February Cookie of the Month

by Lauren Thedieck

 Jan 01, 2019 at 10:03 PM

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Shug Hammond, Line Cook, Providence Country Club

Anything red velvet is my favorite! During the month of February when RED is so prevalent, I think this special dessert will bring something “lovely” to your house... enjoy!

Fun Facts About Shug

  • Length of Service at PCC: Two years
  • Hometown: Plainfield New Jersey
  • Favorite Menu Item: Pan-seared Norwegian salmon, honey Dijon, dill crème fraiche, potato latkes, and shaved asparagus
  • One thing someone might not know about me: I want to try standup comedy
  • One thing I love about my job: I love the freedom to be creative through desserts


1 Egg                                                      
1 ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon Baking Soda                       
½ cup Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract                 
½ cup White Sugar
1 ½ cup White Chocolate Chips             
1 ¼ cup Red Velvet Cake Mix
¾ cup Butter

DIRECTIONS: Using a paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add in flour, cake mix, and baking soda until a smooth dough is formed. Then, add in chocolate chips. Let dough chill at least 2 hours. Chilling prevents the cookie from spreading too thin while baking. Bake at 325° for 9-11 minutes. Cookies may not seem fully cooked but will firm up when cooled. Yield:  24 cookies


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January Cookie of the Month

by Lauren Thedieck

 Jan 01, 2019 at 10:01 PM

Oatmeal Cranberry Apple Cookies
By Cedric Hendricks, Line Cook, Raleigh Country Club

These cookies remind me of my travels to Atlanta, Georgia. At a hotel where I stayed, these tasty treats were offered as free samples to the guests. I loved them so much I wanted to recreate the recipe and spread the same delight to others. Sometimes it’s the little things we remember the most. I hope that this recipe will make some special memories for you and your family as they have done mine.

Fun Facts About Cedric: 

  • Length of Service at RCC: Three years
  • Hometown: Henderson, NC
  • Favorite Menu Item: Crispy softshell crab on toasted brioche bun with arugula, pancetta, sliced tomato and tarragon caper remoulade
  • One thing someone might not know about me: I like Japanese anime
  • One thing I love about my job: The ability to be creative


1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 large Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3 cups Quick Oats
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
1 ½ cups dried Cranberries
1 cup Butter, softened
1 ½ cups small, diced Apples
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Pecans, toasted
½ cup Sugar

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°. Mix all dry ingredients. Cream the butter and sugars together. Gradually, add eggs and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until incorporated. Fold in oats, cranberries, apples, and pecans. If mixture appears too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water. Form 1-inch balls on a cookie sheet one inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes.


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Raising the Bar

by Kasey O

 Aug 14, 2018 at 8:28 PM

Providence’s house-infused spirits elevate craft cocktails.

Craft cocktails are all the rage, and mixology has become an art form revered by bartenders. Luckily for McConnell members, we’re fortunate to have some amazing bartenders across our properties.

At Providence Country Club, Food and Beverage Manager Steve Windham and his assistant, Levi Bennett, took their behind-the-bar innovation to the next level. The result? They now produce their own house-infused spirits. “While touring other venues, I noticed that several were starting to play around with their own house-infused spirits,” says Windham. “But this old-school way of infusing liquor is a very long process that generally yields inconsistent results. We researched newer processes, and found that with today’s technology, we’re able to infuse our spirits in-house in less than an hour from start to finish with consistent results every time.”

Liquors are infused with fruits and herbs; most include lime, mango, rosemary, and basil, but the possibilities are seemingly endless. Providence’s new infusing method allows the cocktails to be infused “on demand” in 15 minutes or less. This quick technique allows the bartending crew to set up “infuse your own” liquor stations at member events, where attendees can get inventive with their cocktails. The first event was held on New Year’s Eve, and needless to say, it was a hit. “This infusion program has gained a solid following for us here at Providence,” says Windham. “We are not simply making drinks for our members. We’re creating unique cocktails that they can only find here.”

We’ll raise a glass to that — cheers!

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Renovated Golf Course Re-Opens

by Brad King

 Mar 20, 2018 at 8:07 PM

Charlotte’s Providence Country Club unveils freshly renovated golf course. Raleigh-based McConnell Golf purchased Providence CC in early 2016 and has invested more than $5 million in capital improvements. Greensboro-based golf course architect Kris Spence oversaw the renovation work.

Providence Country Club in Charlotte is prepared to unveil its newly restored golf course on Friday, August 31.

Greensboro-based golf course architect Kris Spence oversaw the renovation work, which began in February and was completed ahead of schedule. The Providence golf course was originally designed by Dan Maples and tweaked in 2006 by Mike Gleason.

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf purchased Providence CC in early 2016 and immediately announced it would spend the next few years providing substantial improvements around the club and renovating Providence’s golf course. Spence was hired to function dually as the architect for the project, as well as the construction manager.

