It is a moment that has happened more than once.
David Stancil, gathering and arranging golf bags underneath the clubhouse at Pinehurst, will hear his name. It will come from the other direction, behind him. It may be a male or female voice, but it is always a voice with an appreciative lilt in its delivery.
“I don’t know how many times that’s happened,” Stancil says. “I’ll be with the bags, my back is turned, and someone will say my name, saying hello. And I’ll turn and see a familiar face, someone who has been here before and has come back.
“To be remembered by a guest like that, where they haven’t even seen my face again, and they still recognize me, remember me, that’s pretty good right there. That’s a good feeling.”
Recently, several fellow members of the Pinehurst staff stopped Stancil in the clubhouse to greet him warmly and thank him for 50 years working at Pinehurst Resort.
“The way people treat David is a telling testament to the way David has taken care of our guests for all of these years,” says Matt Massei, Pinehurst’s executive vice president. “He is one of the big reasons why Pinehurst is so special.”
Stancil is a member of one of the most unique classes of employees at Pinehurst, most of whom are known by guests over decades by their first names – David, Larry, Emmet, Henry and, as we all remember, Frolin. Together they have had around 250 years of collective experience at Pinehurst.
That’s a lot of guests, some among them famous. Stancil remembers one early morning, he walked into the bag room and found a tall, slender gentlemen waiting quietly.
“I look up, and it’s Dr. J,” Stancil says. “First thing in the morning, just patiently waiting as our day is getting started. I say, ‘Hey, Mr. Erving,’ and he puts his hand out to me and says, ‘Just call me Julius.’ Just as polite as could be.”
But Dr. J’s mood that morning isn’t all that surprising to Stancil. Most people, naturally, are happy to be starting their day in Pinehurst. And that’s part of what keeps bringing Stancil back to work each day.
“I really do love the people we meet,” he says. “There’s a lot of interesting people who come here, and it doesn’t matter whether they are famous or not. They’re all special, and everybody deserves to be treated really well. That’s what I try to do.”