Check out this introductory video to learn more about Mike Naton's career from those who know him best!
So unassuming is Mike Naton, the casual golf fan might not know he is the most decorated local amateur — winning more majors that anyone in Syracuse District Golf Association history.
He’s been a champion on the links for decades. Naton, a 1978 Bishop Ludden grad, twice competed in the New York State high school tournament and also played linebacker two years for the Gaelic Knights.
He captured his first crown jewel (the Herald Amateur) in 1982.
At the time, he was a collegian at Western Kentucky and co-captain with roommate Kenny Perry, a future PGA and Champions Tour standout. They remain close friends.
The likeable Naton, a two-time Ohio Valley all-conference selection, comes from good athletic stock. The late Pete Naton, Mike’s father, was a catcher at Holy Cross who made it to the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates and later won the 1989 Herald Senior crown.
Mike won 12 individual majors — five District titles (1982, ’89, ’95, ’96, 2001), four Herald Amateurs (’82, ’85, ’93, ’99), three Gerry Ashe Memorials (’86, ’99, 2001) — before turning 55. Three times over a 20-year span, he won two of the District’s three crown jewels.
Four times (’82, ’85, ’93, ’99) Naton was named District Player of the Year.
He won a playoff against Hall of Famer Alan Foster in the 2016 Post-Standard Senior, his Sr. debut.
He successfully defended his Sr. title in 2017 and ’18, only the third player to win that event three consecutive times. Also in 2017, he teamed with Don Christian to capture the Sr. Best-Ball title…and in 2009 – teaming with Dave Smith - won the district 2-ball championship. Mike was selected District Sr. Player of the Year in 2016 and ’17.
Winner of the Tuscarora club championships 12 times plus two Foxfire and one Bellevue cub championships, Naton remains among the area’s premier players — one who has played on both Mitchell and Sovik Cup teams in the same season and been named to 30 Cup teams overall.
Naton — with former Herald Senior champ Vic Johnson — founded Restaurant Profit Systems in 1982. Mike remains its president.
Mike and Marcia Naton have three children, two grandchildren and live on Onondaga Hill.
Universally respected as a Hall of Famer for years, Mike Naton now becomes a member of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.