StoneWater Country Club Pro Staff

Grand Rapids Golf Pro Staff

Joe Hatch, Golf Professional

Joe Hatch grew up on his great grandfathers’ farm in rural Ida, Michigan. Joe was a three sport athlete in high school and post-graduation, decided to attend Ferris State University located in Big Rapids, MI. Joe graduated #1 in his class with a major in Professional Golf Management Program. Joe practiced with FSU’s Bulldogs Men’s Division II Golf Team during his time at Ferris. He has been a PGA class A professional member since December 2010.

Joe has been a PGA member in the Wisconsin section for the last seven years. During his time in Wisconsin, Joe worked at Chenequa Country Club in Hartland, Wisconsin and was most recently the head golf professional at Stevens Point Country Club in Wisconsin. Joe successfully owned and managed the merchandising concession as his own business while at Stevens Point.

Joe is a passionate golf professional who is committed to excellence in all aspects of a golf operation. Joe believes organizing and conducting popular club programs is a keystone to having a successful golf operation. His experience includes organizing and executing programs including junior golf, men’s and women’s organizations, creative instructional clinics, and all types of member tournaments.

Joe has been mentored by a number of top 100 teachers.  As a result, his teaching is centered on an effective individualized golf swing for each student. He believes that like a fingerprint we all have our own unique golf swing that defines us. The golf hall of fame is filled with many different swings that are effective. Joe stays current with the latest in teaching technologies and uses video equipment for swing analysis with all of his students. Dedicated and outgoing, Joe strives to help his students reach their maximum potential and considers their successes his goal.

The passion and respect Joe has for his career can easily be seen as you encounter him. Joe is prideful and truly enjoys his work. George Allen once said, “People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. Most men succeed because they are determined to.” This quote resonates with Joe as continues to enhance himself personally and professionally each year in his pursuit of perfection.

Please contact Joe with any questions or thoughts at jhatch@stonewatercc.com.

 

Michael Prior, Assistant Golf Professional

Michael is originally from Schoolcraft, a small town just south of Kalamazoo. Michael possessed a love for the game of golf from a very young age. His father has been a golf professional in the Michigan Section for over 35 years and while growing up, his dad would bring him to the golf course every day in the summer. Having the ability to practice and play golf as much as he was able to at such a young age produced a passion to compete in tournaments and constantly improve his skills. Growing up in such a small town it was easy to participate in as many sports as he could handle, and that is exactly what he did. Michael focused on golf during the summers, played on the basketball team during the winter and also participated in baseball during the spring.

It was always clear to Michael, that he wanted to be like his dad and become a golf professional. Michael attended Glen Oaks Community College for a year in order to decide where to pursue his playing career. He continued to play well at Glen Oaks and was approached by the golf coach from Holy Cross College in South Bend, Indiana. Growing up a Notre Dame fan, Michael was very excited by the offer and decided to become a member of the Holy Cross men’s golf program. As a team, they won 11 tournaments over a 3 year period. At their peak they tied for 14th in the National Championship and finished the year ranked 15th in the country.

In the spring following his final semester at Holy Cross, Michael moved to Bandon, Oregon to work as an Assistant Professional. Michael lived in Oregon for a little over a year then moved in Spring 2015 to the south suburbs of Chicago for another assistant professional job at Midlothian Country Club. While Michael was at Midlothian, he started the process of becoming a member of the PGA of America.

Please contact Michael with any questions or thoughts at mprior@stonewatercc.com.