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About Bill Owen

I won several junior tournaments, including the Colorado State Junior for ages 15 and under. (The winner of the 16-18 division that year was some guy named Davis Love II).  In the inaugural Eisenhower nationwide Junior match play tournament, which included the country's best juniors and featured many names you’d recognize from the senior tour,  I upset the medalist who later became the French National Amateur Champion. At the National JC tournament in 1955, I actually beat Jack Nicklaus on one 9-hole round.  My friends embarrass me by talking about me “beating Nicklaus.”  While I was the only one of four Colorado juniors to qualify for the finals, Nicklaus clobbered me by about 25 strokes for the 72 holes.  I went to Colorado State University on a (very minimal) golf scholarship, lettering all four years and being number one and team Captain my senior year. The next four years were spent in graduate school, where I earned a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics, but essentially gave up golf.  I donned an Army uniform for two Vietnam era years and didn’t play at all.  When I resumed, the results were predictably deplorable.  I moved to Ellensburg in 1969, discovering that it would probably destroy Laramie, Wyoming in a serious wind contest, a  negative for someone who didn't enjoy windy golf.  The next twenty years featured minimal golf, probably 6-8 rounds a year.  Having wasted all those years, I decided to get my game in shape prior to retirement.

First Efforts at Clubmaking

Having 1960s blades with a pea-sized sweet spot, new clubs were in order.  Shocked at prices, I decided to give clubmaking a try.  I built myself a new set of irons from components  costing under $200 and thought I was pretty shrewd.  I didn’t hit the ball all that well, though, and attributed it to poor swing technique and lack of practice.  I built some clubs for friends, too.  I would buy components from Golfsmith and follow their instructions to the letter.  Sometimes with good results, but often I was mystified by the lack of expected performance.  I began reading serious publications.   I discovered that I was what real professional clubmakers and clubfitters call a “cut-and-glue” man. I was determined to do better.

Quest for Improvement and Certification

I joined the Professional Clubmakers’ Society, and began their rigorous certification program.  After considerable studying, I took a month-long written exam, featuring several hundred very technical questions.  Fortunately, it was an open book exam, and it was from searching various sources that I began to learn and understanding clubmaking.  After submitting the exam, I waited a couple of weeks for the score. If I passed (80%), then I got to undertake the second part of the exam:  the skills portion.  I passed comfortably.  The skills portion was demanding, but, instructional (Go figure!). I was successful, earning the designation PCS “Class A” Golf Equipment Professional.    During this test, I had discovered just how little I knew and how poor my equipment had been.  In fact I had to borrow a frequency machine and an accurate swingweight machine from a Yakima clubmaker in order to complete the test.  I passed with ease.

After passing, the first thing I did was to acquire good equipment, including a frequency machine, an accurate swingweight machine and an excellent loft and lie machine.  What a difference training and good tools make! 

In 2003, I attended a special Clubfitters School at the PCS.  I then attended the by-invitation-only Golfworks Masters School in 2004.  I learned a considerable amount from Ralph Maltby and the other eight attendees, and passed the course, earning the designation Golfworks Master Clubmaker.  Looking for more still more knowledge, I joined the Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals (AGCP) in 2008.  I took another marathon exam and earned their highest designation:  Level 10 Clubfitter.  This organization has taught me the most.  While my certifications are extensive, I still continue to learn.

I recently retired from 40 years of teaching mathematics and statistics at CWU, building a home on the outskirts of Ellensburg, with a separate golf shop! If you haven't visited me yet, please do so.  I have a complete fitting studio with launch monitor, a good hitting bay and video capabilities as well as an indoor and outdoor putting green and wedge range.

My Qualifications

Somewhat like you will see in a physician’s office, here are my qualifications/certifications:

  • Assoc. of Golf Clubfitting Professionals (AGCP) Level 10 Qualified & Certified – Retail (Highest level)

  • PCS “Class A” Clubmaker

  • Golfworks Master Clubmaker

  • Wishon Gold/MOI Certified clubmaker/clubfitter

  • Don Trahan Swing Surgeon Certified Fitter (one of only two on the West Coast)

  • Golf Digest Rated Fitter 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

  • Fujikura Charter Dealer

  • GCA (Golf Clubmakers Association) Accredited

  • Eidolon/SCOR Certified Wedge Fitter

  • Swing Science Fitting Center

  • True Length Technology Fitter

  • KBS Certified fitter

  • SeeMore Certified fitter and Instructor

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