Michael Block has been a legend among PGA Pros for a long time. After his performance at the 105th PGA Championship, his legendary status now spans the world of golf.
The head pro from Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, was a breath of fresh air the entire week at Oak Hill. His “every man” personality and palpable swagger (did you see the RAW hat?) captivated viewers, commentators and spectators alike. Beyond that, he displayed something we at TaylorMade have always known, Michael Block golfs his ball.
With rounds of 70-70-70-71 (+1), he finished the week T15 and recorded the best finish by a club pro in the PGA Championship in more than 30 years. His historic performance also earned him Low Club Professional honors, which Block may have prophesied earlier in the week.
“The last thing I’d like to accomplish is winning low club pro here at the PGA Championship,” Block said before competition began on Thursday. “I’ve played in a lot of these, this is the fifth one, and that is last thing I need to check off in my life.”
The reigning 2022 PGA Player of the Year has long been considered one of the most accomplished players in the PGA of America. His list of accolades include nine-time Southern California PGA Player of the Year, three-time Southern California PGA Champion and 2014 PGA Professional Champion. He’s also a member of the exclusive 59 club, having turned in that round to set the course record at Arroyo Trabuco.
“I’m way more comfortable at this stage,” says Block. “Half the players (on TOUR) call me ‘Blockie’ now, and I feel like I know a lot of the guys out there, which makes it easier to be myself and just play ‘Blockie golf.’”
Having made 24 PGA TOUR starts, he knows that “Blockie golf” is good enough to compete at this level. He showed that this week at Oak Hill. No moment better personified the week than his electric hole-in-one at the 151-yard par 3 in the final round. Paired with Rory McIlroy, Block flushed a Tour Preferred MC 7-iron that only had eyes for the cup. Dunked it. It was the perfect exclamation point on a magical run week that he won’t soon forget – neither will all of golf.
With his T15 finish, Block has secured his spot in the field for the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla and cashed the largest check of his professional career ($288,333 ).
“I don’t go in pretending I’m a TOUR player anymore,” he continues, although he could have fooled us all. “I’m a 46-year-old club pro cruising there feeling lucky to play another major, but knowing I have the game to hold up when the spotlight is on.”
He certainly does.
The game also runs in the family, as both of his sons, Dylan and Ethan, are competing for Tesoro High School at this month’s California state championship. In addition, Block will be teeing it up with Dylan in the final stage of U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying at Hillcrest Country Club at the end of May.
“He’s got all the speed to compete on these big ballparks, and it would be a dream to be in the field together at the U.S. Open,” Block says.
Maybe there’s one more thing to check off the list.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MICHAEL BLOCK
- Low Club Professional at the 2023 PGA Championship
- T15 is the best finish by a PGA Professional in the PGA Championship since 1988
- He was the only club professional to make the cut at Oak Hill
- Automatically Qualifies for 2024 PGA Championship
- He aced the 151-Yard 15th with a Tour Preferred MC 7-iron, it was his first. tournament hole-in-one
- Made the largest leap in Official World Golf Ranking history, jumping more than 3,000 spots
- 25 career PGA TOUR starts
- Head Professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California
- Stealth Plus 9° Driver
- Stealth Plus 15° 3WD
- M5 18° 5WD – He calls it the “Eagle Maker.”
- Stealth UDI 4 iron
- Tour Preferred MC Irons (5-9 iron)
- MG3 46° PW
- MG2 (52°, 56°)
- MG3 TW Grind 60°
- RAW Hat
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