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Two new assistant pros hired at New Richmond Golf Club

Waiting for the snow to melt are the club pros at the New Richmond Golf Club. Pictured in front is assistant club pro Ian Hessels. In back (l-r) are assistant club pro Nate Niles and head club pro Ross Johnson.

Two new assistant club professionals have been hired at the New Richmond Golf Club.

Filling the two positions are New Richmond native Nate Niles and Stillwater native Ian Hessels. Former assistant club pro Scott Cole was recently hired to be the new head club pro at Stoneridge Golf Club in Stillwater, Minn.
NRGC club professional Ross Johnson said two assistants were hired to offer more flexibility in scheduling. Hessels will be in charge of tournaments, while Niles will be in charge of the NRGC clubhouse.Niles and Hessels are both new to the club pro process, so they are at pre-apprentice status, according to Johnson. There are several levels they have to work through to earn their PGA pro status. First is a Player Ability Test, followed by a Professional Readiness Orientation. Then comes two levels of written tests. The final level is an oral interview at the PGA of America in Florida.
The two new employees have taken different routes to this position. Niles is a 2008 New Richmond High School graduate. He's stayed actively involved in golf, going through the UW-Stout golf management program. That included a year interning at the Georgia Golf Club in Athens, Ga., and another year interning at NRGC. Hessels spent nearly a decade playing professionally, first on the Nationwide Tour, then on the Dakotas Tour for the past five years. When Hessels joined the Nationwide Tour in 2004, Zach Johnson and Ben Curtis were the tour leaders. They both advanced to the PGA tour, winning some of the biggest tournaments on the tour. Johnson has also worked at courses in Bonita Springs, Fla., and at Dellwood Country Club in Dellwood, Minn.
Both of the new assistant pros will help Johnson in teaching the youth program at NRGC, which had more than 180 kids involved in each of the past two summers.“It wouldn't surprise me if we're in the top 10 percent nationally,” Johnson said of the huge number of kids involved in the youth program.When asked why he hired two assistants, Johnson was direct in his answer.“They were so good, I couldn't decide between the two,” he said.
Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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