The United States Golf Association’s plan to build a second headquarters in Pinehurst, N.C., is part of a new economic development project called “Project Woodpecker.’’ The multi-million incentive package was approved Sept.8 by state and local leaders. Estimates put the economic impact to the state as high as $800 million over the next 10 years. Independent studies estimate that the total economic impact of the USGA’s long-term presence will exceed $2 billion to the state of North Carolina. Although such figures always are difficult to quantify, there’s no doubt the deal will boost the economies of the Sandhills region, as well at the state of North Carolina.
A major incentive in the deal will give the USGA, whose long-time headquarters is in Far Hills, N.J., a number of tax breaks provided the organization meets job creation and capital investment goals.
One of the powerbrokers behind the deal is Patrick Corso, former president of of Pinehurst Resort. Corso now is executive director of Partners in Progress (PIP), Moore County’s economic development arm.
The USGA will move its golf equipment research and testing center for golf equipment to Pinehurst. The USGA’s golf museum and visitor center also will be in Pinehurst, and of course, the organization will hold many of its championships, including the U.S. Open, on Pinehurst Resort’s famed No. 2 course designed by Donald Ross.
Although not directly connected with the USGA, the World Golf Hall of Fame operated in Pinehurst from 1974 until the late 1990s when it was moved to St. Augustine, Fl.
Photo Credit: Pinehurst Resort