Note: This story has been corrected to note than GOLDEN Leaf has not acted on a grant request of $1.5 million for the project.

RALEIGH – North Carolina will be the new home for the US Golf Association’s equipment and testing lab as well as its foundation and other office operations under a deal approved with the state on Wednesday.

The state’s Economic Investment Committee approved $18 million in site development funds.

Also, the GOLDEN Leaf Foundation, an economic development group based in Rocky Mount, has been asked to provide a $1.5 million gran for the package. GOLDEN Leaf is funded by money gained through a settlement with the tobacco industry.

However, the grant has not been approved.

“The Golden LEAF Foundation has received an application in the amount of $1.5 million, however the Golden LEAF Board has not taken any action on the request,” a GOLDEN Leaf spokesperson said. “The Board meets September 30 and October 1.”

The agreement follows news that emerged Tuesday about the USGA’s commitment to build a headquarters in the Sandhills.

The USGA headquarters in New Jersey has a staff of 300.

The EIC approved terms for the incentives that include:

  • At least 50 jobs, including 35 new ones and 15 retentions of existing positions, over 10 years
  • Minimum salary of $80,000
  • Two buildings to be constructed, including the lab and related administrative offices
  • A minimum investment of $5 million by the USGA

Last week, North Carolina lawmakers approved $18 million in incentives to bring a “sports championship employer” to the state. On Tuesday, the Moore County Board of Commissioners heard about the project in a public hearing. The Pinehurst Village Council reviewed a similar presentation a short time later, according to The Pilot newspaper.

Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, whose district includes Pinehurst, sponsored the bill in the Senate.

The grants to the USGA would be paid out over five years. In return, it would:

  • Invest at least $5 million in the state
  • Build at least two buildings
  • Hold at least one “men’s major professional championship event” every five to seven years and at least one “women’s major professional championship event” every 10 years
  • Employ up to 50 people with salaries that average $80,000.