The Home for Golf in the Carolinas

Photos of Carolinas Golf House: construction  |  completed building  |  grand opening

By Hunter Chase - The Pilot

A little more than 100 years ago, the Carolinas Golf Association operated out of a room in a home in Charleston, S.C.
On September 29, 2014, the CGA opened the doors to the Carolinas Golf House, its brand new headquarters located adjacent to the Pine Needles conference center in Southern Pines.
And the growth of the organization is reflected in the new 13,000 square-foot two level building, said Jack Nance, the executive director of the CGA.
“It (the CGA) came into being because they wanted to have a championship overseer and buy a trophy,” said Nance.
From the five clubs and their desire to have a Carolinas Amateur Championship that existed in 1909, the CGA has grown to where it serves the needs of more than 700 clubs and close to 150,000 golfers in South Carolina and North Carolina.
The CGA is the second largest golf association in the country and oversees more than 220 tournaments a year while providing numerous services, including handicapping, to its members.
The new headquarters will also be the home of the 35-year-old Carolinas Golf Foundation that has provided more than $1.5 million for Carolinas-based golf initiatives and grow-the-game programs.
As the non-profit organization has grown, so has the need for a bigger building. The CGA has been operating out of a building in West End since 1991.
“We brought up the subject of a new building in 2000,” said Nance. “I never knew it would be 14 years later before we had one.”
The CGA’s executive committee discussed the need for a new building in 2000 and approved the Pine Needles proposal in 2010.
The project cost $2.2 million, said Nance, and will probably approach close to $3 million by the time all is said and done. Construction started in December 2013.
“I’ve learned a lot about building in the last 10 months,” said Nance.
‘Great Marriage’
From its beginning in Charleston, S.C., the CGA has been based in various locations, including Pinehurst, the Winston-Salem area and West End.
The CGA moved to a 4,200 square-foot building in West End and has been there since 1991.
“We literally outgrew the West End location,” said Nance. “We started with four staff members and now we have 15. We really enjoyed our time there. It was a good 22 years.”
Nance said that Pete Tufts was instrumental in the move to West End.
The Tufts family of Pinehurst fame has been a longtime influence in the success and growth of the CGA. Nance said that when the CGA was based in Pinehurst, Richard Tufts was a steadying hand.
“He (Tufts) was the glue for the association,” said Nance. “For 20 to 30 years he really kept it together. It’s pretty neat the records he kept. They are handwritten in this beautiful cursive style. They (the records) are an interesting read.”
Nance noted that when the CGA moved here in 1991 the area hadn’t been the scene of any U.S. Opens, but that the organization realized it was moving to a “golf-centric” location.
Since the early 1990s, Moore County has been a mecca for the USGA’s national championships, including a U.S. Senior Open Championship, four U.S. Women’s Open Championships and three U.S. Open Championships.
Most recently, the USGA conducted its historic back-to-back Opens at Pinehurst No. 2 this June.
“It has been a great marriage,” he said. “We did not leave Moore County, it’s the Wall Street of golf. This is a unique golfing location.”
Speaking of unique, the moniker for the new building — the Carolinas Golf House — is also unique. According to Nance the name Golf House is trademarked by the United States Golf Association for its national headquarters in Far Hills, N.J.
Nance said that he wrote to the USGA asking permission to use Golf House in the name of the new building.
“I was glad they were willing to do that for us,” he said. “They had one caveat — that the name include Carolinas.”
A Lot of Space
While giving a tour of the new facility last week, Nance kept stopping to hit switches to turn off lights.
“I think the utility bill is going to be a bit different here,” said Nance.
The building is also going to be a bit different than the previous location, mainly because of the amount of space available.
Nance said the first floor is being called “tournament row.” It is where the staff is located that handles the many tournaments the CGA presents, and also includes lots of storage space.
The second floor is dedicated to the GHIN handicapping services and record keeping. There is also a large conference room located on the second floor.
In fact, the first use of the Carolinas Golf House occurred on September 20th when the 18-member executive committee had a board meeting.
“That was the first official meeting we’ve had in this location,” said Nance.
Although the CGA opens the doors for business on Monday, the official ribbon-cutting grand opening will be held in February 2015.
There is another area on the first floor that will be developed over time — a gallery dedicated to the history of the CGA.
“We are in an organizing effort for the gallery, working on a theme,” Nance said. “We know it’s going to be a showcase of golf in the Carolinas.
“We want people that walk in to spend some time and see what the CGA has provided for the last 100 years.”

Some information for this article came from CGA news releases.

What is the Carolinas Golf Association and Foundation?

The Carolinas Golf Association (CGA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, a regional golf association founded in 1909 by golfers from five golf clubs.  Their goal was to create a committee to conduct a Carolinas Amateur Championship.  No one then would have suspected that, 100 years later, the CGA would be a full service organization for 700 golf clubs and its golfers. 

The CGA offers membership services to more than 165,000 golfers of CGA clubs that includes: extensive tournament program for golfers of all ages and ability, an agronomy service, a quarterly magazine mailed only to members, USGA handicapping service, USGA course ratings, Rules of Golf and handicap system education, handicap licensing and certification along with USGA outreach programs.

The Carolinas Golf Foundation (CGF) was formed by the Carolinas Golf Association in 1977 to support Carolinas golf initiatives, turfgrass scholarships, junior golf developmental programs and many other projects.

The CGF is funded principally by the Carolinas Golf Association but also by contributions from individual golfers interested in promoting and supporting junior golf, women's golf, turfgrass research and management and many other worthwhile Carolinas projects. According to Internal Revenue Service regulations, the Foundation must generate at least 10 percent of its receipts from golfers who want to give back something to our game. The CGF is also a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization.