Featured Golf News
Nationwide Tour's Rex Hospital Open First of Several Tourneys this Summer at McConnell Golf Venues in Tar Heel state.
The Nationwide Tour's Rex Hospital Open at TPC at Wakefield Plantation starting Thursday will serve as the opening tee shot to a summer of tournament action for McConnell Golf. Clubs from the McConnell Golf stable will play host to the North Carolina Amateur, Cardinal Amateur and the Wyndham Championship, among others.
The 2012 Rex Hospital Open will be held May 31 to June 3 at TPC at Wakefield Plantation, which opened in July 2000 and began hosting the event a year later. Another McConnell Golf property, Raleigh Country Club, was the event site for three years starting in 1998. Last June, Kyle Thompson rolled in a birdie putt on the final hole to win his second Rex Hospital Open in five years, and needed just four words that day to describe his feelings about TPC at Wakefield Plantation and its Hale Irwin design: "I love this place."
Two months later, in August 2011, McConnell Golf took over ownership of Wakefield making it the company's eighth golf club in the Carolinas. "We added another layer of sophistication to McConnell Golf that we didn't have," said McConnell Golf CEO and President John McConnell. With the purchase of TPC at Wakefield Plantation, McConnell Golf gained not only another highly ranked golf course but added another well-known golf course architect to its company, including Donald Ross, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman.
In addition, Wakefield added the Nationwide Tour to McConnell Golf's resume along with its PGA Tour presence. Once again this August, McConnell Golf welcomes the world's finest golfers to the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., from August 16-19.
Also this summer, for the seventh year in a row, the Rex Hospital Open began tournament week with the Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational at TPC at Wakefield Plantation. A pair of McConnell Golf Junior Scholars - Carter Jenkins and Grayson Murray - won the past three tournaments and earned spots in the field. Murray made the 2010 tournament cut and also qualified for the 2012 event with rounds of 70 and 67.
Plus, the Fazio-crafted Treyburn Country Club in Durham has already played host to the prestigious North Carolina High School Invitational in early April and this summer will welcome the 52nd North Carolina Amateur Championship on June 14-17.
Not to be outdone among the stable of McConnell Golf offerings this summer, The Cardinal Amateur in Greensboro (August 10-12) is one of the nation's top amateur events with a history of matching top players in a competitive but fun environment. The 2011 tournament champion on Pete Dye's masterful Cardinal Golf Club, Olafur Loftsson, played the Wyndham on a McConnell Golf sponsor's exemption, grabbing national headlines as the first golfer from Iceland to compete in a PGA Tour event.
These are just a few of the events contested over McConnell Golf properties. Old North State Club served as the host site for the ACC Women's Golf Championship in the early 1990s. The league was so impressed it awarded Old North State the men's golf championship in 1995 and has held it there ever since.
"We think we offer our membership some of the best golf anywhere," said McConnell "[Along with the Nationwide Tour at TPC Wakefield and the PGA Tour at Sedgefield] the game's rising stars are playing in the ACC men's championship at Old North State, ACC women's championship at Sedgefield and the long-running Cardinal Amateur at Cardinal Golf and Country Club."
During this year's Rex Hospital Open, TPC at Wakefield Plantation will unveil a substantive facelift. A light and warm feel provided by the interior renovation to the 32,000-square-foot clubhouse gives the entire building a brand-new look. In addition, upon completion of the Rex Hospital Open, Wakefield's practice facility will also undergo a renovation of the chipping green, the practice target and fairway area. There are plans to add a teaching center to the practice facility as well, which will include indoor hitting bays and video teaching technology.
Meanwhile, Sedgefield Country Club closed its golf course on May 14 in order to convert its greens to a more heat-resistant strain of Bermuda grass. McConnell Golf representatives indicate the greens will be in fine condition for the Wyndham Championship.
Treyburn Country Club recently completed a nearly yearlong renovation in time for the spring golf season. The most vital aspect of the project was to replace the decades-old, Penncross bentgrass greens with a newer, more heat-tolerant 96-2 bentgrass - very similar to Crenshaw bent grass - which will provide a better putting surface during the summer months. By reseeding the greens, Spence and his team were able to rebuild each green to their original specs, while also providing better drainage to each complex.
Also, every bunker on the Treyburn golf course was upgraded with new drainage and white sand, and several new bunkers were added. In some areas, the bunkers were redesigned or moved to increase their relevance and provide better visual shaping of the holes, while others were added for strategic purposes. In addition to the new putting surfaces, bunkers, and irrigation and drainage upgrades, Treyburn's two-decade-old practice facility also received a facelift.
About McConnell Golf
McConnell Golf offers unlimited access to facilities and golf courses designed by such legends as Donald Ross, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and Hale Irwin. Founded in 2003, McConnell Golf provides members a quality golf experience at any of its eight award-winning courses: Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh, N.C.; Cardinal Golf & Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.; Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C.; Old North State in New London N.C.; Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C.; The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C.; Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C; and TPC at Wakefield Plantation, Raleigh, N.C. For more information, visit www.mcconnellgolf.com.