The 89-year-old club in Knoxville, Tenn., is the first property that the management firm will operate outside of the Carolinas, and the fourth in its 11-club portfolio with a Donald Ross-designed golf course.
McConnell Golf has purchased Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., the Raleigh, N.C.-based management firm announced.
Renowned for its nearly untouched, 1927 Donald Ross-designed golf course, Holston Hills is now the eleventh golf club in McConnell Golf’s portfolio, and the first located outside the Carolinas.
“Holston Hills is the fourth McConnell Golf course designed by Donald Ross,” said Christian Anastasiadis, the management firm’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are particularly excited to be part of the Knoxville community. We look forward to offering in Tennessee what we have provided at some of the finest private clubs in the Carolinas.”
Located just east of 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 has an illustrious history of championship golf that includes playing host to numerous national, regional and state tournaments including the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, the NCAA Championship in 1955 and 1965, three Tennessee State Opens and eight Tennessee State Amateur Championships.
In 1945, Byron Nelson won the Knoxville Open at Holston Hills that marked his 15th of 18 PGA Tour victories that season. Cary Middlecoff, who would go on to win two U.S. Opens and a Masters championship, was only 19 years old in 1940 when he won his first Tennessee Amateur (of four consecutive Tennessee Amateur titles) at Holston Hills.
As part of The Worlds Fair’s sporting activities when that event was hosted by Knoxville in 1982, PGA Cup Matches—an international event that matches the nine best PGA club professionals against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland—were played at Holston Hills.
Holston Hills was part of Golf Magazine’s original “Top 100 Courses in the U.S,” Golf Digest consistently ranks the layout among the top three courses in Tennessee, and Holston Hills has reached as high as No. 29 in the U.S. in Golfweek’s list of Classic Courses.
Ross’s layout of the Holston Hills course is arrayed in a broad, fan-shaped formation, with both nines returning to the clubhouse that sits on an upslope along the north side of the property. Holston Hills features more than 100 bunkers scattered across the property, with very few houses or other visual distractions taking away from the links-style playing experience.
Founded in 2003, McConnell Golf’s portfolio of clubs in North Carolina includes Raleigh Country Club and TPC at Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, Sedgefield Country Club Ross Course and Dye Course in Greensboro, Old North State Club in New London, Treyburn Country Club in Durham, Brook Valley Country Club in Greenville and The Country Club of Asheville.
In South Carolina, McConnell Golf owns The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island and Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton. McConnell Golf also manages the Grande Dunes Members Course and Ocean Club in Myrtle Beach.