In The Swing At Tom’s Golf Shop

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - February 21, 2007
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Tom Hrdlicka: ‘I like dealing with golfers’
Tom Hrdlicka: ‘I like dealing with

Tom’s Golf Shop in Wahiawa offers many things to golfers, including computerized swing analysis, new and used clubs, repairs, custom fitting, and lessons. Owner Tom Hrdlicka also accepts trade-ins in good condition.

“We try to fit people into their clubs,” Hrdlicka says about reshafting and customizing the grip. “We check their swings because we like everybody to play good. It’s a fun game and a game that you can be good at.”

One of his customers was a woman who came with her husband who’d suffered a stroke. Hdrlicka adjusted his clubs to be more upright.

As a member of the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation, Hrdlicka also offers lessons. He says most beginners’ mistake is to grip the club incorrectly.

“Ninety percent of the game is mental,” he added. “Most people think it’s physical.”

His 2,300 square-foot store carries most brands including Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, MacGregor, Wilson and Powerbuilt.

The Nebraska native is a retired Army command sargent major with division support command in the 25th infantry, and Hawaii was his last post. He liked it up in Wahiawa and he decided to stay in Hawaii. The scratch golfer did lots of repair work on clubs. He used to refinish persimmon wood clubs but since people aren’t using those clubs anymore, he isn’t called upon for that service.

That knack for repair and love of golf inspired him to open his shop on Oct. 1, 1981 in a 500-square-foot space. He’s expanded a couple of times, and he’s been located across from Schofield Barracks since in 1998. The Mililani resident says about 30 percent of his clientele are military.

“They say this is like coming into a candy store,” Hrdlicka explains. “When people come in, everyone in the store knows golf.”

One of his biggest challenges is to keep prices at a range where people can afford it, and he tackles that by providing good customer service with his two employees.

When he’s not working or golfing twice a week at Leileihua or the Ewa Beach Golf Club, he enjoys spending time with his wife of 54 years, Donna. Their daughter, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren are on the Mainland.

“I like to be around people,” notes Hrdlicka. “I like dealing with golfers, and I know a lot about golf.”

He also takes care of any repairs that need to be done at the PGA Champions Tour at Turtle Bay, where Fred Funk took the top spot this year, and the SBS LPGA Championship at Turtle Bay.

“Keep it fun!” Hrdlicka urges. Tom’s Golf Shop is located at 1640 Wilikina Drive. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 621-0911.

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