The United States Golf Association is moving some of its operations to Pinehurst, North Carolina, one of the premier golf destinations in the world. The announcement was made after all the parties signed off on it Tuesday, September 8th. The new campus at Pinehurst will include a new equipment-testing facility, innovation hub, and a museum/visitor center. The headquarters of the USGA is currently in Liberty Corner, New Jersey and will continue to be the association’s main campus. The USGA’s museum and library, the world’s largest repository of golf memorabilia and one of the premier tourist attractions in Somerset County will remain in New Jersey.
“There is no better place for the USGA to plant new roots than the ‘Home of American Golf,'” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “Thanks to the vision of North Carolina, Moore County, and the Pinehurst leaders, we are taking a bold step forward and forging a long term commitment that will elevate our championships, foster greater innovation in golf and ultimately grow the game.”
The USGA’s $25 million investment, Golf House Pinehurst, includes the construction of two buildings to be located near the current clubhouse on the Pinehurst Resort property that will house 50 full-time USGA staff members. These staffers will include members of the championship operations, Research and Test Center, and Green Section teams. The number represents approximately 15% of the USGA’s current workforce.
The new campus will also include the USGA’s Equipment Standard Test Center where golf balls and clubs are tested for conformance with the rules of golf and will replace the current facility in New Jersey.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2022. Formal design plans are not complete at this time, however, the new buildings will be no more than two stories tall and fit into the appearance of the Pinehurst Resort and village.
The plan conceived over the last several years became possible through an economic development package developed by the North Carolina General Assembly, the Office of the Governor of North Carolina, the Department of Commerce, Moore County, the Village of Pinehurst and economic development consultants. Through legislation approved recently and a state government committee’s award earlier, the state has agreed to give up to $18 million in taxpayer funds to help the USGA offset project costs. The association will also benefit from $3.4 million in local and other incentives.
Phil Werz, President & CEO at Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area CVB, added, “This is what happens when a collection of people are determined, have a vision, and work to make things happen! I am so thankful for the work of our State and County leaders, Pinehurst Resort, and the USGA for making this a reality. It is hard to find the words to describe what this means here at this amazing destination. I am so very proud to be a part of the tourism effort inside the Home of American Golf.”
With the establishment of the new facility, the USGA also announced that its premier tournament, the U.S. Open, will be conducted at the classic Pinehurst No. 2 course in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047. The course will serve as the USGA’s first anchor site for the tournament.
“The USGA’s North Carolina history in golf is legendary, from Arnold Palmer to Webb Simpson, and we welcome this new chapter in golf history
with the USGA’s new hub in Pinehurst,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We welcome the selection of our state for this significant new component of its ongoing operations and new jobs and look forward to growing the game across North Carolina.”
Independent studies estimate that the total economic impact of the new campus will exceed $2 billion to the state of North Carolina. More than 1 million visitors travel to Pinehurst annually.
“We are humbled the USGA has chosen Pinehurst No. 2 as the first Open anchor site,” said Pinehurst owner Bob Dedman. “Eight U. S. Opens in less than 50 years is a real testament to our partnership.”
The USGA will also bring its other championships to North Carolina that will allow the USGA and Pinehurst to make future investments that will enhance the association’s ability to create a first-class player, a corporate partner, fan, volunteer, and media championship experience.