Roger C. Watson


Mr. Watson directs the growth and operations of Carolinas Golf Group and brings extensive industry experience to his role.

Career Highlights

  • Carolinas Golf Group has managed the construction and renovation of more than 14 golf courses, including Lonnie Poole Golf Course at NC State, Currituck Club, Skybrook Golf Club, 5 golf courses in the NC Triangle Area, Kiskiack Golf Club and Nags Head Golf Links.
  • 1988 Founded Carolinas Golf Group
  • 1984 Founded Benson-Watson Golf Services
  • 1982 Founded the Eaglemere Group
  • Former President of MacGregor Realty
  • Golf Director of MacGregor Downs Country Club
  • Defeated Sam Snead in a playoff to win the National Club Professional Championship
  • Winner of the 1969 NC Open Championship, 1974 and 1975 Carolinas PGA Championship, Player of the Year in the Carolinas 1976.
  • Member of the 1975 and 1976 PGA Cup Team
  • Member of 7 Halls of Fame including the NC Sports Hall of Fame
  • Voted one of the 10 most influential people in the NC golf industry
The man who defeated the famed Sam Snead in a playoff to win the PGA National Club Professional Championship at Pinehurst No. 2 could probably have beaten him—and others– in a corporate board room as well.

It has been 40 years since young Roger Watson, the head golf professional at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Raleigh, beat Snead on the first hole of a playoff to win the National PGA Club Professioinal Championship at Pinehurst No. 2. The victory was a major upset, pitting a relative unknown club pro against one of the game’s most famous players.

Watson went on to defend his title the next year and embark on a playing career that saw him play in the US Open and the PGA championship tournaments, win the Carolinas PGA Section title along with Player of the Year honors, and a host of other events.

As good as he was as a teacher and player, Watson was an instant success in the business side of golf, using his vast knowledge and talent to perfection. An astute and innovative businessman, he formed a number of partnerships that built, owned or leased a number of courses. Later his management skills led to an effective association with clubs—public, private and semi-private—handling all phases of club operations.

Several of the company’s unique programs have resulted in tremendous cost-savings and additional revenues for clubs that were fighting hard to stay alive in a wayward economy. The High Point Country Club, for example, saw a new membership program result in an increase of more than 120 members in less than six months. Wildwood Green’s membership grew more than 250 members during an 18-month period.

He is a graduate of High Point University where he earned NAIA All-American honors as the school’s top player and was inducted into the HPU Sports Hall of Fame. After graduating in 1966 Watson ventured out into professional golf.

His first job was a two-year stint as an assistant golf professional under Buck Adams at the Country Club of North Carolina. Later he became Head Professional at Sapona CC in Lexington, NC, for two years before taking over at MacGregor Downs, where he served for 12 years.

It was at MacGregor Downs Country Club that Watson began to think of a career off the golf course.Serving MacGregor Downs Country Club for 12 years
In addition to serving as the golf pro at MacGregor Downs Country Club, he was asked to be president of the club’s real estate division. The lessons he learned from selling proved invaluable, and in 1982 he formed his first partnership—the Eaglemere Group—and built Lochmere Golf Club in Cary and Wildwood Green in Raleigh.

A year later he formed Watson Golf Services to manage courses with Lochmere as his first client.

In 1984 he joined forces with Cliff Benson Jr. of Raleigh and bought both Wildwood and Lochmere from Eaglemere. Later he built and managed North Shore in Topsail Beach, NC.

Professional Golf Design came along in 1986, and the company designed and managed the Nags Head Golf Links on the Outer Banks.

Carolinas Golf Group was born in 1988Roger Watson and Stuart Frantz as original partners
Later they invited Raleigh businessman Richard Urquhart and popular club professional Buck Adams to join them. The group’s first project was Devils Ridge Golf Club in Holly Springs, followed by The Neuse Golf Club in Clayton, Oak Valley Golf Club in Advance, The Currituck Club Corolla and the Kiskiack Golf Club in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In 1998, the company was purchased for $60 million by Cobblestone Golf.

Watson gave second life to the Carolinas Golf Group in 2000 when he revived the name and concentrated mostly on providing a full-service club management. In the decade of the 21 st century the firm has run more than a dozen courses; built the Traditions of Braselton in Jefferson, Georgia; oversaw construction of the Old Chatham Club near Chapel Hill, the Golf Club at Sanctuary Cove near St. Simons Island, Georgia, the Golf Club at Chapel Ridge in Pittsboro, the North River Club in Beaufort, North Carolina, the Bridges Club in Gunter, Texas. The company also sold four courses for Bluegreen Golf.

Carolinas Golf Group contracted to build and manage Lonnie Poole Golf CourseAn Arnold Palmer Design
Watson and his associates scored a coup in 2007 when they signed a contract to oversee the construction and manage the Lonnie Poole Golf Course at N. C. State University on the school’s Centennial Campus, an Arnold Palmer design. The course has opened to rave reviews and has become the centerpiece of a unique $16 million golf complex.

In addition to Lonnie Poole, the company also manages Wildwood Green, Deep Springs CC, Kings Grant CC, Wendell CC, CC of the Crystal Coast and consults for other courses including High Point CC.

“It has been an enjoyable run,” Watson exclaimed, “and I have enjoyed every minute of my many associations with such a wide assortment of courses.”

A High Point native, Watson was considered one of the state’s best players for more than a decade. He won the North Carolina Open in 1969 and was twice named the Carolinas PGA Section’s Player of the Year.

He has been elected to seven Halls of Fame, including the Carolinas PGA, North Carolina Sports, NAIA, Carolinas Sportswriters, High Point University, Guilford Country and High Point High School.

He is married to the former Sandy Morris of High Point, and the couple has two children, son Chip and daughter Molly Maack, and four grandchildren.