Though born in Michigan, Joel Jaress considers Green Valley home. His parents moved the family to Green Valley in 1974 so Joel, his two brothers and sister grew up in this area. Joel graduated from Sahuarita High School and attended the U of A. Joel’s golf (both playing and working) began early. He started golfing (putting and chipping) at age five and had his own clubs by seven. His whole family played the game, so it was a natural for the family’s youngest (Joel) to take up the sport. He won his first golf tournament (Tucson’s Junior Golf Tournament) at El Rio when he was eight. He also shot his first 39 at age 10 – yikes! When the family moved to Green Valley the only golf courses in the area were Haven and Country Club of Green Valley. At the time his dad owned and operated the only hardware store in Green Valley. So, in the summers he would drop Joel (and brother Jon) off at Haven at 6:00 a.m. and pick them up at 6:00 p.m. They would do odd jobs (picking up trash, fishing balls out of the hazards, etc.) for free golf and it wasn’t unusual for them to walk play 72 holes in a day. Doesn’t that sound like a great way to spend your childhood days?
By his early 20s Joel realized that golf was the profession for him! He began as an Assistant Pro at Canoa Hills in 1989, then at Country Club of Green Valley in 1993. Then, in 1996, Joel received his Class A Instructor’s Certificate after passing a golf knowledge test and demonstrating golfing proficiency (he scored a 141 over 36 holes!). In 1998 he became the Head Pro at Country Club of Green Valley under the mentorship of long-time PGA professional Billy Roy. While Joel credits his Dad for providing the largest golf influence in his life, he credits Billy Roy for providing the greatest golf business influence in his life. In 2010 Joel became Director of Instruction at Angel Fire Country Club in New Mexico. Then, lucky for us, in 2012 he returned to Green Valley and joined us in February of that year, first as Assistant Pro, then as our Head Golf Professional!
Though the future of golf has been reported as bleak from industry sources (too time-consuming, too expensive, too difficult!), Joel is confident of the health of golf’s future, particularly here. A future executive course will provide a fun experience for us as we mature, while our championship course will provide a challenge for our newer retirees (and some of our die-hard competitors)!
What Joel enjoys most about his job are the tournaments (loves scoring and the tournament energy), teaching and our resident golfers’ enthusiasm for the game. His favorite nine holes in all of Green Valley is our Quail course, but his personal best came at Canoa Hills where he shot a 66. His best advice for Quail Creek golfers, as a whole, is to remember it’s a game. Put it in perspective and have fun with it!
We are privileged that Joel’s golf journey has brought him here to Quail Creek.