b'OREGON NEWSincreased club costs and trouble Jerry Mowldsgetting tee times due to the golf boom.He advises new golfers to geteveryonesquality instruction but not to get fit for expensive clubs until theyve played a while. Even a good fitter has a hard favorite localtime fitting new players, who hardly ever stay with the first set because their swings change. Professional legend a fusser with my swing, and am alwaysclub-fitters are a new phenomenon.Like lush green fairway grass, his looking for a better way.love for golf grew gradually and his BY CANDY PUTERBAUGH He found his way career-wise,talent took root. At age 14his first At age 13, Jerry Mowlds begancalling it a natural progressionyear playing golfhe entered the working as a caddie in the summerfrom early on, culminating in hisOregon State Junior Championship, to avoid berry-picking. Little didbecoming head professional atqualified for the second flight and won. Columbia Edgewater Country Club forHe repeated that win the next year.he know that stepping onto his first17 years, then director of golf in 1991Playing on a high school golf team in fairway would lead to a full futureat the newly-opened Pumpkin RidgeVancouver where he grew up, he won in golf as a Top-100 teacher, PGAGolf Club. Retiring in 2014, hes stillthe Oregon State Junior Championship national golf professional of theteaching at both clubs. And still seeingas a senior.year, and well-known administrator. changes in the golf industry. Turning pro at 19, he worked as My parents werent golfers so IAs a young golfer he played witha club cleaner, shop attendant, and knew nothing about the game butwhat he described as beautiful, finely- then assistant pro at Royal Oaks wanted to make some money, andpolished persimmon wood clubs, nowCountry Club. One year, to make ends I hated picking berries! he said. Ia collectors item. meet, he worked days at the club and caddied for three years, watchingPlayers might go lower becausenights running rides at Jantzen Beach good golfers closely to learnof new equipment but the talentAmusement Park.everything I could. I was intriguedlevel hasnt changed much, he said.An offer of a raise and longer that they could move the golf ball atMore college golfers are near the tophours lured him to Riverside Golf and will. Being a good mimic has helpedbecause theyre taught by teachingCountry Club in his early 20s. Playing me in my profession. pros long-term. Technology hasntwell, he earned his PGA Tour card in Jerry has never had a lessonproduced better swings or better1963, and played as a rabbit, jumping himself, but today uses what heplayers but brought up the averagefrom tour to tour.learned from those golfers. At 82, hestour-wise. Instead of 20 decent still teaching. The years have broughtplayers, there are 100. Technology has low scores and high praise. He is themainly helped technicians.most decorated PGA professional inJerry has seen other changes. the Pacific Northwest Section PGAsMore of the better athletes, who are history, winning its Teacher of the Yearbigger and stronger today, play golf. In Award plus being its only pro namedthe old days, the better athletes played the PGA of America Golf Professionalother sports.of the Year. Administratively, hesGreens are truer and better thanJerry Mowlds was the served at every level of the PGAthose of old. A good putter today willPGA Master Professional Chapter and Section. make most of their putts. instructor at the PGA After 70 years on the links, JerrysProfessionalism in golf is akin to anWEST Golf Academy at La still tinkering with his swing. Myentertainment business. High-levelQuinta Resort and Club in game isnt what I want now, and thatspros need personality.California for many years.frustrating, he says. Ive always beenThe few negative changes include 6GOLF OREGON|SEPT 2022'