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Golf Hall of Fame to move back to Pinehurst at new site

Payne Stewart Statue of Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.
John Mummert
Payne Stewart Statue of Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.

Pinehurst will once again be home to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The World Golf Hall of Fame is leaving Florida and returning to North Carolina, where it will be part of the USGA's campus at Pinehurst and stage two induction ceremonies during the U.S. Open weeks in 2024 and 2029.

Governor Roy Cooper and the U.S. Golf Association announced the move Wednesday. The new facility is scheduled to open 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. "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 that have truly led the way in this great game.”

The Hall of Fame was founded in Pinehurst in 1974. It moved to a specially-built golf village in St. Augustine, Florida in 1998.

Located just off Interstate-95, it was once a popular spot for tourists. But visitor numbers have dwindled, and many of the shops and restaurants surrounding the hall have closed.

Golf long has struggled to put together a Hall of Fame that would be in line with Cooperstown (baseball) and Canton (pro football), in part because its roots involve more than one organization.

The PGA of America took over management of the hall of fame in 1983 and acquired it three years later, merging its Hall of Fame that dated to 1940. The World Golf Hall of Fame brought a global aspect to golf, including the LPGA Tour.

Artifacts and exhibits will be shipped back to Pinehurst. The World Golf Hall of Fame will be part of the USGA's Golf House, which will include a museum and research center. The USGA, which has its main headquarters in Far Hills, New Jersey, began last month to build the “Golf House Pinehurst” with golf equipment testing as the centerpiece.

Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner who chairs the World Golf Foundation, said Wednesday's announcement would “cement the long-term relevance and viability” of the Hall of Fame and expand on the partnership with the USGA.

“Both organizations are committed to prioritizing the preservation of golf history, which will serve fans well in the years to come,” Monahan said.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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