Golf Association Eyes Move to Pine Needles
Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club could be the new home of the Carolinas Golf Association.
The Seven Lakes-based organization, which is comprised of more than 730 clubs and organizations and has 190,000 members in North and South Carolina, has outgrown the offices it acquired in 1991 and is looking to relocate.
After four years of exploring different opportunities, Pine Needles has offered to allow the association to construct a new facility adjacent to its convention center, located across the street from the lodge and golf course on Midland Road in Southern Pines. But before that can happen, the town must rezone the land.
The strip of property where the convention center is located is currently zoned residential. To accommodate the building, it will have to be rezoned Facilities Resources Recreation (FRR).
Because the convention center is part of the Pine Needles resort, it was not rezoned when it was constructed years ago, according to Town Manager Reagan Parsons. But because the CGA is a third party, the rezoning is required.
The town's Planning and Zoning Board will consider the rezoning request during its meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Douglass Community Center. It will make a recommendation to the Town Council, which will have the final say.
Parsons said the move made "an awful lot of sense" for the CGA and the town.
Executive Director Jack Nance said Monday that the world-renowned resort seemed to be a "great fit" for his organization.
"We like to think we're one of the leading golf associations in the country," he said. "We think it's a great thing for Southern Pines. We hope [the new location] will bring a lot of credibility and add another chapter to the golf history of Southern Pines."
The CGA is the second-largest golf association in the country and conducts numerous amateur tournaments and championships in the Carolinas in addition to administering the USGA's handicap system. Southern Pines' own Jack Fields won the CGA Championship in Charleston, S.C., earlier this month. Nance praised Fields for being a "great representative" of the CGA.
Founded in 1909, the CGA is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
Kelly Miller, president and CEO of Pine Needles and Mid Pines Resort, has been involved with the CGA as an amateur player for years. Like Nance, he believes the move will create a win-win situation for the CGA and the area.
"The CGA is a great entity that does a lot of good things for golf in the Carolinas," he said Monday. "It's important to keep the facility in the cradle of American golf. We're supportive of what they're doing. They're committed to amateur golf and golf in general in the Carolinas."
In addition to containing the CGA's offices, the building is also expected to house a golf artifacts museum.
Nance said his organization has received several offers to relocate elsewhere, but its first choice is to remain in the area. He wants to "get it right the first time" and make Pine Needles a truly permanent home.
"We love Moore County," Nance said. "We want to stay in Moore County. We hope this will work out."
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473.
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