Spence’s comprehensive renovation project at Providence CC focused on bunkers, new and expanded irrigation for better course conditioning, transitioning the green complexes from bent grass to Champion Bermuda grass — reworking the green complexes without rebuilding them, especially the surrounds — along with fashioning new, dramatic views from the fairways. 

“The Providence project was a unique opportunity for me in that I was able to express a wider range of creativity versus most of my restoration efforts,” Spence said.

“Mr. McConnell wanted a golf course that was fun to play, aesthetically pleasing, strategic, interesting with variety, difficult when it needs to be but, first and foremost, one that the membership could be proud of. We delivered on that front.

“It was a great team effort between the Spence Golf and McConnell Golf maintenance guys at Providence Country Club. We worked through some tough weather conditions and pulled it off, I think the members will be pleasantly surprised at the opening day conditions.”

The new bunkers feature a combination of high sand flashed faces and slightly irregular rolled grass edges. “These are some of the most beautiful and functional bunkers I’ve done in my career,” Spence said. “Every bunker serves a strategic purpose or sets an angle moving the hole from side to side. Providence was somewhat flat and straight before,” said Spence. “Now, the holes sashay from side to side around through the bunkering creating tons of options.”

Providence features five par-3 holes. “One of my goals was to make them as different as possible with a wider variance in lengths and dramatically different looks,” Spence said. “The most dramatic among them is the ‘Redan’ style fourth with a back yardage of 240 yards, maybe the best par 3 I’ve designed to date.”

At 800 families strong, Providence’s avid golfing membership played 28,000-plus rounds in 2017.

“Kris Spence has delivered a golf course that is totally unique from the course we had before,” said McConnell Golf Founder and CEO John McConnell.

“I am truly impressed with the new look, as he took a very flat golf course and made it feel much more dramatic to play. All players will immediately notice the visual appeal and new strategy required. I think he retained the playability for all levels of golfers but they will totally be impressed with the new greens and bunkers that have been created.” 

In the past two years, McConnell Golf has performed $1.3 million in renovation work on the Providence clubhouse including an enlarged Fitness Center, renovated Golf Shop, a new bag-drop location and cart staging area, while the entire back lawn of the clubhouse was re-landscaped. Lastly, McConnell Golf added an all-new “Providence Playhouse” kid’s activity center. With the golf course renovation and clubhouse upgrade, McConnell Golf will have invested more than $5 million in capital improvements to enhance the Providence membership experience. 

“I am very pleased with the outcome that Kris Spence has provided,” said McConnell. “We have a course today that our members will enjoy playing on a frequent basis.”


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Holding Court!

by Matt McConnell

 Mar 17, 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.”

In Charlotte, members said “Hola!” to a Mexican-themed menu and matches from local tennis pros.

One of the most exciting matches was the Battle of the Sexes. Former Director of Tennis Eric Winn and current Head Tennis Pro Josh Oxendine represented the men. The women’s team included former Director of Junior Tennis Ana Ruzir and camp counselor Morgan Ingram, who currently plays at UNC-Asheville. The women put up a good fight, but the men prevailed 6-3.

“My husband and I had such a great time at Dining on the Courts,” says member Claire Daniels. “The food was fabulous, and watching the pros play was absolutely a highlight. This was a new, great way to enjoy the club.”

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Adding Character to the Course

by Brad King

 Mar 13, 2018 at 9:18 PM


The crowd in Providence Country Club’s Carolina Ballroom in early January was standing room only for a presentation of the upcoming golf course renovation by architect Kris Spence, projected to re-open this fall.


The Wow Factor

McConnell Golf purchased Providence in early 2016 and immediately announced it would spend the next few years not only renovating the golf course, but also providing numerous other substantial improvements around the club.

The fun and playable golf course — originally designed by Dan Maples and tweaked in 2006 by Mike Gleason — sits on a relatively flat piece of property. While it has “good bones,” according to Director of Golf Kevin Reardon, there was “not a ton of character” to the layout. To illustrate, Reardon said members would sometimes hit the same club on all five of the course’s par-3 holes.

“The golf course needed more personality,” says Providence General Manager Howard Murphy. Spence’s comprehensive renovation project at Providence is focused on bunkers, new and expanded irrigation for better course conditioning, transitioning the green complexes to Champion Bermuda grass, along with fashioning new, dramatic views from the fairways.

“We’ll be able to keep the golf course much more consistently well-maintained,” says McConnell Golf VP of Agronomy Michael Shoun. “It’s a much-needed project that will help separate Providence from some of the other facilities in that area.”

Says McConnell Golf Founder and CEO John McConnell: “Spence has an outstanding reputation for providing quality work. He is a visionary in implementing new features and modernization when he updates an existing course.”

During his January presentation, Spence says the Providence golf holes were lacking “individual character.”

“Bunkers do not project angles and have poor visibility,” he says. “They’ll benefit from more variety and definition on and around the green complexes, while tree removal is needed for better sight lines and shade removal.”

