Raleigh, N.C.,-based McConnell Golf is set to once again host a pair of back-to-back Korn Ferry Tour events.

This week, Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, TN., plays host to the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open (May 23-26) for the fourth consecutive year.

Next week, the Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH (May 30-June 2) will be played at Raleigh Country Club for the second consecutive year.

Each courses was designed by legendary golf course architect Donald Ross. McConnell Golf is the only individual golf course proprietor in the world that owns four Ross-designed courses. In addition to Raleigh CC and Holston Hills, the McConnell Golf stable also includes Ross designs at Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club, which annually plays host to the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship (August 8-11) and the prestigious AJGA Wyndham Invitational (June 10-13), and Country Club of Asheville.

McConnell Golf, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2023, is the region’s largest owner of premier private clubs with a portfolio comprised of 16 properties in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Since its debut in 1927, Holston Hills Country Club on the northeast side of Knoxville, TN., has played an integral role in the game of golf. Ross’ design there has always been highly regarded among the country’s most prestigious golf course rankings.

The club has played host to many national events in its history, including the PGA Tour’s Knoxville Invitational, which was captured by Byron Nelson in 1945 during a historic season that included a record-setting 18 victories. Holston Hills welcomed the 2004 USGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship and has also played host to numerous Tennessee PGA Championships.

McConnell Golf purchased Holston Hills in late 2015 and has invested millions in capital improvements. In 2019, the PGA TOUR and TOUR Vision Promotions signed a five-year agreement with Holston Hills to host the Visit Knoxville Open.

Raleigh Country Club opened in 1948 just east of downtown Raleigh. It is Ross’ final design and annually ranks among the state’s best layouts. In 2024, RCC made the North Carolina Golf Panel’s list as the No. 17-ranked course in the state and the No. 2-ranked course in the Triangle.

Raleigh Country Club has 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. Winners were Brian Bateman (1998), Vance Veazey (1999) 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 RCC Trophy Room.
  • The 2008 North Carolina Amateur Championship at RCC 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 a 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 RCC was captured by North Carolina amateur sensation Scott Harvey.
  • In addition, numerous McConnell Golf scholarship recipients have come through RCC, including Grayson Murray, Carter Jenkins, Ryan Nagy and Blake McShea. RCC’s junior members of note include Cyrus Stewart and Stephen Franken.

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 hole in close proximity, giving spectators the privilege of watching multiple holes from expansive and convenient viewing areas.

Photo: Raleigh CC (McConnell Golf)