Winter's lull is the perfect time to plan your next corporate outing

Country club involvement need not to be off-the-clock time only. “I’m proud of my membership in the McConnell group and wanted to showcase the club and its people,” says Kerry Doughty, a nine-year Raleigh Country Club member. Over the years, the president and CEO of Butterball, the nation’s largest producer of turkey products, has used RCC as the setting of annual company national sales meetings and quarterly management update meetings.

For Doughty, using the country club as a corporate event space is a way to share his love of the facility and add a sophisticated, leisurely ambiance to business gatherings. “I know the quality of the people and the operation at Raleigh Country Club, from both a golf and hospitality vantage,” he says. The clubhouse’s conference room spaces are perfect for “meetings that require space and entertainment opportunities.”

This year, another showcasing opportunity arose. Doughty was the chairman of the 2016 Triangle American Heart Association Heartwalk, and when it came time to organize a unique fundraiser, he turned to that place he knew as perfect for both space and entertainment. “We decided to have the Butterball Has Heart charity golf tournament, and host it at RCC.” The inaugural event on August 29 was a smashing success: 148 golfers and 40 volunteers turned out for a day of golf and socializing. “It’s not easy to have a club make its facility available for a charity event with this many golfers,” Doughty says, and “the team at RCC was very supportive. They provided full food and beverage service as well as golf essentials.”

First-time visitors were impressed with the caliber of play and with their overall experience. “The course is fantastic, and it was a cool opportunity to provide non-members a chance to play this historic course,” Doughty says. “The staff was attentive and passionate about the cause, and the food was awesome. It was a good time that everyone enjoyed. And we exceeded our fundraising expectations!”

“Hosting member-sponsored events is a great way for all of our properties to help give back to the local communities and assist charities in raising money for their great causes,” says Brian Kittler, McConnell Golf vice president of golf operations. “We do our best to balance the number of outside events at each facility to allow the golf course maintenance teams an opportunity to keep courses in championship-caliber conditions all year.”

While Doughty didn’t need convincing, the summer charity tournament’s success encouraged him to continue considering his home McConnell club as more than a place to play a round with friends. “RCC is an excellent venue for business or charity outings. Of course I plan to do more at RCC in the future.”