Steeton-based golf professional Nathan Stead is on short list for national award

Keighley News: Nathan Stead Nathan Stead

Steeton-based Nathan Stead has been nominated ahead of nearly 700 fellow professionals for a prestigious national award.

The 34-year-old Shipley Golf Club pro is among a shortlist of three for the Tartan Golf International Partner of the Year award.

Stead, who first took up the game as a junior at Riddlesden Golf Club, admitted the recognition had come as a major surprise.

“I keep myself to myself and never thought I’d be nominated as I didn’t think many people knew who I was,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to receive this recognition.

“TGI Golf is known for being a group of high-calibre PGA professionals, so to be nominated from such a group of great pros is amazing.

”The accolade from one of Europe’s leading buying groups for golf professionals represents the top award at a prize ceremony on Tuesday, February 4 at Marriott Worsley Park near Manchester.

Criteria for the prize is based on all aspects of working as a club professional, including coaching, retailing and playing.

Stead said: “That’s what really nice about being nominated for the award in that it is for efforts in all areas of being a pro.

”Also on the shortlist for the honour is Andy Carlton (Paisley GC) and Carl Bianco (Woking GC).

The former Beckfoot School pupil’s main passion is coaching, and his lessons have proved popular with members at Shipley, whom he joined just over five years ago after starting out as an assistant at Otley, followed by a stint as professional at Queensbury.

His teaching base extends further afield, with players from across the county receiving tuition from him, including Yorkshire Girls.

“I enjoy teaching more than anything and seeing people improve and getting the best out of their swings,” he said.

On the playing front, he was part of TGI’s successful Ashworth Cup team and finished third in the Nike Barcelona Experience at Notts Holinwell.

Stead has also enjoyed a good year in business, saying: “Year-on-year my shop turnover has been pretty consistent but this year there has been an increase.

”Since first turning professional 14 years ago, he admits the retail side of his role has has become more challenging.

He said: “There is not as much money in running a pro shop now and you have to focus on different areas across the industry.

“Competition on the internet means you have to be more clued up on products and price, and be more aware of the personal touch.

”Shipley Golf Club manager Mike Brown expressed delight at Stead’s recognition.

He said: “Nathan is not one to blow his own trumpet but he is an extremely good coach and a model professional, who is always app-roachable and goes down well with the members.

“He is up against some tough competition but making the last three for a national award is a fantastic achievement.

”Top Bradford Union player Ian Martin, who works a TGI retail consultant, added: “In his local area he is a well-respected pro, is always willing to help his peers if they need help with stock or guidance and works extensively coaching in the community.

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