A strong sense of being in an original place in the game's history pervades at Raleigh Country Club. The cornerstone of Raleigh Country Club is an 18-hole championship golf course – known to be the final design of renowned architect Donald Ross—situated on a beautiful 135-acre tract that was once Clarence Poe's dairy farm, located just minutes from downtown in North Carolina’s capital city. Raleigh's second oldest private club was founded in 1948, and the founding fathers had a distinct vision of creating the finest private golfing facility. Conceptual ideas actually were fostered throughout 1947 and they commissioned no other than Donald Ross himself, who made North Carolina his home since 1899.
Donald Ross visited the site on numerous occasions and course construction was scheduled to start in spring of 1948. Donald Ross passed away in his beloved Pinehurst as mobilization for construction was under way. J.P. McGovern, Ross's partner staked out the legend's design and Ellis Maples, a Pinehurst native and who worked with Donald Ross for numerous years, was hired to finish Ross's final design. In his original design, the architectural legend poured everything he knew about golf and design, creating a special place in the world of golf. Ellis Maples oversaw the entire project and became RCC's first Superintendent and Head Golf Professional before becoming a well-known architect himself. The course opened for play in July of 1949, with Hall of Fame members, Sam Snead and Lloyd Mangum, playing an exhibition tournament. Arnold Palmer played numerous rounds of golf as a collegian during the early years of the club.
The course was chosen as a regular tour stop for the LPGA tour from 1966 through 1973 and was also host site for numerous professional and amateur events throughout the past five decades. The golf course has undergone many renovations since its launch in 1948, and each round of improvements has been an effort of preservation more than redesign, consequently, the course stands up to the original architectural intent and the high caliber Ross reputation. RCC possess balance, harmony and above all, a challenge for the good player. Every stroke must be made with a full concentration and attention necessary to good golf.
In December of 2003 Raleigh Country Club wrote history again by changing its ownership. The club was purchased by John McConnell, a local software entrepreneur and passionate golfer, whose vision for the newly defined Raleigh Country Club was inspired by the nation's top courses. "Pure Golf for the True Golfer" best describes the re-birth of Donald Ross's last design. Recapturing Ross's original ideas, initiated a multi-million dollar course restoration, lead by architect Richard Mandell, and the construction of a state-of-the-art, and the area's largest teaching facility in early 2004. Restored to its purest and finest, and considered as a "special place" in golf history, the City of Raleigh honored the architectural legend's final design and local landmark by re-naming the street, known as Peartree Lane, to Donald Ross Drive in summer of 2006. The historical voyage of Raleigh Country Club will continue as true golfers are looking to enhance their lifestyles by being part of an original place in the game's history.