Vice President of Retail & Marketing
Past-President- Association of Golf Merchandisers
Ken Morton, Jr. was born in 1972 and quite nearly 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 honed 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 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 Association Advisory Board.
But it was also at sixteen, however, 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 consecutive weeklong stints at Edgewood Tahoe GC during the Celebrity Golf Championship in their merchandise tent in the early 90′s.
Upon his return 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 became 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 naming it Public Golf Shop of the Year. Ken Jr. redesigned the Super Shop again in 2007- creating unique design features as indoor island greens with full-scale trees and a ball display from a 1932 Model T.
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 10 different states and is a contributing writer to such publications as The Merchandiser, Golf Pro Magazine, Golf Business, Golf Today, PGA Show News Daily, Northern California Golf Guide, Health & Fitness Magazine, Golf Retailer and Golf Product News. Under his guidance, the golf store has won the Golf Digest/Golf World Business Top 100 Golf Shop Award an unprecedented 25 consecutive 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 has also become a Board of Directors member of the AGM and in 2001, won their Excellence in Education Award. In January of 2006, he became the organization’s President.
In 2006, his book The Little Book of Big Golf Promotions was published and has become the 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 and Little Book III in 2011.
He believes strongly in family and community values. He is happily married to his wife, Jennifer, and has four busy children that take up his free time coaching baseball, soccer and golf. He has also spent 7+ years as a member of the Rocklin Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter.