From the land of the River Thames and Buckingham Palace, Jack McClelland, a native Londoner, has traveled far and wide (with golf clubs in tow) to reach his cherished destination in Moore County, the “Home of American Golf”.
In contrast, Jack’s wife Melody is a native of Southern Pines, so she has long had a passion for the Sandhills and her love of Southern Pines runs deep. Melody is part of the famed Bell family that owns and operates Pine Needles and Mid Pines golf resorts.
Jack, however, had to take a much more roundabout route to find his new home located on the Pine Needles Golf Course. He came to America in 2007 when he was recruited to play college golf at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg in neighboring Scotland County.
“We frequently came up to the Sandhills to play and practice,” McClelland says. “In 2008, I worked at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf club at the youth golf camp where I met Melody. After graduation in 2011, I went back to England before deciding to move back to North Carolina to be with my wife, then girlfriend, in 2013.”
What convinced the couple to settle in Southern Pines went beyond Melody’s family ties.
“Yes, that was the main reason, but it was an easy decision with a great environment to raise a family, wonderful people, an active community and great golf courses,” he added. “It’s a growing town with lots of opportunity.”
McClelland said he used to envision settling down close to a major city.
“Once I moved to Southern Pines, I realized the appeal of a growing town with similar amounts of opportunity in every facet of life. When I got questions about ‘do you miss this, do you miss that?’ I realized I had the same answer... ‘no, but when I do I can get there in no time at all…. three hours from the mountains, two hours from the beach, one hour from a major city and an hour from an airport where I can get anywhere in the world’.”
Today, McClelland serves as an Enterprise Account Executive for Accurate Background, a global background screening company. Accurate is headquartered in Orange County, California but has nearly 200 employees in its East Coast Operating Center in Southern Pines. He works remotely and services the Southeast. He is also on the Moore County Chamber Board of Directors.
Melody is a partner in the local firm real estate firm Pines Sotheby’s International Realty and is active in Moore Young Professionals.
When not working or spending time with family or friends, McClelland can be found out enjoying some of the region’s world-class golf courses – perhaps not as often as he used to however.
“I am a fair-weather golfer now,” he concedes, “but when it’s nice outside I will play about twice a week.”
Of course, the McClellands find time to enjoy other offerings in Moore County beyond golf. Here is a list of some of their favorite places to eat and socialize.
• Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club – Brunch is outstanding
• Wine Cellar – Great spot for a wine/beer
• Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club – Best burger (Bell Burger) in town
• Live After Five in Pinehurst, and First Friday in downtown Southern Pines.
• 195 - American Fusion Restaurant