Holding Court!

by Matt McConnell

 Mar 23, 2018 at 12:47 AM

Game, set, dinner!

Exhibition matches have long been a celebrated occasion across the tennis facilities of McConnell Golf; however starting last year, a new twist was added — members can enjoy great food, service, and entertainment right on the court.

“What can be better than dining under the stars while watching local collegiate and professional tennis players compete?” asks Kyle Thortsen, director of tennis operations. “These Dining on the Courts events are a night for the entire family to enjoy.”

McConnell Golf’s most popular destination property pulled out all the stops for their Dining on the Courts evening, organized by Director of Tennis Chris Callicutt and Executive Chef Michael Monahan. Members received a complimentary
drink on arrival, while white tablecloths and upbeat jazz lent a chic ambiance to the Mediterranean themed dinner.

“It was fabulous,” exclaims member Rich Miller. “We have a beautiful venue, with the patio and terrace overlooking the court. We enjoyed a professional doubles match, with a relaxed, party atmosphere. It doesn’t get much better.”

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More than a Meal

by Chad Flowers

 Mar 21, 2018 at 9:54 PM

Enjoy a memorable dinner at Old North State Club. 

The sun is setting at Old North State Club, its beauty framed by the dining room’s panoramic windows. There’s a vibrant energy in the air. The club’s beloved Executive Chef Michael Monahan has something new in store for members tonight, and the smell of steaks sizzling on the grill is a tantalizing aroma.

Even to those who frequent this club and dining room often, like myself, this is a special environment that never gets old. That’s because Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point is a special place, where a day spent on the links or exploring the natural beauty around the club is complemented by an elegant, memorable meal in the dining room.

Monahan has been at Old North State Club since 2015, and his culinary style and trendy menu offerings have transformed the club into the place to be on Badin Lake. The members have certainly taken notice as well, as Friday and Saturday evening dining is especially popular.

“A packed dining room is always a great thing,” says Monahan. “We strive for everything to be perfect for every diner, and when the dining room and bar are full, the kitchen staff is really able to fire on all cylinders.”

Although he has been at Old North State Club for three years, Chef Monahan has many more years of experience with McConnell Golf under his belt, including stints at Sedgefield Country Club and the former Cardinal Golf and Country Club. He began working at the Cardinal in northwest Greensboro in 2008, taking over for current McConnell Golf Corporate Executive Chef James Patterson (or as he’s fondly known, JP). When JP left the Cardinal to oversee operations at Musgrove Mill Golf Club, he knew he was leaving the club in good hands with Monahan.

“Chef Michael has always been an asset to McConnell Golf, not only in the kitchen and behind the line, but also from an innovation standpoint,” says JP. “His background of working in restaurant kitchens helps him to view club dining operations differently from other chefs. Different ideas and discussions between our chefs is always a good thing.”

Chef Monahan has transformed the dining experience at Old North State Club into much more than just a white table linen establishment. Of course the club has white tablecloths and frequent dinner specials, however, there is so much more, including themed dinners and events. From Mediterranean Night to Seafood Night to the popular oyster roast, there is always a theme to offer members something new and exciting while also keeping the culinary staff on its toes.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to attend one of these special evenings at the club — a Butcher’s Table event, in which Chef Monahan rolled a cart of beef to each table where diners were able to choose between tenderloin or ribeye and choose the size of their cut.

And this was not just any beef. It was Aberdeen Red Angus, a heritage breed originating in Scotland and grass-fed in North Carolina. There were many petite filets cut that evening, and there were also many large ribeye steaks served.

Along with the choice of steak, diners could choose between a number of sides, salads, and of course dessert. Although the steak was the main feature of the evening, the accompanying side dishes also played a major role in how the meal came together.

“The flavors of the protein are what most diners enjoy, but what people do not understand is how those flavors are enhanced greatly with the addition of the proper spiced seasonings as well as the appropriate side items,” says Monahan.

