J.D. grew up outside Philadelphia in Reading, Pennsylvania. Before turning full-time to golf, he played Division I baseball at Penn State University, winning an All-Conference award his sophomore year. J.D. then transferred to West Chester University outside Philadelphia where he graduated in 1994 with a B.S. in Education. J.D.’s professional career began that same year when he started competing in the Philadelphia Section of the PGA of America while working as an Assistant Professional at the esteemed Lehigh Country Club in Allentown, PA. He worked his way through the PGA’s Professional Golf Management program and was elected to membership as a Class-A professional.