Joel Thelen: "The score card is faithfulness"

A commitment to excellence, a spirit of community service, and a heart of faithfulness.

At PDQ America in White Oak, TX, these are just a few of the qualities we share with business partner, professional golfer Joel Thelen. 

As a freight service provider, we relentlessly pursue perfection and foster a spirit for charity and community service, so when PDQ America’s president Michael Clements, Jr. noticed these same attributes in Joel, he took the opportunity to make PDQ America a business partner.

“When I learned more about Joel’s faith, values, and work ethic, those things were all in alignment with our approach at PDQ,” Michael said. “This made partnering with Joel as our first professional athlete an easy decision and a decision the entire PDQ team can be proud of. Joel is doing all of the right things in search of success as he develops into the pro golfer he aspires to be.”

Joel has had a busy summer, playing in 16 tournaments from May to the end of August. Joel said some of his biggest accomplishments this summer include qualifying in three tournaments, finishing in the top 10 of the Texas State Open, and shooting a 64 in the Nashville Golf Open.

Coming up, Joel will take on the qualifying school which is split into four stages. Each stage consists of a four-day tournament.

“I've been to every stage except for finals, so I know how important each hole is to get all the way through, you can't afford any big mistakes. It only takes one bad day to keep you from advancing to finals and getting a card,” Joel says. “ I'm really focused on playing smartly and consistently, not taking risks, and making sure each day is under par.” 

“Well done, good and faithful servant”

Joel can sum up his approach to golf in one word: faithfulness


This outlook on his golf game, as well as his life, stems from a sermon he heard at his home church in Fort Worth shortly before the 2017 Texas State Open. In this sermon, the preacher was teaching on Matthew 25: 14-30, the Parable of the Talents.

In this parable, Jesus teaches about a master who gives his three servants different amounts of money to care for while he is away. When he returns, two servants, although they received different amounts, have doubled their money. To these two, the master says, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things.” 

A particular point that stood out to Joel was that the amount of money the servants were given didn’t matter. All that mattered was what they did with it. 

“Both of them were good and faithful servants, and they did the best they could with what they were given,” Joel said. “As the preacher said, the score card is faithfulness.”

Instead of doing something positive with the money the master gave him, the third servant dug a hole in the ground and hid the sum he received. When the master returned, the servant returned the same amount he was given. In response, the master called him “a wicked, lazy servant” for not making something of the resources he was given.

“That’s why my whole approach to golf is that as long as I’m faithful to God and honor him with my efforts, then that’s what success looks like,” Joel said. “I’m aiming for faithfulness at every opportunity I get.”

In trucking, we remain faithful every day by striving to help our partners progress and develop ideas that will shape the way goods are transported. Whether the load is big or small, our purpose-driven team seeks to provide a world-class experience for every customer, every time.

A heart for helping others 

Joel’s faithfulness also includes encouraging and reaching out to young golfers.

Joel might be a professional golfer now, but he got a relatively late start at golfing. When he was 16, Joel inadvertently became involved with the First Tee organization when he inquired about a job at Alpine Target Golf Center in Longview, TX.

“I wanted a job so I could golf all the time for free,” he said.

While he didn’t come away with a job, coach Roy Pace encouraged him to get involved with First Tee.

“After the first session Roy took me under his wing and encouraged me to book a lesson. He’s been my coach now for 12 years,” Joel said. “That’s a big part of First Tee is placing young people with mentors.” 

Even during college, Joel remained active with First Tee by helping coach and mentor participants. 

He may stay busy with his professional golfing career, but Joel still makes time to give back to his community by helping with the Fort Worth chapter of First Tee, joining classes to do demonstrations and encourage participants by talking about the importance of First Tee in his own life.

Whether Joel is playing in professional tournaments, volunteering with First Tee, or back at home in Fort Worth, he tries to maintain perspective on what’s really important.

“Attitude and effort are everything. I just always remind myself to focus, have a great attitude, and trust the Lord with the results,” he said.

PDQ cultivates the same heart for community service by serving local organizations like East Texas API, the ARC of Gregg County, and the United Way of Longview. Our commitment to the community is mirrored in our dedication to our customers and carriers. 

If you’re needing a freight quote or are looking to join our Patriot Carrier Network, know that you will be partnering with one of the most trusted trucking and nationally certified freight brokering companies not only in East Texas, but throughout the United States.

Call us at 800-5182-PDQ today or contact us online anytime to experience Purpose Driven Quality.