10 Sep 2020 | Industry news |

Pinehurst hub of US Open rota

by Mark Hayes

The famous sandy areas of Pinehurst No.2, regarded as one of the USA's top courses, will be seen a lot more often in championship play. Picture: USGA
The famous sandy areas of Pinehurst No.2, regarded as one of the USA's top courses, will be seen a lot more often in championship play. Picture: USGA

American golf has a new “home”.

North Carolina’s famous Pinehurst golf precinct, most notably its No.2 course, will become a base not unlike St Andrews for the R&A under a USGA plan released today.

In addition to a string of infrastructure and administrative hubs, the USGA confirmed it would play at least five men’s US Open tournaments on “No.2” in the next 27 years – in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047.

The USGA said it also intends to bring its other “premier” championships – including the national Women’s Open, Senior Open, Men’s Amateur, Women’s Amateur and junior championships – to North Carolina more frequently.

USGA chief executive Mike Davis said the decision accelerated its strategy to play its biggest events at the country’s “most iconic venues with greater frequency”.

Pinehurst Resort and Country Club will serve as the USGA’s first anchor site for the US Open, he said.

“Increased championship frequency will allow the USGA and Pinehurst to make future investments that will enhance the association’s ability to create a first-class player, corporate partner, fan, volunteer and media championship experience,” Davis said.

“The streamlining of operating costs due to the permanent presence will also allow the USGA to increase its annual investment in the game.”

“Golf House Pinehurst” will include a new equipment-testing facility, innovation hub, museum/visitor centre and offices by 2023.

“There is no better place for the USGA to plant new roots than the home of American golf,” Davis said.

The total $US25 million investment over the next several years includes the construction of two buildings to be located near the clubhouse on the historic Pinehurst Resort property, housing 50 full-time staff, or approximately 15 per cent of USGA employees.

The campus will feature the USGA’s Equipment Standards Test Centre – a laboratory dedicated to testing golf balls and clubs for conformance to the Rules of Golf. It will replace the current facility in New Jersey and enable significant investment in advanced technology required to perform this global governance function.

USGA staff based in Pinehurst will include members of the championship operations, research and agronomy teams.

The administrative building in Pinehurst will feature educational exhibits and memorabilia from the USGA Golf Museum and Library in New Jersey, where the bulk of the historical elements and current staff will remain.

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