“So, do you play golf?”
Andrew Stilwell cautions any young professional moving to Moore County to be prepared to answer this question.
“Whenever I tell people I'm from Pinehurst, that's usually one of the first questions I'm asked,” said Stilwell, an event management professional in his mid-20s.
Stilwell was born in Pinehurst to a golf family - his parents both worked for Pinehurst Resort and the World Golf Hall of Fame (when it was located in Pinehurst) in the 1980s. The PGA moved Stilwell’s father to South Florida soon after their son was born.
“In 2000, my Dad was offered the opportunity to ‘come home,’” says Stilwell. “He jumped at the chance.” So the family moved back to Moore County to settle down, for good.
But Mr. and Mrs. Stilwell aren’t the only ‘Moore County returnees’ in the family. Andrew Stilwell went to Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, graduated from the University of North Carolina in 2012, and moved back to Pinehurst to work for Tarheel Communications Solutions, a small marketing, event management, business development and public relations firm in the Village of Pinehurst.
For Stilwell, moving back to Moore County after college graduation was a no-brainer. It gave him the opportunity to come work with his father, and live in the town often referred to as the home of golf in the United States.
“There are a lot of great opportunities in this area - from the school system to Moore Regional Hospital,” Stilwell says. “I have an appreciation for the "small town" feel of the area now that I didn’t have growing up. And because I'm working here, I've been able to form many relationships that I didn’t have as a kid.”
“One of the biggest misconceptions of the area is that there are no young people here,” says Stilwell. “There are tons of young professionals in the area, and plenty to do. For example, I play in the AC Sandhills Adult Soccer League with my roommate and several of my friends. I played soccer when I was younger, and stopped during high school and college (save for a few intramural games.) It's been good to get back on the soccer field.”
Stilwell also says the location of Moore County relative to other areas is perfect for young people. Many of the towns in Moore County have a great "small town" atmosphere, he explained, but if you need a dose of the city, you're close to anywhere you want to go.
“The year after I graduated, I still had a lot of friends in Chapel Hill, so it was great to be able to drive up on a Friday night and see them on the weekends. I'm a huge Carolina fan, so it's great to be close enough to go to Carolina Basketball and Football games during the year,” says Stilwell. Chapel Hill is an easy 70 minute drive from the Village of Pinehurst.
So, does Andrew Stilwell play golf? Of course!
“Another thing I love about the area is the variety of golf courses,” Stilwell says. “From Championship Courses at Pinehurst Resort and Pine Needles to great 9-hole tracks like Knollwood Fairways and Midland Country Club, if you want to go out and play golf, there's always the opportunity.”