Spence, who works dually as the architect for the project as well as construction manager, told the audience he plans to create a fun and interesting golf course, full of variety and added drama, through the introduction of his classic design principles.

“We’ll create interest and variety on green surfaces with subtle, twist-and-turn contours and the occasional plateau, shelf, swale, small knob or rolling undulation feeding in from the edges,” says Spence. “I’m very excited about it. We’re going to add a nice ‘wow’ factor to the golf course.” Spence says that unlike most of his restoration projects, Providence allows him to be more creative and diverse in the design of the bunkers in particular.

“I’ve done similar bunkering with a higher sand face versus the Ross grass faces most are accustomed to seeing me do,” he says. “While Providence won’t be fashioned in the look of Ross, I’ll certainly incorporate many of his design philosophies, as well as those by other golden-age designers such as A.W. Tillinghast.”

“Providence will have a unique style and strategy all of its own. The last thing we want is a course with multiple design styles. The overriding change the members will notice is the increased lateral movement of the holes around and between the bunker, and a stronger, more noticeable strategy to the course. Both bunkers and greens will be set with more angles that correlate strategically with one another. I’ll also raise the bunkers above the flat fairway grades to better speak to the players’ thought process when choosing a line of play.”


Ready for a Change

A neighborhood club with a younger membership, Providence has earned a reputation as one of the Queen City’s premier family country clubs. Providence’s extensive amenities include 14 tennis courts and state-of-the-art aquatic facilities with three pools, as well as a newly constructed outdoor bar and dining area with a fire pit.

With 800 families strong, Providence’s avid golfing membership played more than 28,000 rounds last year.

“Our course has always been fun to play,” says Providence member Ron Kirkpatrick, who has won the club championship eight times. “The greens are generally pretty large without a tremendous amount of undulation, although there are a couple of exceptions. We aren’t blessed with a lot of elevation change on the site, so texture plays a key role from a visual standpoint.”

Though the course will be closed until fall, Providence members can rest assured that their game won’t be affected. In addition to reciprocal access to 11 McConnell Golf sister properties, reciprocity has been established with 14 neighboring Charlotte clubs. It’s a great excuse to make the hour drive to Old North State Club, or retreat to the seclusion of Musgrove Mill near Clinton, S.C. With both offering on-site lodging, they’re a quick and easy road trip any time of year.

“Having the other McConnell courses that we can play is a tremendous addition for our member-ship,” says Providence member Adam Markin, who won the club championship in 2015 and 2016, as well as the senior club championship in 2016. “We have the benefit of other top-class McConnell courses within a 90-minute drive as we carry out the course renovation.”


Upgrades Abound

Meanwhile, renovation work is also underway on the clubhouse. The club’s Culbertson Dining Room and Turnberry Lounge are being fully updated with new furnishings. In addition, there will be a new front entrance to the restaurant.

In the past two years, McConnell Golf has completed $1.3 million of renovation work on the Providence clubhouse — including an enlarged Fitness Center, renovated Golf Shop, a new bag-drop location and cart staging area, while the entire clubhouse back lawn received a major land -scaping makeover. Lastly, McConnell Golf added an all-new “Providence Playhouse” kids’ activity center.

With the golf course renovation and clubhouse upgrade, McConnell Golf will have invested more than $5 million in capital improvements to enhance the Providence membership experience.

Murphy says the relationship with McConnell Golf has been an ideal fit for Providence.

“It’s been phenomenal,” he says. “Members and staff have embraced it and Providence is flourishing. 2017 was our biggest year ever, not only in membership, but also in every single operating department. Providence was already a good club, but we are very excited about the future and what we’re building here. This is something very special.”



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Wellness Beyond The Workout

by Natalie Clemens

 Dec 02, 2017 at 3:49 PM

There's no doubt that taking the proactive, “apple-a-day” approach to healthy living has gained measurable traction over recent years. But beyond its lighter menus and modern fitness offerings, McConnell Golf is taking further steps in its commitment to wellness. So, what’s next? Massage therapy and physical therapy.

McConnell Golf recently introduced Concierge Physical Therapists to its clubs. Their network of therapists is based on the belief that clients need more than what most high-volume physical therapy clinics can offer.

According to Bryan Williams, found- er of CPT: “I believe in one-on-one, hour-long appointments with a physical therapist specializing in manual techniques complemented with neuromuscular re-education and exercise.”

Concierge Physical Therapists has grown substantially throughout the mid-Atlantic area and now serves eight private clubs, including TPC Wakefield Plantation and Providence Country Club, with plans to add the service to Sedgefield Country Club, Country Club of Asheville, and Old North State Club soon.

“Club members benefit from several aspects of our service, including the convenience of receiving physical therapy at their club’s fitness center,” says Williams. “Members get high-level service due to our one-on-one intensive approach.”

All of CPT’s therapists hold doctoral degrees or have 20-plus years of experience working with golfers, tennis players, and non-athletes.

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