Vice President of Retail & Marketing
Chairman of the Board – National Golf Buyers Association
Past-President- Association of Golf Merchandisers
Ken Morton, Jr. was born in 1972 and quite literally into the golf business. With his father as head golf professional at Haggin Oaks Golf Course, Ken was introduced to the game early on. At the tender age of eight, he would travel to work with his dad on Sundays and give change on the driving range (as these were the days before change machines.) At the age of 12, Ken abandoned all other sports and dove into his first love, golf. He began working as a starter on the weekends and hones his golf game after school. He won the Little Linker Championship at age 12 and went on to win the Haggin Oaks Junior Golf Championship the next four consecutive years.
Ken played varsity golf on the El Camino Fundamental High School golf team all four years, making it to the Nor Cals and finishing 9th in state in 1987. He played in hundreds of junior golf events, winning the Sierra Nevada Junior Championship at the age of sixteen. In addition, he spent two years on the Northern California Junior Golf Advisory Board. It was also at sixteen that Ken Jr. found his true calling in golf. He had moved into the retail store and was involved both as a salesperson and a merchandiser. He spent after-school hours and weekends in the shop, learning customer service skills. At high school graduation, he headed off to Washington DC and worked a season as a shop assistant at Congressional Country Club. There, he continued to learn merchandising as well as instruction under Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher Kent Cayce. Ken would also go on to work three annual consecutive weeklong stints at Edgewood Tahoe GC during the Celebrity Golf Championship in their merchandise tent in the early 90’s.
Upon returning to Haggin Oaks, Ken Jr. turned professional and took over the soft goods and hard goods buying for Haggin Oaks as well as four additional golf courses in Northern California and Oregon- both private and public. He worked full-time while going to college, graduating in 1995 from California State University of Sacramento with a BA in Organizational Communication. In 1995, Haggin Oaks brought their advertising in-house and Ken because their Director of Marketing as well. Combining his vision with his father’s, they opened the Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop in 1997. It instantly gained praise from the golf industry with Golfweek Magazine & Golf World Magazine naming it Public Golf Shop of the Year. Ken Jr. did all the design again when the shop doubled in size exactly ten years later- bringing the on-course shop to just over 15,000 square feet.
Ken has become an active voice in the golf industry through his work in education and the Association of Golf Merchandisers. He has given seminars to PGA sections and AGM groups in a dozen different states and is a contributing writer to such publications as the AGM e-Tailer, Golf Pro Magazine, Golf Business, Golf Today, PGA Show News Daily, Northern California Golf Guide, Health and Fitness Magazine, Golf Retailer, California Golf Lifestyle Magazine and Golf Product News. Under his guidance, the golf store won the Golf Digest/GolfWorld 100 Best Golf Shops Award an unprecedented 30 straight times.
His creative promotional and event ideas have garnered national attention. In 2000, he was named as one of the 40 most influential people in golf under the age of 40 by Golfweek Magazine. He also became a member of the Board of Directors of the AGM and in 2001 was presented with their Excellence in Education Award. In January of 2006, he became the organization’s President and served for six years. He has been on the education committee for the AGM for 20+ years. In 2006, his book The Little Book of Big Golf Promotions was published and became a leading industry resource for marketing and promotional concepts. He has followed it up with The Little Book of Big Golf Promotions II- A Second Helping in 2009, Little Book III in 2011, Little Book IV in 2019 and Little Book V in 2021. He also penned a book titled Life (and Business) Lessons From The Greens with his father Ken Sr and former Golf Digest editor Bob Carney in 2021. In 2019, he joined the Executive Board for the National Golf Buyers Association and in 2021 became their Chairman of the Board.
He believes strongly in family and community values. His is happily married to his wife, Jennifer, and has three young men, Brandon, Taylor & Carson and a daughter Heather who has him wrapped around her finger.
He spent seven plus years as a member of the Rocklin Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and has coached over 1,000 youth soccer and baseball games. He’s an award-winning photographer and an aspiring songwriter. His Golf & Guitars Music Festival has raised over a million dollars for disadvantaged children’s and disabled charities – as well as granted over 200 college scholarships. In his spare time, he writes for several country music publications including Nashville Scene, Country Weekly, Engine145.com, the9513.com, AmericanNoise.com, SavingCountryMusic.com and ThatNashvilleSound.com.