The legendary Donald Ross designed four beloved McConnell Golf courses, and each one is easily accessed from Interstate 40. Since Interstate 40 is often called “I-40” in conversation, we like to call this trail of courses the “DR-40.” Here’s a look.
At exactly 400 Donald Ross Drive, just outside of downtown Raleigh, DR-40 begins at Raleigh Country Club. Established in 1948, the club boasts the last course designed by Ross. This walker-friendly property ranks among the best in North Carolina, and is just the beginning of an impressive and historical journey.
90 miles west in Greensboro, North Carolina, the most challenging Ross designed course along DR-40 is Sedgefield Country Club. A true work of art with fast championship Bermuda greens, the course is a test for expert golfers but still fun for beginners. Built in 1926, Sedgefield hosts the annual Wyndham Championship — currently the only Ross-designed course played regularly on the PGA Tour. If you want to play where golf’s greatest, including Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, and most recently Tiger Woods, have played then Sedgefield is a must-stop on DR-40.
An easy drive from Greensboro, the next stop along DR-40 is in the Blue Ridge Mountains at The Country Club of Asheville. Considered the oldest private club in North Carolina, The Country Club of Asheville was founded in 1894 and is McConnell Golf’s only mountain course. Recognized as one of “The First 100 Clubs in America,” this track is the shortest course along DR-40 at 6,673 yards. However, it is definitely the most elevated, offering incredible views of the surrounding mountains. No doubt the best view is on hole 15. After you continuously hit uphill onto the green, you’ll feel compelled to pause and enjoy the vista as you overlook downtown Asheville. Besides appreciating the gorgeous scenery, you’ll enjoy the abundant wildlife: turkeys, deer, and even black bears, that the golfers here have said are friendly.
After a scenic drive through the mountains, the last stop on DR-40 is at Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tennessee. This gem of a course has been well-preserved since Ross created it in 1927. Every tee and green at Holston Hills is still located exactly where it was originally built, allowing golfers a pure experience to play the course as it was intended. Holston Hill’s Country Club is consistently ranked in the top 50 of Golf Week’s “Top 100 Classic Courses in the United States.” Bordered by the Holston River with the Great Smoky Mountains as a backdrop, the rustically bucolic property has a Scottish feel with tall natural rough and a classic clubhouse.
What the DR-40 courses have in common are small undulating greens and rolling fairways, but each course is unique. The only way to know for sure is to see for yourself; the entire drive takes five-and-a-half-hours, and the trip makes for a perfect golf vacation. Plan your trip along the DR-40 today, and let us know how we can help.
Sample the Region's Best
McConnell Golf extends a warm welcome to those traveling to the Southeast from overseas or across the country. In bringing our members the best in golf, dining, sport amenities and on-site lodging our "pure golf" philosophy has forged a trail linking thirteen tracks from Myrtle Beach to Knoxville. Previously only available to our members and their guests, the golf experience is now extended in part to travelers whom reside a minimum of 100 miles from any club location and wish to link a minimum of three properties to create their trail. Learn more about the McConnell Golf Trail.