SATURDAY  | MARCH 23, 2019
Treyburn Country Club in Durham, N.C., is one of 12 private clubs owned by McConnell Golf throughout the Carolinas and Tennessee. [Photo: McConnell Golf]

Sixteen years ago, Raleigh Country Club, Donald Ross’ final design located in North Carolina, was dying on the vine and in bankruptcy. John McConnell, who had made fortunes in the healthcare industry, stepped in and bought the club. 

Three years later, McConnell purchased and pumped life back into Cardinal Golf and Country Club in nearby Greensboro. Today, McConnell Golf owns or manages 13 private clubs throughout the Carolinas and Tennessee.

Yes, the 67-year-old McConnell is in the golf business full-time. And, yes, he’s in the industry to make a profit, but through purchasing clubs that were teetering on the brink of ruin and helping turn the bottom line from red to black, he’s also giving back to a game he is passionate about.


The Weekly Briefing

The odds suggest that Rory McIlroy will finally win the Masters and complete his bid for the career Grand Slam. However, only Tiger Woods has ever won the Players Championship and Masters in the same year, and no Irishman has ever won the Masters.  


Orval, a Trappist Belgian ale, is akin to a holy grail for some craft beer drinkers. [Photo: Merchant du Vin]
Golf's Good Life

Happy Orval Day.

Yes, today is when the world celebrates one of the more unique craft beers — Orval, a Belgian Trappist ale. 

“The ‘Trappist’ designation is kind of a magic word to anyone that is a real beer seeker. And a lot of the rock star American brewers mention that Orval is their favorite,” says Craig Hartinger, the marketing director for Merchant du Vin, located in Seattle, which imports Orval to the U.S.


The Lost Art of Putting

A round of golf is comprised of a series of small walks as you go from shot to shot. The Lost Art of Putting co-authors Gary Nicol and Karl Morris suggest that the most important steps come while walking to the green. "The walk on to the green can either set you up to feel anxiety and dread or it could be an opportunity to place your attention in a place you personally find to be really useful," they write. The key could be as simple as paying attention to your breathing. 

European Tour coach Gary Nicol and performance coach Karl Morris are co-authors of The Lost Art of Putting. With more than 60 years of combined coaching experience, they have worked with a number of European players, including major champions Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, and European Ryder Cup members Paul Broadhurst, Peter Baker, Phil Price and Gordon Brand Jr. 

This is the second of six excerpts from the book.


Long-time golf journalists John Hawkins and Jeff Rude are co-hosts of a weekly podcast, Hawk & Rude, in which they discuss and debate the hottest issues in golf. They will also share their takes in this weekly installment. 

Next week's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is most aptly described as:

◼ The best of the four World Golf Championships.
◼ A nice diversion from the procession of stroke-play events.
◼ A disappointment. 



The week's top headlines from Morning Read, Where To Golf Next, What To Wear Next and The Equipment Insider

 Players’ shift to March hurts Florida SwingWhile the Players' move to March and PGA Championship's move to May helps shorten the PGA Tour season, there has been collateral damage — the Florida Swing. 
[Mike Purkey | MR | March 19 | Read]

 The Phoenician rises in Valley of the Sun
After a renovation of the resort and rebuild of its course, The Phoenician is poised to reclaim prominence in the Phoenix area.
[Mike Purkey | WTGN | March 20 | Read

 Indiana seeks to set pace for youth golf
Indiana golf leaders decided that education of players and coaches on pace-of-play principles was needed. Their response has been proactive and has the attention of the state's southernmost neighbor. 
[Ted Bishop | MR | 3.19.2019 | Read

 Leupold GX-5i3 tells no lies
There was a time when having a rangefinder was considered a luxury item. Now they are becoming so commonplace that if you don't have one, you're nearly at a disadvantage.  
[Dan O'Neill | TEI | March 21 | Read]

 Spring Debut - Waterproof Outerwear
Spring is notorious for surprise rain showers that can dampen a golf round unless we are prepared. What To Wear Next looks at some of the outerwear that will help get us through the season.
[Janice Ferguson | WTWN | 3.21.2019 | Read]

Women enjoy own "golfing society"
I really enjoyed the article by David Droschak about The Outpost Club ("The Outpost Club: A throwback idea thrives," March 16). There has been a version of this for women in the U.S. for years. It was originally called the Executive Women's Golf Association, but last year merged with the LPGA to become the LPGA Amateurs Golf Association.  

Though it has chapters in cities across the U.S., it also allows members to visit other chapters and welcomes them heartily to play events at those chapters. There is no home course. All play is done on local courses, most public, but there are some special events at private courses. There are national competitions in stroke play, match play teams, and scramble teams. There are special travel events arranged through travel partners, such as this year's Solheim Cup.


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