The United States Golf Association is to open up a new office at Pinehurst in North Carolina as it unveiled plans to create a permanent hub for its tournaments, including the US Open, at the famous resort venue.
The official announcement took place at Pinehurst on September 9, where USGA chief executive officer Mike Davis spoke at his delight of the Association returning to its ‘spiritual home’. He said: “This is one of the great days in the 125-year history of the USGA. It’s just the start of something wonderful. How appropriate for the United States Golf Association to be at the home of American golf.”
The USGA’s new offices at ‘Golf House Pinehurst’ will open in 2022, while two new buildings on the resort, one of which will house the new $25 million USGA testing centre, as well as a museum to showcase the organisation’s vast collection of artefacts, are also part of the plans. A total of 50 USGA employees will be based at the Pinehurst offices.
The USGA’s current headquarters and museum are in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, but its longstanding relationship with the village of Pinehurst and its resort dates back over a century, when all three entities were founded in 1895.
The idea to set up a second USGA office was based around the USGA’s decision to commit to its ‘anchor site concept’ for the US Open, which effectively reduces the number of host courses for the event that accounts for approximately 75 per cent of the organisation’s annual operating budget. Pinehurst’s No.2 Course, already a three-time host of the US Open, will host at least five renewals of the championship over the next 27 years (2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047), as part of an unofficial rota that is expected to include Oakmont and Pebble Beach hosting the US national championship every five to six years. The US Women’s Open is also scheduled to be held at Pinehurst in 2029, creating back-to-back men’s and women’s majors, as furst happened in 2014.
Additionally, the US Senior Open, the men’s and women’s US Amateur championships, as well as the US Junior and US Girls’ Junior championships, will be played in the Pinehurst area.
“More than a million people a year come to the Pinehurst area. It’s on everyone’s bucket list,” said Craig Annis, chief brand officer for the USGA. “To get closer to those people, to put a stake in the ground here and to be able to share our products and services is a tremendous opportunity.”
Pinehurst owner Bob Dedman said: “We are humbled the USGA has named Pinehurst No. 2 as the first US Open anchor site. Eight US Opens in less than 50 years is a real testament to our partnership.”