Also in his third year at Old North State Club, Club Manager Frank O’Hara sees an uptick in the culinary operation over the past few years.

“In the dining industry, consistency is important,” says O’Hara. “Consider the private club atmosphere, where almost 100 percent of your patrons are repeat customers. The consistency dynamic is magnified that much more. One of the challenges we face every day is how to remain consistent with our menu and flavors coming out of the kitchen for the members whom enjoy certain items, while also creating new and innovative items and tastes for our members and guests to enjoy.”

The next time you’re on the McConnell Golf website, head over to Old North State Club’s page and check out their calendar of events and club newsletter. Choose an event to attend, make a reservation, and book a weekend getaway to Old North State Club. I guarantee it won’t be your last! 

   

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Wellness Beyond The Workout

by Natalie Clemens

 Dec 02, 2017 at 4:30 PM

In addition to physical therapy, two McConnell clubs offer massage therapy — Sedgefield and Old North State.

Old North State currently offers 60-minute massages April – September each Saturday by appointment only. According to Chris Callicutt, director of tennis and activities: “We added massage therapy to complete that resort-style feel and to add a spa element to a club with already bountiful amenities. This offering helps reach our goal of holistic wellness for our members.”

ONSC member Lucy Mullen raves about the program. “Men and women alike are enjoying this. The massage therapy room is well-appointed and provides a calm, relaxing atmosphere for each session.”

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Turning 25

by Matt McConnell

 Aug 22, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Old North State Club celebrates a milestone

it’s a big year for one of McConnell Golf’s most iconic properties: Old North State Club is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Recognized by Golf Digest as the number two “Best New Private Course in America” in its inaugural year, Old North State Club re- mains home to one of North Carolina’s best courses. Created by Tom Fazio in 1991 along a peninsula on Badin Lake, this course consistently ranks in the state’s top five according to the North Carolina Golf Panel.

Since opening 25 years ago, ONSC has seen some incredible moments. “Hosting the Men’s and Women’s ACC Championship for 20-plus years has been a historic trip,” says Tom Du- cey, director of golf. “Watching college golfers who played here develop into world-class touring pros has been very exciting over the years.”

The list of stars who battled in the ACC Championships at ONSC is a long one. It’s even more inspiring to consider the major tour winners, like Lucas Glover and Stewart Sink, who began their careers walking this tract in college.

VP of Golf Operations Brian Kittler began working at Old North State Club in April 1998, two weeks before an incredible ACC Championship field. Matt Kuchar from Georgia Tech was the defending US Am Champion, Clem- son’s Charles Warren was the defending NCAA Champion, and Tim Clark from NC State was the defending USGA Pub Links Champion. All would challenge each other for the lead but Charles Warren would reclaim his title.

“I am always interested to see how ACC players from today play the course and what they shoot compared to the players from the 1990s and early 2000s,” says Kittler.

It’s not just ACC athletes who have excelled here. In 2011, a new member at ONSC, Bubba Watson, was looking for some low-key competition after edging out Phil Mickelson to win his second ca- reer PGA Tour event. A condition of his membership was that he could partici- pate in the Men’s Club Championship; he stated that he wanted an opportuni- ty to meet his fellow members.

As you might assume, Watson won by a landslide. Even though he bo- geyed holes No. 8 and No. 9 to shoot 36 on the front, he shot 27 on the back and claimed the title with Mr. Paul Tucker finishing second. It may have been unfair for the rest of the members competing, but telling others that they lost to a Masters winner sure is an interesting story.

Lodge Manager Robin Barringer has been an employee at Old North State Club since the beginning. She recalls a memorable story.

“One of my favorite members, Rick Dees — the Weekly Top 40-DJ — was here with some friends, including Jack Nicholson,” she says. “They requested a boat to rent for the day, so I arranged it for them. Some friends of mine were fishing close by and didn’t believe me when I told them who was coming. Sure enough, Rick Dees and Jack Nicholson unloaded from a van. You should have seen my friend’s faces when Mr. Dees said ‘Hello, Robin!’”

