McConnell Golf hosted two days of the 2017 annual meeting of the Donald Ross Society in North Carolina at two of its properties October 18-20. The first day they enjoyed the Raleigh Country Club, the final design of Ross’s storied career and the first property to be acquired by a young fledgling management company in 2003. McConnell has grown to a dozen clubs in its portfolio of outstanding private golf clubs around the Carolinas and Tennessee.
The Society also played Sedgefield Country Club Thursday inGreensboro, the the annual site of the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship and a 1926 Donald Ross original design. After golf, North Carolina-based architect Kris Spence discussed his restoration work at the golf course over dinner.
A transplanted Scotsman, Donald Ross transformed the American golf landscape in the first half of the 20th century. At his death in 1948 he left behind a legacy of 413 courses, including such gems at Pinehurst #2, Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida and Oakland Hills outside Detroit. More than 100 U.S. national championships have been played on Ross designs- one of the many reasons his name still resonates among the game’s aficionados and there is a Society.
Founded in 1989 to help safeguard the integrity of courses from the Golden Era of golf course architecture, the Donald Ross Society’s particular focus is the work of Ross before 1948. The Society believes that the golf courses designed by Ross are works-of-art that merit close care and meticulous preservation. When renovation work is needed, they believe that-whenever possible- the course should maintain its original look, shape and playing character; and when accommodations are needed for the modern game, they should be consistent with the original intent. For more information go to RossSociety.org.
McConnell owns 4 Donald Ross masterpieces, more than any other management or ownership group in the country. The recently renovated Country Club of Asheville in North Carolina and Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tennessee are the other two. Co-founder of the Donald Ross Society, Michael J. Fay, has said that he would rather play Holston Hills on a consistent basis than any other golf course in the south. Acclaimed golf course architect Tom Doak says Holston Hills is the closest golf course to what Ross originally designed that he has ever seen.
McConnell Golf memberships include privileges at a dozen 18 hole private golf courses plus one nine hole course. McConnell’s other North Carolina properties are TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, Providence Country Club in Charlotte, Old North State Club in New London, Treyburn Country Club in Durham, Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville, and operates the 27 hole public Raleigh Golf Association. In South Carolina they own The Reserve Club in Pawley’s Island, Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton and manage the Grande Dunes Members and ocean Club in Myrtle Beach.
To learn more go to McConnellGolf.com.