Since its inception in 2003, McConnell Golf has bolstered its bourgeoning reputation in the golf industry by investing significantly in improvements and upgrades at its clubs. The Raleigh, N.C., based company is currently overseeing renovation and restoration work totaling approximately $7.3 million at four of its clubs around the Carolinas and Tennessee.
With the 2016 additions of Providence Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., and Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., McConnell Golf now owns one dozen, 18-hole, private golf courses plus one nine-hole course around the Southeast.
Meanwhile, McConnell Golf has added two new national memberships to its menu of affordable offerings.
“McConnell Golf is focused on building clubs of the future,” said McConnell Golf Chief Operating Officer Christian Anastasiadis. “There is one reason we are in business – members. Attracting members through a quality and value experience, and retaining members via a sustainable product that they always want to be part of.”
Here’s a look at some McConnell properties:
COUNTRY CLUB OF ASHEVILLE — Asheville, N.C.
In 2016 at North Carolina’s venerable Country Club of Asheville, McConnell Golf spent $3.7 million on capital projects, of which $3 million was devoted to a major golf course renovation. That brought McConnell Golf’s total investment amount since purchasing the Country Club of Asheville in late 2014 to more than $4.6 million.
Country Club of Asheville is the oldest private club in North Carolina – its origin dating back to 1894. The club features a Donald Ross-designed golf course and is located seven minutes from downtown Asheville and The Omni Grove Park Inn.
For much of 2016, Country Club of Asheville’s golf course was closed due to extensive restoration performed by Pinehurst-based golf course architect Richard Mandell, who oversaw numerous improvements such as new 007 Bentgrass on all 18 greens, a restored creek crossing on No. 10, a new practice facility and rerouted cart paths.
Using information from longtime Country Club of Asheville members, the Donald Ross Society and notes from the original construction, Mandell tried to mimic the original course layout as closely as possible. Every piece of data gathered would allow him to focus on his goal of preserving the original instead of making design changes.
“My early process walk-through with Les Stradley, who was the golf pro there in the 1970s, was an eye-opener as to the changes to the greens in the ‘60s from Ross’s work,” Mandell said.
Besides the changes to the greens, another adaptation required moving the first tee. The results: A better view of the fairway for the golfer’s drive and the creation of space for a new 10,000-square-foot practice putting green next to the clubhouse.
“Overall, the work here at CCA is some of my best,” Mandell said. “I think the green complexes and the bunkering are a testament to Ross’s practical approach to design, yet we seized the opportunity to create a bit more variety from hole to hole. It was an honor to work on the 16th hole, as it has always been one of my favorites as depicted in one of my favorite books on golf architecture, George Thomas’s Golf Architecture in America.”
HOLSTON HILLS COUNTRY CLUB — Knoxville, Tenn.
Located in East Knoxville near the foothills of the Smoky Mountains on 180 open acres of rolling old farmland tucked into a bend in the Holston River, Holston Hills features a 1927 Donald Ross-designed golf course that has remained nearly untouched through the years.
McConnell Golf purchased Holston Hills in December 2015 and immediately invested $1.4 million in capital improvements including a new fitness center, locker room upgrades, and a banquet and dining room renovation.
PROVIDENCE COUNTRY CLUB — Charlotte, N.C.
In early 2016, McConnell Golf purchased Providence Country Club. Located in southeast Charlotte, Providence CC was established in 1989 and has developed a reputation as one of Charlotte’s premier family country clubs. PCC’s Dan Maples layout was redesigned by Mike Gleason in 2006 and is generally considered one of the toughest private courses in the Charlotte region.
The company plans to spend the next few years renovating the PCC golf course.
OLD NORTH STATE CLUB — New London, N.C.
Old North State Club is a perfect day-trip for golfers wanting to play one of golf’s finest tests, given the club’s central proximity less than an hour from Charlotte and the Triad, and not much more than that from the Triangle.
Located on the 5,300-acre Badin Lake, this secluded, gated community is surrounded by Uwharrie National Forest. The privacy is what makes Old North State Club such a desirable family retreat. The original clubhouse was turned into a spacious, eight-room lodge with a kitchen, bar, dining area and recreational room, where members can stay for a night or long weekend.
Along with the golf course, there’s biking, six tennis courts, two swimming pools, a playground and fitness center, a marina with a boat master for boating and fishing on Badin Lake, and a waterfront park for concerts, weddings and community parties.
McConnell Golf’s portfolio includes Raleigh Country Club and TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, NC, Sedgefield Country Club Ross Course and Dye Course in Greensboro, NC, Providence Country Club in Charlotte, NC, Old North State Club in New London, NC, Treyburn Country Club in Durham, NC, Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville, NC, Country Club of Asheville (NC), The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, SC, Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, SC and Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, TN. McConnell Golf also operates the 27-hole public Raleigh Golf Association and manages the Grande Dunes Members Club and Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach for LStar Development.