The club opened in 1915 on the site that is currently known as Willow Springs Country Club. Membership grew at a rapid rate following World War II and eventually grew too large for its initial home. Unable to expand the facilities, the club moved across town to its current site in 1973.
McConnell Golf has expanded its eastern North Carolina presence with the acquisition of Wilson (N.C.) Country Club.
Club + Resort Business reported in May that the Raleigh,N.C.-based company was in discussions to acquire the property.
“Over the years, we’ve been keeping a keen eye on municipalities that have strategically invested in a community’s growth plan and are in close proximity to metropolitan strongholds like the Triangle,” said McConnell Golf Chief Operating Officer Christian Anastasiadis. “Furthermore, the highway and road infrastructure from Raleigh to Wilson is outstanding these days, opening the city of Wilson to accommodate the future growth of the Triangle.
“While it is our belief that the city will not only continue to grow positively, it will also continue to retain its small-town charm. The city council has done a great job laying out a map for the future in 2019 and we want to be a strategic part of its future growth.”
Wilson Country Club opened in 1915 on the site that is currently known as Willow Springs Country Club. The club grew at a rapid rate following World War II and the size of the membership eventually grew too large for its initial home. Unable to expand the facilities, the club moved across town to its current site in 1973.
The club’s new layout was created by golf course architect Willard Byrd, who designed and remodeled more than 100 golf courses during a career spanning nearly five decades. His work at Wilson CC received rave reviews for its beauty and overall playability.
The club has hosted eight Carolinas Golf Association majors: 2010 NC Men’s Amateur, 2009 NCWGA Ladies’ State Amateur, several US Open qualifiers, Web.Com Tour qualifiers, the club’s annual Two Ball Invitational and its annual Pro-Am Invitational.
Wilson CC underwent a renovation in 2005 to modernize the course and improve the putting surfaces. Architect John LaFoy was chosen to do the renovation and work began in May 2005. LaFoy has redesigned more than 100 golf courses throughout the country including many classic layouts such as those of architects A.W. Tillinghast, Alistair Mackenzie, Seth Raynor, Charles Blair MacDonald and numerous Donald Ross designs.
“There is a good reason why Wilson CC had been the host site to thus far eight Carolinas Golf Association majors – like the 2010 NC Men’s Amateur, the 2009 NCWGA Ladies’ State Amateur, US Open qualifiers,” said Anastasiadis. “The Willard Byrd design is outstanding, and our investments in improving the course will make it an absolute ‘must-play’ in our portfolio.”
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 14 18-hole, private golf courses, two semi-private courses and one 27-hole public course.
McConnell Golf is the only individual golf course proprietor in the world that owns four Donald Ross-designed courses including Greensboro’s Sedgefield Country Club, which annually plays host to the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship, Raleigh Country Club, Ross’ last design and the current host site of the Korn Ferry Tour’s UNC Health Championship, and Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn., annual host of the Korn Ferry Tour’s Visit Knoxville Open.
“We always strive to be part of a community, especially when we get a chance to make it stronger and rebuild. It is just part of our DNA,” said Anastasiadis.