The Wilmington, N.C. club joins a portfolio offering access to private clubs within the Carolinas and Tennessee. The arrangement will allow reciprocal, unaccompanied access to both Porters Neck CC members and McConnell Golf members.
Raleigh, N.C.-based McConnell Golf has entered into a partnership with Porters Neck Country Club in Wilmington, N.C. The Porters Neck CC Board selected McConnell Golf Alliance—the private club operations division of McConnell Golf—to manage the club, which features a Tom Fazio-designed golf course.
“We look forward to our members being able to experience McConnell Golf’s vision of enhancing membership value,” said Porters Neck Country Club President Dave Adams. “We are very excited about our new agreement with McConnell Golf.”
Porters Neck CC now becomes part of the McConnell Golf portfolio of clubs that offers access to private clubs within the Carolinas and Tennessee, including the Old North State Club, Raleigh Country Club and the host of the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.
The arrangement will allow reciprocal, unaccompanied access to both Porters Neck CC members and McConnell Golf members.
“We believe this can be a great partnership,” said Christian Anastaidis, McConnell’s Golf Chief Operating Officer. “Porters Neck Country Club has all the qualities of a first-class facility on the coast along U.S. Highway 17. By adding Porters Neck to our management portfolio, we definitely see an opportunity that will enhance both the club’s and our company’s overall membership value. I’d say it’s a perfect fit.”
This is not McConnell Golf’s first venture into club management; it has been managing the Grande Dunes Member Properties in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for LStar Ventures since 2013, when the developers purchased the properties.
“The Grande Dunes management partnership has worked very well for both LStar Ventures and McConnell Golf,” Anastasiadis said.
McConnell Golf has fielded numerous offers to venture into the private club management field since then, but has been meticulous in adding partners, Anastasiadis said. “We have not only been very selective acquiring new facilities over the past years, but we are also selective when it comes to management deals,” he said. “We have turned down most of the inquiries.
“We take great pride in what we do and why we do it, and our brand stands behind it,” he added. “Our executive management team is pretty much hands-on. We like to be able to get to the managed property quickly.”
McConnell Golf now owns or manages three golf courses along U.S. Highway 17: Porters Neck CC in North Carolina, and The Reserve and the Grande Dunes Members Club in South Carolina.
Porters Neck CC perfectly complements McConnell Golf’s other private properties on South Carolina’s “Grand Strand,” including The Members Club at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach and The Reserve Club in Pawleys Island, Anastasiadis said
“Porters Neck Country Club is an ideal fit that enhances membership values for both Porters Neck members and McConnell Golf members,” he said.
While McConnell Golf Management will assume all the responsibilities of a typical club manager, McConnell Golf’s senior management team will also be hands-on as part of the new arrangement, bringing personalized services to the club and incorporating the company’s vision of building “clubs of the future” to Porters Neck CC.
“We are first and foremost an owner/operator that was built upon the concept of ‘pure golf for the true golfer,’ and a company that has set its vision on building clubs of the future,” Anastasiadis said. “We are known for seeing things differently than other clubs or operators, focusing on the little nuances that make a trip to the club memorable for the customer.”
In one of its first moves at Porters Neck, the McConnell Golf management team has selected Jason Seehafer as its on-site manager. Seehafer arrives with 20-plus years of experience operating five-star hotels and luxury private clubs. He joined the Umstead Hotel and Spa in 2011, where he started as Director of the Room and Loss Prevention departments. In 2015, he transitioned into the role of Assistant Executive Manager of Hotel Operations, managing Food and Beverage Operations. He later was promoted to General Manager at Raleigh’s Prestonwood Country Club.
In Wisconsin, prior to his move to North Carolina, Seehafer served as the General Manager of the Kohler Company’s Sports Core Health and Tennis Club. He was later promoted to General Manager of Riverbend, the resort’s private membership club. As Riverbend’s GM, he directed the overall club operations, including guest lodging, food-and-beverage services, golf events, fitness, spa, membership parties and weddings.