PINEHURST, N.C. (WTVD) -- The United States Golf Association (USGA) will create a multi-building research and testing campus in the Village of Pinehurst with plans to host five U.S. Open Championships in North Carolina by 2047.
For a long time, Pinehurst has been known colloquially as the "cradle of American golf. "What Wednesday's huge USGA announcement did was formalize that distinction.
"We truly are coming to the home of American golf," said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. His comments were later echoed by Pinehurst resort owner Bob Dedman Jr.
"Pinehurst is not just a state of mind. It is a state of heart," said Dedman Jr.
There were many grand statements like those thrown around by the parade of politicians and dignitaries who took to the dais but facts are facts. This is a major day.
"This wonderful course, not only one of the greatest in the United States, but truly one of the greatest courses in the world, will become an anchor U.S. Open site." said Davis "We will bring a U.S. Open here in 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047."
That's in addition to the already scheduled 2024 U.S. Open. Aside from a bevy of the very biggest tournaments coming to the area, the USGA will build a visitor center and museum and a research and testing facility. It's official name - "Golf House Pinehurst."
"It's estimated to be over a $2 billion impact to the area." said Davis.
The USGA estimated the economic impact of the move will result in a $2 billion economic impact for North Carolina over the next 25 years.
Pinehurst Mayor John Strickland made it clear that the move was welcomed by the village, and wouldn't change its essential quaint, quiet character.
"The USGA's heritage and plans are the type, size and scale that fit the strategy and the quality of life we want for our historic village." Strickland said.
The USGA of course didn't show up for free. They got an $18 million thank you from the state as well as numerous tax incentives and free land on which to build. Still, it was a bipartisan belief that this was a no brainer.
Governor Roy Cooper couldn't attend the press conference in person but sent a video message.
"I'm excited that the US Golf Association has chosen to expand its research and development here in our state," said Cooper. "That will bring tens of millions of dollars in tourism, right here."
State House Speaker Tim Moore agreed. "This was something that the legislature signed on to very quickly and it's something that we're very proud to support."
The USGA expects to break ground in 2022. The 2024 US Open will then undoubtedly be a splashy showcase for the new partnership.
"Pinehurst has a tradition of creating world class moments, right here in our state," said Cooper.
Dedman exulted "It's an unprecedented distinction that recognizes Donald Ross's masterpiece and #2's legacy."
The featured video is from an unrelated story.