The 105-year-old association was started in Charleston, S.C.; has been relatively nomadic: Pinehurst, N.C.; Clemmons, N.C.; Seven Lakes, N.C.; and, now, on the Pine Needles property in Southern Pines, N.C.
The CGA purchased an existing building in the Seven Lakers village in 1991 and quickly outgrew out, expanding from a four-person staff to 14 in a little more than two decades. “Carolinas Golf House” will be a two-story, 13,000-square feet structure on a piece of land currently occupied only by the Pine Needles convention center. Construction already has begun, and Phase I of the effort should be completed this summer or fall.
Phase II includes a Carolinas Golf museum. “Anytime you move into a new facility, you have the time to rethink everything we do,” says CGA President G. Jackson Hughes, Jr. “It is an invigorating time.”
“This has been a long time in coming,” notes Executive Director Jack Nance. “We want this museum to show how really meaningful the Carolinas have been to the game of golf.”
The Carolina Golf Association (The “s” was added to Carolina later on.) had a simple goal in 1909: to conduct the annual amateur championships within the boundaries. Thirty years later, the CGA added a second championship. Sixty years from its origin, the CGA had a staff of two.
What started the growth?
The CGA was the first among the state and regional golf associations to offer a computerized handicap service to its member, the first to offer a staff agronomist to its member clubs. The championship/tournament schedule, meanwhile, has grown to more than 200 events that are both gross and net, for men and women, for juniors and seniors. The CGA offers Rules of Golf and handicap seminars for members. The staff also has several specific focuses: a junior golf director and a women’s golf director…and now an assistant junior golf director. The CGA answers questions about the Rules of Golf and handicapping and determines course and slope ratings for courses.
When the CGA adopted the GHIN handicap program, operated by the United States Golf Association, in 2013, the staff grew even more, bringing several handicapping functions in house.