The World Golf Hall of Fame is coming home.
The World Golf Foundation and USGA announced Wednesday that the Hall of Fame’s physical presence will be re-located back to Pinehurst, North Carolina, after what will be 25 years in St. Augustine, Florida. The Hall of Fame will be part of a new visitor experience at the USGA’s Golf House campus at iconic Pinehurst Resort.
“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,” the USGA’s CEO, Mike Whan, said in a statement. “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 Hall of Fame was established in Pinehurst in 1974 before ownership was transferred from Pinehurst Resort to the PGA of America and moved to Florida in 1998. The current HOF will close in late 2023 and re-open in its new home at the beginning of 2024. The USGA broke ground on the six-acre campus last month.
Many of the items currently on display in St. Augustine, including Donald Ross’ bifocals and Bobby Jones’ Spalding 2-wood, will be transferred to the second floor of the USGA Experience building, which will house a new Hall of Fame locker. The USGA will also boost the HOF collection with items from its USGA Golf Museum and Library, which it calls “the most comprehensive collection of golf artifacts worldwide.”
The release did not specify what would happen to the Tiger Woods exhibit, which was unveiled late last year to honor the 2022 HOF inductee and 15-time major winner.
The USGA will be responsible for day-to-day operations, management and artifact preservation while also overseeing the content, presentation and look and feel of the visitor experience. The Hall of Fame will continue to operate as an independent entity under the WGF and handle the induction process.
As part of the agreement, the HOF induction ceremony will be held at Pinehurst in 2024 and 2029, coinciding with U.S. Opens.
“I’m confident today’s announcement and alignment with the USGA will further cement the long-term relevance and viability of the World Golf Hall of Fame, all while continuing to honor golf’s most storied individuals and artifacts,” said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who also serves as WGC chairman. “Both organizations are committed to prioritizing the preservation of golf history, which will serve fans well in the years to come.”