The United States Golf Association officially broke ground Monday on its newest campus, Golf House Pinehurst, which will include its equipment-testing facility, the visitor-friendly USGA Experience, and an educational landscape feature, to be completed by the end of 2023.
“The USGA, along with our many partners who helped make this project a reality, share a bold vision for Golf House Pinehurst and the impact it will have on this community and the game of golf,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “We love being a part of the Home of American Golf, and bringing this vision to life, starting today.”
Designed by North Carolina-based Clearscapes and constructed by Gilbane, the six-acre campus is made possible by a comprehensive economic development effort involving representatives from the North Carolina General Assembly, the Office of the Governor, the Department of Commerce, Moore County, the Village of Pinehurst and economic development experts.
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The campus will include two buildings located near the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club Main Clubhouse. The structures echo the architectural features of Pinehurst’s earliest buildings, with wide verandas punctuated by columns, hipped-roof features with dormers, large windows, and textured clapboard and shake siding details – all designed with hospitality in mind.
Guests at the groundbreaking got a first-hand look at the design of the campus, which will feature:
- The USGA Experience is an immersive view of golf and the USGA’s work to unify, showcase, govern and advance the game. Designed by Luci Creative, the Science of Golf and Championship galleries will feature interactive multimedia displays that incorporate augmented reality, interactive touch screens, sculptures, and trophies;
- The USGA Shop, where golfers can purchase various products with the USGA championship logo of their choice as well as exhibit-related specialty items;
- USGA Golf Museum Special Exhibitions that uncover the USGA’s deep collection of golf artifacts – the most comprehensive collection in the world;
- The USGA’s Research and Test Center, the only one of its kind in North America solely dedicated to testing golf balls and clubs for conformance to the Rules of Golf;
- The Glade, the USGA’s outdoor learning landscape that will help to elevate awareness of the USGA’s ongoing work to help make golf more sustainable, with native plants and pollinator habitats:
- The Grove, a restoration of the ancient longleaf pine forest native to the region, through a unique partnership with North Carolina State University.
The USGA is also partnering with Pinehurst Resort to construct an outdoor testing pavilion and STEM education space near the resort’s main practice facility, including a mechanical golfer and ball launcher to demonstrate and evaluate golf ball aerodynamics.
Pinehurst Resort & Country Club leased the property to the USGA for a 150-year term, signaling the longstanding friendship and partnership between the two organizations and the commitment of the USGA to build a lasting presence in the Home of American Golf.
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“Both the USGA and Pinehurst have an eye on the past, preserving and protecting the game of golf, and an eye on the future as the game of golf continues to improve and evolve. I want to thank the USGA again for being such incredibly great partners,” said CEO of Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, Bob Dedman. “The USGA belongs in Pinehurst — the cradle, the home, the soul of American golf.”
Jordan Whichard, North Carolina’s Department of Commerce chief deputy secretary, spoke at the brief ceremony, along with State Senator Tom McInnis and State Rep. Jamie Boles.
“As we break ground on this new campus today and more formally welcome the USGA to North Carolina, we look forward to the growth opportunities that this partnership continues to present to the industry and game of golf for our state,” said Whichard. “We celebrate that continued mutual investment in the game, mutual investment into each other, and we look forward to a long, lucrative, and successful partnership.”
Independent studies estimate that the total economic impact of the USGA’s long-term presence in Pinehurst will exceed $2 billion in the state of North Carolina. The buildings will employ at least 50 full-time staff and serve as a base for the USGA’s work to advance the game of golf.
USGA staffers based in Pinehurst will include members of the Championship Operations, Research and Test Center, and Green Section, teams. The number represents approximately 15 percent of the USGA’s current workforce and will include some of the game’s foremost scientific and golf management experts. The campus is designed to complement, but not replicate, the association’s headquarters in Liberty Corner, N.J.