Blog Pro Shop Tom Slighter

The Story of the Japrechaun | Thoughts from the Pro Shop

The meaning behind the ‘Japrechaun’ is quite special to me.

I am half Japanese and half Irish. I was born in 1958 and adopted by two very special people: mom and dad. I am one of 4 children in a family of mixed heritage. My two sisters are both half Japanese and my brother is half Chinese. We are brothers and sisters, but not blood related. My parents are the warmest people you will ever meet.

My father, Dr. Rev. Alfred R. Slighter is a major figure in my life and I doubt to ever walk in his shoes. The closest I will ever live up to dad is my name. He named me after a Scottish minister: Thomas Chalmers. My mom is my idol. The heart and soul of our family. Both mom and dad accepted four Asian children into their lives during difficult times.

I grew up in a small town and being of mixed race I often felt out of place. I experienced identity issues trying to figure out who and what I was. Sometimes accepted by everybody and other times by nobody.

I have always been proud of my Japanese heritage and embrace the culture. I am equally proud of being Irish. I suppose that’s why I live in Seattle, WA, where it is green and rains a lot.

I now have 3 children and it is my turn as a father to instill pride in their lives. Always be proud of who you are and walk tall; even though we’re short. Be courageous and embrace your ethnicity.

I came up with the idea of a Japanese leprechaun as a play on my nationality. Hence, the ‘Japrechaun’ was brought to life. The ‘Japrechaun’ character represents me in a nut shell: a happy individual with a gift to create and a passion for life.


You can buy the Slighter Japrechaun Bobble Head here.

Blog Pro Shop Tom Slighter

What’s In Tom’s Bag? | Thoughts from the Slighter Pro Shop

Now that we’ve all heard the story of Slighter Golf, we asked Tom to tell us what’s in his bag:

I personally have 5 Slighter putters:  First putter I made, the Slighter Seattle, the first Slighter Bellevue, the first Slighter Redmond, the first Slighter Ninja.

I now have my dad’s Slighter Seattle (2nd Slighter putter made) proudly displayed on my desk.

I play Mizuno Grads (4-PW) I purchased new in 1993.  I just freshly installed KBS Graphite TGI 95g regular flex shafts in my irons.

Taylor Made M3 driver

Callaway Steelhead Plus 3 wood, 5 wood, and 7 wood

Cleveland 797 BeNi 56 degree wedge and Cleveland 797 BeNi 52 degree wedge


If you could pick any group of golfers, past or present, to spend a day with on the course, who would you choose?

My father, Dr. Rev. Alfred R. Slighter, Sheldon Howard, Neil Howard, and Greg Bishop.


We want to know, what’s in your bag? Let us know in the comments!

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!

Blog Pro Shop Tom Slighter

Can a Putter Change Your Game? | Thoughts from the Slighter Pro Shop

Choosing a putter should not be a scientific endeavor, but more of a fun and exciting event.

Leave the science end of building a putter to us here at Slighter Golf.  You should be excited about using your putter every time you pull off the headcover.  We all know the saying, “drive for show and putt for dough” but many of us seem to neglect the most used club in our bag – the putter.

If you are golfing at least once a week you should seriously consider a custom putter.  Not so much a collectors putter worth thousands, but a putter that you can adjust to your stroke and stance.  Simple adjustments to a putter can help your putting tremendously.

Adding a custom putter to your bag builds confidence, enjoyment and productivity. Can a putter change your game? It can definitely change your mindset and approach to the game – so the answer is yes!