Luci Creative is providing exhibit design services for this project in partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and architecture firm Clearscapes. The following is an excerpt originally published in The Pilot by Laura Douglass.
The design of Golf House Pinehurst honors the rich tapestry of the village’s late 19th century and early 20th-century building styles. That is the goal, at least, as the United States Golf Association readies its preliminary architectural plans for review.
“What has been interesting for us to learn is there is no single historical architectural style in the village. There are lots of different choices of expression to choose from,” said Rand Jerris, who is overseeing the project as USGA’s senior management director of public services. “There were meaningful choices made by architects and we wanted to understand and explore those meanings.”
Last fall the USGA announced it would develop what it calls Golf House Pinehurst in an effort to expand its impact in golf and extend its mission to champion and advance the game. Pinehurst Country Club will also serve as USGA’s first “anchor” site for the U.S. Open, with championships scheduled in 2024, 2029, 2035, 2041 and 2047.
Raleigh-based architectural firm Clearscapes was selected to design the $25 million project based on its keen understanding of USGA and Pinehurst Resort’s separate histories and evolution as the two organizations work on their shared future vision.
Plans call for two buildings at the corner of Cherokee Road and Carolina Vista Drive, within view of the Pinehurst Country Club. Both structures pay homage to the 1903 historic clubhouse with its white exteriors, clay-colored roofs and deep porches.
“The architecture and scale of Pinehurst is so intimate and we wanted to respect that and not overpower visitors. The details, like the porches that are so prominent in Pinehurst, shielded the sun and were important social gathering spaces,” Jerris said. “Adding porches with rocking chairs not only looks nice, it was very intentional (in the design).”
The two-story USGA Welcome Center and museum is proposed with similar dimensions as the historic Pinehurst Department Store. Luci Creative, a Chicago-based museum consulting firm, is assisting with content and design of the exhibit spaces.
“We want to share our mission and vision in different ways that are authentic to the Pinehurst community. This project gives us an opportunity to let people think differently about USGA because we want people to know we are so much more than championships. The visitor center will bring that to life and that is exciting,” said Janeen Driscoll, USGA’s public relations director.
One permanent and two rotating exhibits are planned. One gallery will focus exclusively on the U.S. Open, not so much the history of this event but more of a “behind-the-scenes” view of what it takes to conduct this signature championship, from working with a host site and community to marshaling an army of volunteers. A second gallery will focus on the science of the game, from the physics of golf equipment design to agronomics on a course’s greens, with the third gallery dedicated to late 19th century and early 20th century golf art.
“For the local community, there will frequently be something new to see. You can come back every six to 12 months you’ll see new stories, new artifacts,” Jerris said, in addition to a second-story space set aside for public programs to enrich and engage the community and visitors alike.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late spring 2022, with a 12-15 month buildout. “That has us right on schedule to open the building in December 2023 which matches our commitment to the state,” Jerris said.
To help advance USGA’s work in research and golf course support, two key staff members with the organization’s green section will be relocating to the Pinehurst area next summer. Jerris said he anticipates seeing more of that movement, “as it makes sense from a business and strategic perspective.”