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.