The return of professional golf to venerable Raleigh Country Club highlights the 2023 schedule of golf championships contested on courses owned by Raleigh-based McConnell Golf, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. From June 1-4, the Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship presented by Stitch will be played at Raleigh CC after 18 years at another McConnell Golf venue, The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation.
RALEIGH, NC (March 21, 2023) — The return of professional golf to venerable Raleigh Country Club highlights this year’s schedule of golf championships contested on courses owned by McConnell Golf.
From June 1-4, the Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH will be played at Raleigh CC after 18 years at another McConnell Golf venue, The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation in North Raleigh.
This year, the renamed Korn Ferry event returns to the site that put Raleigh on the golfing map. Raleigh CC opened in 1948 just east of downtown Raleigh. It is the final design of legendary architect Donald Ross and annually ranks among the state’s best layouts.
In 2020, McConnell Golf completed a major renovation of its historic golf course, overseen by architect Kyle Franz. The layout lends itself to an excellent fan experience, with each holes in close proximity, giving spectators the privilege of watching multiple holes from expansive and convenient viewing areas.
“Our main reason for moving the tournament is to get closer to downtown and attract new fans,” said McConnell Golf CEO John McConnell. “We wanted to return to the place that put Raleigh on the golf map.”
Raleigh CC boasts a rich history of hosting professional and amateur championships:
- The club hosted an LPGA event from 1966-1974. From 1966-1970, the tournament was called the Raleigh Ladies Invitational. From 1971-1972, it was called the Raleigh Golf Classic and from 1973-1974, it was called the American Defender Raleigh Classic. Judy Rankin, Carol Mann and Kathy Whitworth were some of its notable champions.
- From 1998 to 2000, RCC hosted the Nike Tour/Buy.com Tour Carolina Classic prior to the move to Wakefield Plantation in 2001. Now the event returns back to Raleigh CC in 2023. Winners were Brian Bateman (1998), Vance Veazey (1998) and Mark Hensby (2000). Jimmy Green shot a first round 60 (29-31) to set the old course record in 1998 before finishing second. Green’s scorecard is on a plaque in the Raleigh CC Trophy Room.
- The 2008 North Carolina Amateur Championship at Raleigh CC was won by Jack Fields on Father’s Day with his father on his bag, caddying. Fields set the then-course record with a final round 63 that included an eagle on No. 8 and double eagle on No. 12. His 3-wood/metal is on display at the home office of the Carolinas Golf Association (CGA).
- The 2013 North Carolina Mid-Amateur Championship at Raleigh CC was captured by North Carolina amateur sensation Scott Harvey.
- In addition, numerous McConnell Golf scholarship recipients have come through Raleigh CC including Grayson Murray, Carter Jenkins, Ryan Nagy and Blake McShea. Raleigh CC’s junior members of note include Cyrus Stewart and Stephen Franken.
Now, Raleigh CC prepares for the next chapter of its professional championship golf history, just in time to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
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.
In 2003, McConnell purchased Raleigh CC to help preserve golf’s historic place. Today, the McConnell Golf portfolio includes three other classic Ross designs in addition to Raleigh CC — Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club — which annually plays host to the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship (August 3-6), the ACC Women’s Championship (April 13-16) and the prestigious AJGA Wyndham Invitational Presented by Truist (June 12-16) — Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., which will host the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open (May 25-28) for the third time in 2023, as well as the Tennessee PGA Senior/Assistant’s Championship (July 31-August 1), and Country Club of Asheville.
McConnell Golf is the only individual golf course proprietor in the world that owns four Ross-designed courses. Tournaments at other McConnell Golf venues in 2023 include the South Carolina Golf Association (SCGA) Senior Four-Ball (March 13-14) at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C., the ECU Men’s Pirate Intercollegiate (March 19-21) at Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville, N.C., the North Carolina Senior Open (May 15-16) at Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C., and the SCGA Four-Ball Match Play at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C.
McConnell Golf 2023 Tournament Calendar
- March 13-14: SCGA Senior Four-Ball at The Reserve GC, Pawleys Island, S.C.
- March 19-21: ECU Men’s Pirate Intercollegiate at Brook Valley CC, Greenville, N.C.
- April 13-16: ACC Women’s Championship at Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.
- May 15-16: North Carolina Senior Open at Treyburn, Durham, N.C.
- May 24-28: SCGA Four-Ball Match Play at Musgrove Mill, Clinton, S.C.
- May 25-28: Visit Knoxville Open at Holston Hills, Knoxville, Tenn.
- June 1-4: UNC Health Championship at Raleigh Country Club, Raleigh, N.C.
- June 12-16: AJGA Wyndham Invitational Presented by Truist at Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.
- July 31-Aug. 1: Tennessee PGA Senior/Assistant’s Championship at Holston Hills, Knoxville, Tenn.
- August 3-6: Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.
About McConnell Golf
McConnell Golf, founded in 2003, is currently the largest owner of private clubs in the region. McConnell Golf’s stable of premier private clubs, between managed and owned properties (13 private golf courses, two semi-private courses and one 27-hole public course), includes: Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh, N.C., Sedgefield Country Club and The Cardinal by Pete Dye in Greensboro, N.C., The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C., Old North State Club in New London, N.C., Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C., The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C., Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C., Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville, N.C., Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, N.C., Country Club of Asheville in Asheville, N.C., Providence Country Club in Charlotte, N.C., Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. and The Water’s Edge Country Club in Penhook, Va. In addition to Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech in Radford, Va., McConnell Golf operates Raleigh Golf Association in Raleigh, N.C.