The World Golf Hall of Fame is closing for good on Sept. 1. The museum is moving to North Carolina.
Visitors strolled through the World Golf Hall of Fame for free Aug. 31 as the St. Augustine museum prepared to close at 6 p.m. Sept. 1 and get ready for its move to North Carolina.
On a 90-degree sunny day, those visitors took advantage of the air-conditioned museum that opened 25 years ago.
One set of tourists checked out the golf simulator, while a golfer took advantage of a putting green.
Gift-shop clothing, golf balls, coffee cups, wine glasses, mouse pads and other memorabilia was 50% off. Many of the guests at the museum, where the tour ends at the gift shop, were buying something or the other the afternoon of Aug. 31. It closes when the museum does.
Moviegoers also could watch IMAX Theater flicks for free.
Concessions remain for sale, although only a few soft drink varieties and some of the candy are available.
And there is popcorn. “Yes of course,” said an attendant.
Worldgolfimax.com shows that for Sept. 1, movies start at noon with Galapagos 3D followed with Born to the Wild 3D at 1 p.m.; Flight of the Butterflies at 2 p.m.; Under the Sea 3D at 3 p.m.; Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D at 4 p.m.; and Jane Goodall: Reasons for Hope at 5 p.m.
The Goodall movie is 43 minutes.
After 6 p.m., the museum and theater will close as the Hall of Fame moves and the theater awaits its next life.
The United States Golf Association announced in July 2022 it would close the St. Augustine properties and relocate the Hall of Fame to its original home in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
The Hall of Fame was founded in Pinehurst in 1974 and moved to St. Augustine in 1998 as the centerpiece of the World Golf Village resort community, located off of International Golf Parkway west of Interstate 95.
Besides the Hall of Fame, the properties include the 299-seat IMAX Theater, PGA Tour Productions facility and 36.7 acres of parking lots and other amenities.
The World Golf Foundation said it would close its 64,113-square-foot facility Sept. 1 but proposed a temporary lease extension to Dec. 31, the news release said.
The 17,865-square-foot IMAX theater is scheduled to close on or about Sept. 1, the news release said.
PGA Tour Productions is planning to relocate from its 32,329-square-foot facility at the site to the PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach at the end of 2024.
St. Johns County is seeking input from residents on what to do with the properties.
The building that houses the Hall of Fame, along with the theater, is owned by World Golf Village Inc. while the property it sits on is owned by St. Johns County.
When it announced the closure in St. Augustine, the USGA said it planned to reopen the Hall of Fame in 2024 at Golf House Pinehurst, a new USGA campus with administrative offices and a testing and research facility.
“The World Golf Hall of Fame serves as a steward of the game through engaging, interactive storytelling and exhibitions featuring artifacts, works of art, audio, video and photography significant to the history of golf and its members,” says the Hall of Fame website.
“Explore genuine artifacts from our members through a variety of exhibits and the Member Locker room. See our newest exhibits: Tales from the Collection and THE PLAYERS Experience.”
The World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum also had event space.