With the privacy of the Lakefront Lodge, many others from all walks of life, including politicians, have stayed overnight on the property. With a beau- tiful lake, five-star lodging, and five-star dining, it’s not surprising that so many come back to this destination property.

A short drive from two bustling metros, the Uwharrie Point commu- nity maintains a relaxed atmosphere that transcends to its social hub at the clubhouse. Meals are often enjoyed on the patio, and catching up with friends occurs between Adirondack chairs with sweeping views of Badin Lake.

Richard and Lynn Matthews joined in 1992 and have a wealth of memories at the club.

“The people are what make this community special,” says Mr. Matthews. “All of the people that we have come to know have been very special.“

Here’s to many more memorable moments for Old North State Club.

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Featured Cocktail

by Martha-Page Althaus

 Apr 21, 2017 at 8:02 PM

I like this cocktail due to its simplicity. No muddling, straining, or syrup-making required. Unless you are the mixologist, this balance of flavor might even cause you to forget that beer is the primary ingredient!” – Alexander Carruth, Director of Events and Catering, Old North State Club

BADIN LAKE BOMBER

Ingredients:

-Bud Light

-Southern Comfort (80 proof)

-Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice

Instructions:

Fill a chilled pint glass with ice. Add ¾ oz Southern Comfort (80 proof). Add ½ oz Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice. Fill with Bud Light. Garnish with lime.

 

 

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Field Trip

by Laura Burkehart

 Dec 19, 2016 at 9:15 PM

McConnell Golf's tennis program brings all the clubs together

Each August since 2011 fans have gathered at Wake Forest University for the Winston-Salem Open. The last men’s tournament on the Emirates Airline US Open Series circuit before the US Open, this event draws top pros and a large, enthusiastic crowd.

For the past couple of years, McConnell Golf members have joined in the fun. “It’s a good event,” says Kyle Thortsen, McConnell Golf director of tennis. “We start out with a tailgate in the parking lot. We have a tent, and cornhole, and food, and everyone hangs out until the gates open.”

Member Jill Uttridge agrees. “I attended the WSO with my husband and sons, who are 13 and 9. While the boys enjoyed cornhole in the parking lot, we mixed with friends from our club, Wakefield Plantation, and met members from other McConnell clubs. It was fun to hang with the pros in a non-instructional capacity.” The highlights for the kids? “My 9-year-old loved watching the players practice a few feet away and getting autographs on his big tennis ball. We love the small tournaments because you can really get up close to the players.” Once inside, the group gathered at center court for a photo. “That was really cool,” smiles Thortsen. “Last year, we had 25 members, and this year we had 50. We hope it will continue to grow and grow.”

These excursions also involve entertainment and local college players coming out for some sets. An event at Old North State in New London, North Carolina happened in November, and it was anticipated from more than just a skill standpoint. Corbin says, “Our group was discussing what our outfits would be — and we asked our coach to have us McConnell-clinic-ready!”

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Fitting in Fitness

by Jessie Ammons

 Dec 18, 2016 at 9:19 PM

Resourceful planning has yielded impressive improvements at four McConnell Golf Clubs. Thanks to ingenious use of clubhouse spaces, the Country Club of Asheville and Holston Hills Country Club have brand-new fitness centers; and Old North State Club has significantly renovated its center with Providence Country Club soon to follow suit. Here’s a look at how it came together at Old North State Club on Badin Lake.

Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. As was the case at Old North State Club, where the fitness center received a relocation and renovation. “We had a fitness center, so this isn’t new,” club manager Frank O’Hara explains, “but it is new in the sense that it’s a new space.” The former fitness center had been near the pool, accessible but slightly disconnected from the hub of clubhouse activities. Now, it’s almost twice as large and in the clubhouse. “It’s more centralized and therefore offers itself to more of our membership,” O’Hara says. A new location has made existing equipment feel fresh, and a key-fob system allows members 24-hour access. “It’s been really well-received,” O’Hara says.

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