Blog Pro Shop Tom Slighter

The History of Slighter Golf | Thoughts from the Pro Shop

I started working on golf clubs in 1990.

Every time I wanted some custom work done on my clubs I visited a local club repair guy at his small shop in Salem, OR.  I decided to re-shaft my own clubs and ordered components from Golfsmith.  I slowly built up my own shop and began doing repair work and custom finishing for my home course, Salem Golf Club.

I made a few bucks on this new gig and was able to get some free golf.  I was working for State Farm Insurance and they transferred me to the Washington in 1998.  After moving to the Seattle I noticed there were several established golf repair shops and did not want to compete with them.  I began following this auction site my wife mentioned to me called eBay.  I had about 40 putters in my collection and decided to sell them all on eBay to pay off some debt that I accumulated with our move to Washington. I was really impressed how quickly they sold on eBay.

While selling my putters on eBay I began to follow the putter trend.  At this time, Cameron putters maybe had one page of eBay auctions going on at one time.  I took a chance and purchased a new Scotty Cameron Newport Two Pro Platinum for $178.95 which was a lot of money for me back then.  I did some custom refinish work on that putter and sold it to a gentleman in Japan for $585.00.  I then went out to all the golf shops in the Seattle area and began purchasing Cameron putters.  I worked on them and sold them on eBay.  I began receiving special requests from people all over the world to work on their putters after seeing my auctions on eBay.

This was a pretty lucrative venture I happened in to which then triggered my curiosity about making my own putters.  I started my search for a machinist to help me design and make my own putters.  Most all the machinists I contacted were not interested in helping me make putters.  I finally found a machinist about an hour away from my home who was willing to assist me.  In 2001, I designed my first putter and named it “Slighter Seattle”.  It was a tribute to the Pacific Northwest opposed to Cameron’s choice of California names for his putters.  I auctioned my first Slighter Seattle putter on eBay in 2002 and it sold for $289.00.  I made a total of 27 of the Slighter Seattle putters and the rest sold fairly quickly.  I then began designing my next putter called the Slighter Tacoma, then the Slighter Bellevue, Slighter Redmond, etc.

I was hooked.

I began to learn how to make the putters by observing my machinist.  He helped me learn the art of machining which prompted me to purchase my first milling machine.  I began honing my skills with the milling machine in my garage. I began purchasing all sorts of equipment that completely jam packed my 3 ½ car garage with machines and tools.  I became very proficient at hand crafting putters in a short time.  After learning all the tricks of the trade I was no longer sourcing out work, but rather doing all work myself.  The only areas I lacked skill was the CAD/CAM or programming and tooling the CNC machines.  All while I was making my own putters I continued to refinish other putters.  Refinishing putters has and will always be a passion of mine.  Refinishing putters was the start of Slighter Golf and will always be a part of Slighter Golf.  The art of taking an old tired putter and refinishing it to its former glory will always be a true enjoyment of mine.

It is truly amazing for me to have met so many interesting people through Slighter Golf.  A gift I will always cherish the rest of my life.  I have been blessed to work with professionals in all aspects of life.  I have had the privilege to work with Stephen Curry, Paul Casey, Kenny Perry, and Matt Kuchar to name a few.  I have met good friends like LaMont Mann (Mannkrafted Putters), Jason Smith (my partner), Jeremy Camp (FST/KBS), Erik Stone (golf instructor), also to name a few.

One of my true pleasures was working with a 14 year old golfer who saved every penny just for me to build him a Slighter putter.  What a true honor to say the least.

Blog Pro Shop Tom Slighter

Tom’s Top 5 Favorite Golf Courses & The Best Game He Ever Played | Thoughts from the Pro Shop

Today we sat down with Tom and asked him about his Top 5 Favorite Golf Courses – and of course we asked him about the best game he ever played. 


My Top 5 Favorite Golf Courses are:

Golf Club at Newcastle (Newcastle, WA)

Just a beautiful golf course.  Owned by a well renown Japanese American business man – an inspiration to me

Salem Golf Club (Salem, OR)

Great memories with my dear friends Sheldon, Neil, and Greg.  Thanks to Danny Moore the Head Pro

Highland Hills Golf Course (Greeley, CO)

My dad’s favorite course – love you dad.

Legion Memorial Golf Course (Everett, WA)

Many, many rounds.  Place where I purchased the first Cameron putter I sold on eBay.

Battle Creek Golf Club (Salem, OR)  – CLOSED 2007

Place where I learned how to play golf with my best friend


The Best Golf Game I Ever Played was …

I shot a 73 at Salem Golf Club. 

I shot a 35 one under par on the front 9 at Boomerang Golf Course in Greeley, CO.

Now we want to know, what was the best game you’ve ever played? Any favorite courses you recommend Tom to play next? Let us know in the comments!