[Jan 10, 2018, 8:49 PM]
Fifty years after its founding in Pinehurst, the World Golf Hall of Fame comes home in 2024 as part of the U.S. Golf Association’s second headquarters, called Golf House Pinehurst. The Hall of Fame’s arrival will dovetail with the U.S. Open’s return to the No. 2 course at Pinehurst Resort, which the USGA has designated as the tournament’s first anchor site. Golf House Pinehurst will include an immersive USGA Experience, a research center, a sustainability-focused outdoor learning landscape and a longleaf pine restoration forest as well as the Hall of Fame, which relocated from Pinehurst to St. Augustine, Fla., in 1998. Inductees include Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Annika Sorenstam and Babe Zaharias plus luminaries with North Carolina ties: Pinehurst founder Richard Tufts; architect Donald Ross, who began his career at Pinehurst and designed the celebrated No. 2 course; women’s golf pioneer Peggy Kirk Bell, who owned the Pine Needles and Mid Pines resorts in Southern Pines; Fort Bragg native Raymond Floyd; Goldsboro-born Mark O’Meara; Wake Forest University alumnus Arnold Palmer; and Charlotte-born Charlie Sifford, the first Black golfer to play on the PGA Tour.
In the midst of the national pickleball craze, Swing Racquet & Paddle aims for a 2024 opening of a 45-acre development in Raleigh that's billed as the world's largest multi-racquet sports facility. Swing will feature 24 pickleball courts along with 29 tennis courts (clay and hard), 16 padel courts, and four beach tennis/volleyball courts plus a Ping Pong lounge with a dozen tables. In addition to the indoor and covered play areas, the campus will also feature food and drink. Swing, which plans to host tournaments as well as recreational play, is about 6 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The North Carolina Zoo, the world's largest natural habitat zoo, adds a third continent to its realm with an 8-acre Asia exhibit, targeted for a 2026 opening. Construction on the $46 million expansion is set to begin this fall. Tigers, red pandas, Komodo dragons and Chinese alligators are among the species expected to occupy the space, which will also include a glass-walled restaurant with views of the animals. The Asheboro zoo, which opened in 1974, currently features Africa and North America displays plus desert habitat and an aviary with exotic birds and tropical plants.