Video by The Fire Pit Collective
We head to Detroit, Michigan for Episode 4 of The Grind, where we meet Joe Hooks. Joe was a very accomplished junior player winning multiple times, and now after stepping away from the game for a bit, Joe has rediscovered his love for golf in his late 20s and is driven to make it as a professional golfer. Joe is currently playing on the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Tour.
Competition At Every Level
The grind encompasses more than just golf. We get a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life, as Joe gets his workout in with a trainer, then heads to GOLFTEC to work on his swing with his local Coach. With so much competition at every level, grinders like Joe look for every advantage they can to get a leg up on their fellow competitors.
Joe is now in his second year as a sponsored GOLFTEC Athlete, which gives him access to GOLFTEC Training Centers nationwide. This especially comes in handy when he wants to work on his game in the middle of winter in Detroit.
Being a black player in a sport traditionally dominated by white players, and not only competing, but winning and collecting top finishes has instilled a sense of pride in Joe. He’s also grateful for all the opportunities he’s received along the way.
Because of his skill, looks and personality, Joe is entering a point where he could have opportunities to make a living as a personality in golf, instead of continuing to chase the dream of playing professionally. But the thought of playing on the Korn Ferry Tour and eventually the PGA Tour continues to drive Joe at this stage in his life.
As with most, if not all, of the golfers featured on The Grind, the financial impact of trying to play professional golf is one of the biggest hurdles standing between them and their dream. Joe is no different. He estimates that a full calendar year playing mini tours will cost around $90,000. Between travel, hotel, food and entry fees it adds up quick, especially if he plays two or three tournaments per month.
With help from his parents, Joe is able to continue to grind and try to live out his dream, but it also came with sacrifices. Joe’s dad, James, owned a grocery store, Metro Foodland, where Joe helped out when he was young, and the only black-owned supermarket in the city at that time. Selling the store has allowed Joe to keep playing golf, but left a hole in the family legacy.