based McConnell Golf propelled all 10 of its North Carolina courses into the state’s top 100 rankings, including a trio of layouts ranked among the state’s top 20.
Those three — Old North State Club on the shores of Badin Lake, near New London, Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club and Raleigh Country Club — all remained in North Carolina’s top 20, while the other seven helped McConnell Golf maintain its status in the state’s top 100.
A perennial state top 10, Old North State Club was ranked No. 9 in North Carolina, while Sedgefield CC — which annually challenges the world’s best golfers during the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship — moved into the state top 10 at No. 10. Raleigh CC was ranked No. 20 in the state.
In 2020, along with the addition of Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington to its portfolio, McConnell Golf unveiled a $5.5 million restoration of Donald Ross’ last design at Raleigh CC, overseen by architect Kyle Franz. Architecture experts predict RCC will jump higher in the state rankings following the modern-day reimagining of the iconic course.
In December, McConnell Golf expanded its footprint across the southeast with the purchase of The Water’s Edge Country Club in Penhook, Va., on Smith Mountain Lake.
McConnell Golf is an owner and operator built upon the concept of “pure golf for the true golfer,” focusing on enhancing both the individual club’s and its company’s overall membership value. The McConnell Golf collection of clubs throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee and now Virginia includes courses designed by legends Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin and Ellis Maples.
In the 2021 North Carolina Top 100 rankings, Durham’s Treyburn Country Club was ranked No. 31, followed by the Country Club of Asheville (48), The Cardinal by Pete Dye in Greensboro (52), Porters Neck Country Club (75), Charlotte’s Providence Country Club (79), The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh (81) and Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville (100).
The 2021 state rankings also included two specialty categories. Old North State Club was ranked No. 4 among the state’s “Fairest Courses to Play” (“regardless of overall difficulty, courses that best reward good shots and penalize poor ones in a manner that is reasonable”). Meanwhile, Sedgefield ranked No. 10 in the state for “Most Strategic Courses” (“the degree to which the course requires thoughtful planning and precise execution of shots from tee to green”).
“Our courses continue to merge history, beauty and opportunity for our avid golfing membership and their guests,” said McConnell Golf President & CEO John McConnell. “With the enhancements made at Raleigh Country Club and new projects planned at other McConnell Golf courses, I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past year and eager to see how the rankings play out in the future.”
The N.C. Golf Panel presented its 26th annual report on the state’s 100 best courses in the April issue of Business North Carolina magazine.