Joe Puetz, golf pro

  • Fri Jun 25th, 2010 4:41pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo, Herald Writer

(Editor’s note: Puetz is pronounced “putts.”)

Q: How did your name direct your career path?

A: Just the fact that my family has kind of been in the game of golf ever since I was a little kid growing up. It was something our family did. Dan Puetz is my dad, and he’s a golf pro. He introduced it to all of us kids.

The name Puetz in Seattle is associated with Puetz Golf Centers. That was started by the other side of my family. My grandfather had 10 siblings, so two of his siblings started that back in the 1950s, but he didn’t get involved. But in Seattle, the Puetz name is pretty big in golf. I taught there for a couple of years.

Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?

A: Absolutely not. I have a lot of pride in my name. And though I wouldn’t change my name, I would change not being asked directly if I was the son or the actual owners of Puetz Golf Centers. I’m trying to make a name for myself outside the center, trying to be an accomplished player and teacher and creating my own name for myself. I am a PGA professional, so I’ve received benefits to play in local events, and I’m also a certified instructor.

Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?

A: Besides golf, which is my main business, I’ve got three other businesses that I’m juggling, all part-time summer jobs. I’m a basketball coach as well at a high school, and I do individual clinics; and I own a shaved ice business, and I travel to festivals and fairs.

If I did completely change direction, it would be toward helping others and being involved in kids’ lives, like being a coach or a personal counselor.

If I was completely dreaming, I would want to be a Bo Jackson type, where I would be a multiple sports athlete, playing tennis and basketball and golf as a living.

Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?

A: Well, that’s funny because when people have picked up on it, they basically call me a “putz,” and make light of my name, or they’ll say “You are such a putz.” I take it in good humor. I’m used to it.

Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?

A: Interesting enough, on my dad’s side of the family, and it’s not funny as much as it’s ironic, we’ve never been good at putting. As good as you’d think we’d be at putting, we are notorious for not being good putters.

Being a good putter is based on how many putts it takes for you to get the ball in the hole. So for 18 holes, if you took two putts at every hole, that’s 36, so it’s not a great putting day.

For my dad’s family, they average about 30 or 31. But for me, I think I’m breaking the cycle. I do about 29 to 32 putts typically.

Putting. Yes. That should be the easy part in golf.