NCGA Golf

FALL 2017

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32 FALL 2017 | NCGA.ORG C L U B P R O F I L E As he speaks, it's impossible not to notice the thin, rectangular sign over his left shoulder, affixed to the office wall. The "Haggin Oaks Social Media Marketing Initiative Chart" includes references to Yelp and Facebook, Zulu and Google, Flickr and YouTube. Put another way: Morton, even at 77, remains ever adaptable. "You have to be very open-minded to be able to change with these next eras," he says. "No matter how smart you are, no matter how much education you have or how lucky you are, you're never fully prepared for the changes. It's just totally different." This begins to explain the enduring suc- cess of Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, in some ways an unremarkable 36-hole layout in the heart of Sacramento. The courses, including one designed by storied architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, will not surface in Top 100 rank- ings. The practice range is barren in places, with abundant brown patches and the hum of freeway noise as a steady soundtrack. In many other ways, Haggin Oaks is stag- geringly remarkable – stirring the senses with what Director of Player Development Tom Morton (Ken's son) says visitors have called a "golf carnival." K en Morton Sr., born the same year as Jack Nicklaus, sits in his modest office tucked into one remote corner of the Haggin Oaks clubhouse. He talks fondly about the course's rich history, of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and Sam Snead playing there in the 1930s. Morton clearly cherishes golf's past. For 60 years, Ken Morton Sr. and his sons have made Sacramento's Haggin Oaks Golf Complex an institution. BY RON KROICHICK

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