USGA EXPANDS PRESENCE AND CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PINEHURST

THE EVANS SCHOLARS INVITATIONAL TEE’S OFF TODAY in Westchester at the Chicago Highlands Golf Club. Several local players will be teeing it up, VERY limited VIP tickets can be purchased, visit the website. PINEHURST North Carolina will be getting an expanded USGA office and championship presence for years to come. #Golf  _____________________________________________________________________

THE GOG BLOG-by RORY SPEARS, Director of Content and Creation for Golfers on Golf. Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy and Facebook or LinkedIn.

The main clubhouse at the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club. Photo courtesy of the USGA.

THE USGA IS ON THE MOVE.

This time it’s not to another television network, it’s south, to North Carolina.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) is taking part of it’s New Jersey operation in Liberty Corner, and moving it to Pinehurst North Carolina.

Great move.

What many golfers might not know, is that the USGA is already in Pinehurst. They have been for a while. So few people know that, that in fact USGA CEO and Executive Director Mike Davis once wondered, how many of the USGA staff in New Jersey even knew the organization had an office in Pinehurst, and if the ones that knew about the office could they find it, if they were suddenly put in the center of the Village of Pinehurst. The current small USGA Pinehurst office is on the second floor above the Pinehurst Deli, in downtown Pinehurst.

THE USGA in Liberty Corner New Jersey, won’t be fully relocating to North Carolina.

What some are calling this partial move for the USGA, is that Pinehurst is becoming a second home for the USGA, in the home of American golf.

“This is one of the great days in the 125-year history of the USGA,” said Davis. “It’s the start of something wonderful.”

It’s been suggested by those who know the USGA from the inside-out, that having championships in Pinehurst is a win-win for the organization.

Several members of Davis’ championship staff live in Pinehurst anyway, so the hotel bill is much smaller when the USGA holds a championship there. The current USGA office has about 15 employees, the number is expected to be over 50 when the new buildings open.

Golfers on Golf Rory Spears (L) with USGA CEO Mike Davis (M), and Illinois Golfer’s Tim Cronin (R) at the CDGA 100th anniversary dinner in 2014.

The Pinehurst area that already has it’s share of USGA championships, will be getting even more of them.

The U.S. Open was already scheduled for Pinehurst in 2024, has now also been given the 2029 U.S Open, the 2035 U.S. Open, the 2041 U.S. Open and the 2047 U.S. Open.

Which makes Pinehurst the first host in a possible rota of courses that would receive a U.S. Open every few years, or at least once in ten years.

What could happen is the U.S. Women’s Open already scheduled for Pine Needles in nearby Southern Pines in 2022, could get a back-to-back situation and receive the U.S. Women’s Open in 2029, the week after the men play at Pinehurst No.2.

Pinehurst is expected to be come the permanent home of the USGA annual meetings starting in 2022. The new buildings at the Pinehurst resort will include a new USGA testing center, and a museum area to showcase a history that’s full of USGA artifacts.

20 Jun 1999: Payne Stewart of the United States celebrates victory with the trophy after winning the 1999 US Open Tournament played on the number two course at Pinehurst in North Carolina, USA. Photo USGA.

“We are humbled the USGA has named Pinehurst No.2, as the first U.S. Open anchor site. Eight U.S. Opens in less that 50 years is a real testament tour partnership.”

BOB DEDMAN-for the Dedman family owners of the Pinehurst Resort.

Construction on the new USGA facilities is expected to start in 2022. With the facilities opening in 2023.

The buildings will be built on the site of the current tennis courts, between the main Pinehurst Clubhouse and the historic Carolina Hotel.

In addition to U.S. Open’s other USGA championships will added to the Pinehurst area.

The project was first in talks between all parties- 5 years back, and the most recently the North Carolina legislature approved $18 million dollars in incentives to secure this agreement. Economic impact is expected to be over $2 Billion dollars in the years ahead.

More news on this development is expected next week during the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.

This entry was posted in News by Rory Spears. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rory Spears

Rory spent over 8 years growing up working at Rob Roy Golf Club in Prospect Hts.IL, then two years at Chevy Chase in Wheeling. He has covered golf in Chicago since 1986. Rory was one of the initial members of WSCR all-sports radio Chicago and covered golf there for 5 seasons, before moving on to work for ESPN/Sportsticker and ESPN Radio. In addition to hosting Golfers on Golf Radio on WNDZ Am 750 Chicago, he writes for both the Chicago District (CDGA) Magazine, and formerly Chicagoland Golf. Rory has played over 525 courses in 39 states, and rates golf courses. He does golf course management and communications consulting, within the golf industry.