Kruse tees it up at Timberline

Joe Kruse serves as Timberline Golf Club's head golf professional in Calera. (Contributed)

Joe Kruse serves as Timberline Golf Club’s head golf professional in Calera. (Contributed)

By JULIE HARBIN / Community Columnist

Just by walking into the clubhouse at Timberline Golf Club in Calera, it is easy to spot the club’s Head Golf Professional, Joe Kruse.

He’s the one taking calls, making tee times, assisting customers in the pro shop, giving golf lessons, meeting with vendors, planning tournaments, managing staff and selling memberships. It’s no wonder he eats lunch standing up almost every day, while continuing to multi-task.

Joe has been a golf professional for almost 20 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and professional golf management from Mississippi State. Although originally from Iowa, he has spent his career in the south, working at many courses, including Shoal Creek Golf Club and Limestone Springs here in Alabama. Joe Kruse has been the PGA Head Golf Professional at Timberline Golf Club since its opening in 2002.

“My plan is to be here until they close the doors for the last time,” Kruse said. “Timberline is locally owned and I have a great relationship with the owners. It is considered Birmingham’s pure golf experience, because is a true golf club, not a country club. It’s all about golf here.”

When asked about his favorite part of the job, he did not hesitate.

“I like helping customers and giving lessons,” said Kruse. “The satisfaction of helping someone that is struggling with their game get better….that’s my reward.”

When a player comes to Joe for help, the first thing he does is watch them hit the ball. “I watch the ball flight and I watch the body mechanics. I offer suggestions from there.”

Joe qualified this year to play in the PGA Club Professional National Championship. The Club Professional brings together 312 of the best Golf Club Professionals from all over the country to compete against each other. The winner goes on to play the PGA National Championship.

Surprisingly, Kruse said he only gets a chance to play golf once a month. Kruse and his wife live in Helena, with their four children. All of his children play golf, and one even plays on the U.S. Kid’s Local Tour.