McConnell Golf's link to the ACC remains strong

Sedgefield Country Club has a rich and storied relationship with the Atlantic Coast Conference, providing the place where the conference was formed more than 60 years ago. McConnell Golf not only recognizes that history, but embraces it. Clubs under the McConnell umbrella continue to host men’s and women’s ACC golf championships, which makes them — and by extension all of McConnell Golf — part of the conference’s history, as well. The men’s championship has been hosted by Old North State Club and Musgrove Mill Golf Club, while the women’s championship has been held at The Reserve Golf Club and Sedgefield CC.

The ACC is Born
In 1923, Southern Real Estate acquired a tract of land southwest of Greensboro with the intention of building a self sufficient community. The 3,660 acres were originally owned by New York executive John Cobb, who turned it into a hunting preserve. He called it Sedgefield.

One of the amenities Southern Real Estate envisioned was a golf course. The great architect Donald Ross, who was well ensconced in Pinehurst, was summoned and agreed in 1925 to design two golf courses on the property.

The first course was called Valley Brook and it officially opened in the spring of 1926. The Great Depression prevented the construction of a second course, and Valley Brook is today known as Sedgefield Country Club.

But the history of Sedgefield includes more than just golf. On May 8, 1953, the birth of the Atlantic Coast Conference took place at the Sedgefield Inn, which years later would become the clubhouse for Sedgefield CC.

On that morning in May, seven members of the Southern Conference withdrew from the conference during the league’s spring meeting. That afternoon, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, and Wake Forest agreed at the Sedgefield Inn to form another conference. Local newspapers asked their readers for ideas to name the conference. Suggestions included Dixie, Mid South, Mid Atlantic, East Coast, Seaboard, Colonial, Tobacco, Blue-Gray, Piedmont, Southern Seven, and the Shoreline. But it was Eddie Cameron, Duke’s athletic director, who suggested the name Atlantic Coast Conference, and it passed unanimously.