Joe was introduced to the game of golf as a toddler and learned to play more competitively as he grew into his teenage years. As he learned the game, his grandfather, Joseph D. Merlin, always made sure he was well aware of the game’s etiquette and the finer points of it’s history. Joe had his first real breakthrough in the game came when he qualified to play on the varsity golf team at Shaler Area High School.
The success Joe had in high school gave him the confidence to walk on to the California University of Pennsylvania golf team in 2005 where he played all four years and was inducted into the National Collegiate Athletic Honor Society. Early in his career at California University, Joe transferred into the Professional Golf Management Program. He has always had a passion for the game and accompanied by his desire to create an enjoyable experience for others the golf management track was a perfect fit. Joe’s love of the industry became evident after he completed his first internship at Montour Heights Country Club in 2006 where he worked under Head Golf Professional Alex Childs.
Joe graduated from California University in 2009 and became the Assistant Golf Professional at Pittsburgh Field Club. He quickly gained a reputation for exceeding all membership/guest expectations across areas of their golfing experience. During his time at Pittsburgh Field Club, Joe gained an outstanding reputation for teaching and customer service. He revamped the junior golf program and worked with most of the club’s lady members. During his final season, Joe saw many of the club’s members begin to approach him for guidance.
Late in 2012, Joe was given the opportunity to move to New Jersey and continue his career at Metedeconk National Golf Club. During his tenure at Metedeconk, he became a US Kids Golf Certified Instructor and has become certified in teaching the Four Elements of Putting from Eyeline Golf. He grew as a professional and quickly gained a reputation for having a passion to grow the game within the club. He used unique ideas to create new programs that allowed the membership to really thrive.
Early In 2015, Joe’s journey as a professional took another turn, which led him to Rhode Island when he accepted the role of 1st Assistant Golf Professional at Wannamoisett Country Club. Joe is excited to join a team that will continue creating the “Wannamoisett Experience” for the membership daily.
Joe’s career low round of 67 came at Pittsburgh Field Club where he was enjoying an afternoon game with some of their members. Joe’s best professional tournament finish came at the Tri-State PGA Assistant’s Championship in August 2009 where his two round total of 143 (70-73) left him tied for fifth place.
Joe also has a passion for giving back to the game that has given so much to him. He currently works as a mentor for the California University of Pennsylvania’s alumni mentorship program with their Sport Management and Professional Golf Management students. He also has worked with the Pittsburgh Youth Golf Foundation as an instructor for their High School Swing Scene events. Joe is also a mentor at the San Miguel School located in Providence.
Joe’s goals are to continue his education by attending industry seminars and visiting some of the industries leading instructors. He also will look to grow his relationship with the California University’s mentorship program. Lastly, he will look to get more involved with the local PGA Section.