North Carolina launches sports betting ahead of golf-rich state hosting 2024 U.S. Open

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North Carolina Hosts First Legal Sports Bets Starting March 11th

North Carolina will begin allowing legal sports betting on March 11th, 2024, just months before Pinehurst Resort hosts the 2024 U.S. Open Championship in June, marking the seventh time the state has hosted a men’s major golf tournament.

The sports betting legislation passed in July 2021 enables statewide mobile and retail sportsbooks. Major operators like FanDuel and DraftKings have started early registration. Bettors must be at least 21 years old.

With North Carolina’s rich golf history and Pinehurst preparing to welcome the world’s best players for the U.S. Open, sports bettors will have abundant wagering opportunities around one of golf’s biggest events. Golf bettors can use North Carolina betting promos for free bets and bonuses. The impending launch adds more excitement to an already momentous year for sports in North Carolina.

The launch precedes the wildly popular 2024 NCAA March Madness tournament. Residents can wager on North Carolina teams like Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest during March Madness. The law levies an 8% tax on gaming revenue.

Men’s Majors Make Rare North Carolina Stops  

When the PGA Championship was held at Quail Hollow in Charlotte in August 2017, it marked only the sixth time a men’s major had been contested in North Carolina. With the state being a hotbed for golf, hosting only six majors surprises people.

The other men’s majors played in North Carolina include:

  • – 2014 U.S. Open, Pinehurst Course No. 2 – Martin Kaymer won  
  • – 2005 U.S. Open, Pinehurst Course No. 2 – Michael Campbell won
  • – 1999 U.S. Open, Pinehurst Course No. 2 – Payne Stewart won 
  • – 1974 PGA Championship, Tanglewood Park – Lee Trevino won
  • – 1936 PGA Championship, Pinehurst Course No. 2 – Denny Shute won

A seventh men’s major, the 2024 U.S. Open, will occur at Pinehurst No. 2.

10 Great North Carolina Golfers

North Carolina has produced many top professional and amateur golfers. Here are ten standouts:

  • 10. Billy Joe Patton – A fantastic amateur, Patton nearly won the 1954 Masters. He excelled at the North-South Amateur.
  • 9. Peggy Kirk Bell – She won the 1949 Titleholders Championship and has been voted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame. 
  • 8. Jim Thorpe – A three-time PGA Tour winner with 13 wins on the PGA Tour Champions.
  • 7. Chip Beck – A five-time PGA Tour winner who spent 40 weeks ranked in the world top ten.
  • 6. Bobby Clampett – He was a three-time All-American at BYU and the low amateur at the 1978 U.S. Open.
  • 5. Scott Hoch – A Ryder Cup player and 11-time PGA Tour winner who also has three wins on the PGA Tour Champions.
  • 4. Webb Simpson – The 2012 U.S. Open champion also has three other PGA Tour victories. 
  • 3. Bill Haas – He has six PGA Tour wins, including the 2011 Tour Championship where he won the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.
  • 2. Davis Love III – This 21-time PGA Tour winner captained two Ryder Cup teams and will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame this year.  
  • 1. Raymond Floyd – Floyd’s four major titles are the most by a North Carolina-born player. He also had 22 PGA Tour wins and played on seven Ryder Cup teams.

The North-South Amateur

The prestigious North-South Amateur has been played at Pinehurst annually since 1901. Many of its champions went on to win majors:

  • 1920, Francis Ouimet (won the 1913 U.S. Open)  
  • 1959, Jack Nicklaus (won a record 18 majors)
  • 1976 and 1977, Curtis Strange (won 1988 and 1989 U.S. Opens)  
  • 1980, Hal Sutton (won 1983 PGA Championship)
  • 1981, Corey Pavin (won 1995 U.S. Open)  
  • 1984, Davis Love III (won 1997 PGA Championship)
  • 1986, Billy Andrade (four-time PGA Tour winner)
  • 1993, Kelly Mitchum (now a lead instructor at the Pinehurst Golf Academy)

Wake Forest University  

Wake Forest in Winston-Salem boasts a storied golf history including three national championships (1974, 1975 and 1986). Many top pros are alumni:

“Jay Haas, Billy Andrade, Gary Hallberg, Scott Hoch and Bill Haas, as well as majors champions Arnold Palmer, Lanny Wadkins, Darren Clarke, Curtis Strange and Webb Simpson”

The late, legendary Arnold Palmer has a scholarship in his name given yearly to Wake Forest golfers. Palmer Scholarship recipients include Strange, Bill Haas and Simpson. Jerry Haas, Bill’s uncle, has coached the Wake golf team since 1997.   

PGA Tour Events in North Carolina 

Two PGA Tour events are held annually in North Carolina:

The Wells Fargo Championship – Typically at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, winners include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler.  

The Wyndham Championship – Greensboro has hosted a PGA Tour event since 1938, won eight times by Sam Snead. Other victors include Hogan, Nelson, Love, Garcia and Reed.

3 Memorable North Carolina Golf Moments 

  • 3. Davis Love III won the 2015 Wyndham aged 51, becoming the third oldest PGA Tour winner ever behind Sam Snead and Art Wall Jr.  
  • 2. Michelle Wie won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2, just a week after Martin Kaymer won the men’s U.S. Open there. It marked the first time the men’s and women’s Opens were held back-to-back at the same course.
  • 1. Payne Stewart’s iconic 1999 U.S. Open win at Pinehurst No. 2 just months before he died in a plane crash. His victorious fist pump is memorialized with a statue.

Best Golf Courses in North Carolina

According to Golf Digest’s in-state rankings, the top five courses in North Carolina are:  

  1. Wade Hampton Golf Club, Cashiers  
  2. Pinehurst Resort No. 2, Pinehurst
  3. Diamond Creek Golf Club, Banner Elk
  4. Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington  
  5. Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club, Cashiers
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