World Golf Hall of Fame relocating to N.C. | Eastern North Carolina Now | Golf generated $2.3 billion in direct spending and a total economic impact of $4.2 billion in the state.

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Theresa Opeka.

    The United States Golf Association recently announced the relocation of the World Golf Hall of Fame from St. Augustine, FL, back to its original home of Pinehurst, N.C. in 2024.

    "There's no better connection to golf's past, present, and future than Pinehurst, and no organization that works harder than the USGA to preserve the history of this great game," said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. "We look forward to celebrating the greatest moments and golf's greatest athletes by including the World Golf Hall of Fame as an important part of our new Pinehurst home. Simply put - it just makes sense, and together with the Hall of Fame, we're more committed than ever to delivering experiences that build even deeper connections between golf fans and those who have truly led the way in this great game."

    The World Golf Hall of Fame was founded in Pinehurst in 1974 but moved to St. Augustine in 1998.

    The N.C. General Assembly recently awarded the USGA $7 million toward the World Golf Hall of Fame project.

    Golf is big business in North Carolina. According to the N.C. Department of Commerce, a 2017 study stated that golf generated $2.3 billion in direct spending and a total economic impact of $4.2 billion in the state, including nearly 53,000 jobs and total wage income of $1.3 billion. The increased interest in the relocation will mean an even bigger economic boost to the state.

    The USGA broke ground on its six-acre Golf House Pinehurst campus last month, located on Carolina Vista Drive on the Pinehurst Resort and C.C. property. According to the USGA, it's their latest commitment to enhance the region's stature as the "Home of American Golf" and to more deeply invest in North Carolina.

    The Hall of Fame will be a part of the USGA Experience building. According to the USGA website, many of the items in the Hall of Fame's existing collection will be relocated to Pinehurst for the creation of a new Hall of Fame locker room, which will be located on the second floor of the building. The first floor will house the USGA Experience galleries.

    Artifacts to be displayed in the Hall of Fame include Johnny Miller's clubs, ball, and champion's gold medal from the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where he shot a record 63 in the final round; a shirt worn by Annika Sorenstam in the first round of the 2003 Colonial, becoming the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event since 1945; and Jack Nicklaus' MacGregor golf bag from the 1965 Masters.

    Pinehurst, a USGA anchor site, recently hosted the inaugural U.S. Adaptive Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 6 and will also host the 2023 U.S. Adaptive Open next July, as well as five future U.S. Open Championships between 2024 and 2047.

    Additionally, World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held in Pinehurst in 2024 and 2029 to coincide with the 124th U.S. Open on Pinehurst No. 2 in 2024 and the return of back-to-back U.S. Women's Open and U.S. Open Championships, also on Course No. 2. In 2029.
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