A Special Bond with the Special Olympics

by Lauren Thedieck

 Mar 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM

McConnell Golf is proud to support the athletes and the organization.

This past year, the warm smiles and genuine hearts of Special Olympics athletes brought McConnell Golf properties together.

Director of Tennis Operations Kyle Thortsen and The Country Club at Wakefield Plantation hosted the Wake County Special Olympics team at the tennis complex. Together, club staff and junior players led practices, games, and lessons to help Special Olympics athletes prepare for state competitions.

“We encouraged our juniors to get involved and see how rewarding it is to give back to the community,” says Thortsen. “Next year, our goal is to extend our commitment with this organization to our Sedgefield, Providence, and Asheville properties.”

Also at Wakefield, Director of Golf Adam McLaughlin hosted an invitational tournament at the nine-hole Plantation Course. It allowed athletes that did not get a chance to compete in the state championship an opportunity to play in a local tournament.

“We are humbled by their courage, contagious spirit, and eagerness to get better as individuals and teams alongside their family and their loved ones,” says Michael Thomas, club manager at Wakefield.

Over the past six years, members and staff from Treyburn CC, Wakefield, and Raleigh CC have volunteered for the Track and Field Spring Games in Raleigh. They’ve taken on roles to announce winners, organize races, and cheer on athletes throughout the games.

Nearby, Brook Valley CC welcomed all Special Olympic athletes from Greenville County to enjoy an end-of-year pool party celebration. East Carolina University Assistant Athletics Director Matt Maloney was in attendance and shared a little about the celebration with Brian Bailey of WNCT News.

“I started 21 years ago coaching these wonderful friends ... a few years later, we wanted to celebrate all the good things they do not only in the pool but also in the community,” said Maloney.

On a personal level, I have been involved with the Special Olympics in every stage of my life and am so proud of our clubs for continuing to engage with our community. I believe lending our facilities, our resources, and our time deepens our relationships with those we support and teaches us all of the power of giving.

 

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The McConnell Golf Dream 18 Course

by Brad King

 Dec 13, 2017 at 6:44 PM

With the 2016 additions of Providence Country Club and Holston Hills Country Club, McConnell Golf encompasses a dozen 18-hole, private golf courses throughout the Carolinas and Tennessee.

For those of you scoring at home, that’s a total of 225 golf holes in the McConnell Golf portfolio, and they are undoubtedly among the finest you’ll play anywhere. McConnell Golf properties feature courses designed by legends such as Donald Ross, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, and Hale Irwin. In 2017, as they do year in and year out, McConnell Golf courses dominated the various state rankings.

So picking the 18 “very best” McConnell Golf holes is no easy task. But through nominations from pros and member votes, that’s exactly what we’ve done. We’re pleased to present the final course in the words of those whom know it best.

Head over to Facebook for photos, descriptions and tips on each hole >>

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Up to Date: MCG Scholars

by Jessie Ammons

 May 06, 2016 at 3:26 PM

Eight years ago, McConnell Golf launched its high school golf scholarship program. Young golfers are nominated by their high school coaches or local industry pros based on talent, need, and commitment to the sport, as well as their proven dedication and value to the future of golf. The innovative program offers limited membership opportunities to the chosen scholars, who often otherwise lack the opportunity to play challenging courses. Scholars earn access to all McConnell Golf facilities and enroll in a structured program designed to help them elevate their game. They usual­ly become familiar faces around their respective adopted clubs, and many go on to promising collegiate careers. Here’s a look at where a few scholar recipients — two former and one current — are today.

TRAILBLAZER

South Carolinian Hunter Nichols’ writing was on the wall: He lettered in golf at Clinton High School after placing third at the 2013 South Carolina 3A Champi­onships and earning four all-region hon­ors and two All-State selections. Nichols was a shoo-in for Musgrove Mills’ first scholarship. Today, he’s thriving at Fur­man University, where he is an asset to the men’s golf team.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Danielle Mirovich is a rising senior at Mount Pleasant High School in Mount Pleasant, North Carolina and she’s made her mark through golf. The Miroviches only arrived to Mount Pleas­ant a few years ago after losing their home in Hurricane Katrina. What kept them grounded was a dedication to the game: Two older Mirovich daughters are already playing at the collegiate level. Danielle is following in her sisters’ foot­steps with a scholarship at Old North State Club, which will last through next season. Her parents’ support is evident and has struck a chord with the entire community.

SPORTSMAN’S RESOLVE

Stephen Lavenets of Rougemont, North Carolina seized his scholarship at Trey­burn Country Club. It spurred him to win the Durham High School Invitational and cap off his tournament record with an eagle on the 18th hole at Treyburn — arguably one of the most difficult feats among all 12 McConnell Golf clubs. He joined the East Carolina Universi­ty men’s golf team, where a nagging hip injury led to major surgery almost immediately upon joining the team. It derailed Lavenets’ playing time, but revealed his true character. He emerged as a charismatic leader of his college team. Much like that difficult 18th hole, today Lavenets is on track despite his injury to graduate in four years with a finance degree.  

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