Golf Pride's parent company Eaton wants their industry-leading grip division to be quite literally where golfers are as they're developing new technologies to improve how we hold our golf clubs. That's why Eaton has teamed up with Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina to build a new facility that will effectively be a headquarters right next to the resort's No. 8 course, designed by Tom Fazio.
Opening in 2019, the facility will house global management and professional teams, as well a research-and-development lab with rapid prototyping capabilities. The facility won't be closed off to the public, and it will have a grip-fitting studio for golfers. That studio will give a Tour-caliber experience to golfers who are at the resort, dubbed the American home of golf. The appointment-only space will offer a chance for feedback on rapid prototypes and direct consumer feedback from discerning players.
"We want to make innovation easier and faster," said James Ledford, president of Golf Pride. "We are thrilled about this opportunity to create an ideal site right next to Pinehurst No. 8. As golfers, we genuinely appreciate the Pinehurst Resort experience and we respect the work they have done recently to innovate their own world-class facilities. We have big expectations for our new home and we see it as a once in a generation move to set us up for future success.”
The design of the building, which will be situated on a rezoned plot of land as part of a long-term land lease, will integrate well with the architecture of both the resort and the Village of Pinehurst. With permitting moving as an expected pace, groundbreaking could come in December 2017.
This partnership is the latest move by Pinehurst to modernize the property and deliver a greater experience for guests. After the 2011 reopening of Pinehurst No. 2 following a Coore-Crenshaw restoration, the resort recently opened the Gil Hanse-designed short course, The Cradle. The No. 4 course is also going to get a reno, while the Thistle Dhu putting course will be moved and expanded. Hanse will also do restoration work to Nos. 1 and 3 courses. Greens on several courses will also be converted to the latest Bermudagrass strains.