‘Why Not’ on a Golf Ball…The $200/hour Lesson Pro Revolt

“This year’s PGA Championship was a week-long party for Michael Block.”

So said CNN at the end of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Golf Course (par 70) in Rochester, New York, USA, on April 22. The report details the performance of Michael Block (47, USA), who was a favorite throughout the tournament as a club professional (an instructor who teaches members at a golf course) rather than a tour professional.메이저사이트

Block was the surprise star of the PGA Championship. An unknown quantity before the start of the tournament, he captured the local media’s attention as he went shot-for-shot with world-class pros like Girasung and never faltered. More attention was paid to Block than to the reigning major champion, Brooks Koepka (33-USA).

Born in 1976, Block, now 47, is the head pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course in Mission Viejo, California, USA. But how does a golf teacher, not a tour-card carrying professional golfer, get to play in one of the world’s major men’s golf tournaments?

The PGA Championship is organized by the lesson-professional-oriented Professional Golf Association of America (PGA of America), not the U.S. Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour. Originally, the PGA of America governed what is now the PGA Tour, but tour professionals demanded independence and a new organization called the PGA Tour was formed in late 1968. Naturally, the PGA Tour was reorganized to focus on players and the PGA of America on lesson professionals.

Despite the separation, the history of the PGA Championship, which began in 1916, remained intact. The PGA of America continued to honor the rights of its members by giving 20 club professionals working in the U.S. a spot in the PGA Championship each year. That’s how Block was able to qualify for the event.

This was Block’s fifth PGA Championship appearance, and he dominated the infamous Oak Hill course. He shot an even-par 70 in rounds one and two to make the cut in a tie for 10th place, then followed that up with an even-par round in round three to move into a tie for eighth place. “Block is on his way to writing a 70 miracle,” the local media said with excitement.

The icing on the cake was the final four rounds. Block started the day with two bogeys. Then came a “surprise” hole-in-one on the 151-yard 15th (par-3). His tee shot went straight into the hole like a dunk. It happened in the blink of an eye, so he didn’t even realize he had a hole-in-one. It wasn’t until he heard the roar of the gallery that he realized he had made a hole-in-one and was congratulated by his partner Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), who was all smiles.

After his hole-in-one on the final day, Block made three bogeys and finished the tournament in a tie for 15th place at 1-over par 281. No other major champion fared better than Block. Patrick Reed tied for 18th, Colin Morikawa tied for 26th, and Jordan Spieth (USA) tied for 29th.

Block earned $380,000 for the day. He also secured a spot in next year’s PGA Championship, which is awarded to the top 15 players in the tournament. Block said he usually receives about $160,000 for a 45-minute lesson on the golf course. However, he says, “I noticed that the amount was not updated. To be precise, I get paid $150 (about $200) an hour,” he said.

Block also made history as a lesson pro. The highest-placed club pro at the PGA Championship in the 21st century was Steve Schneider (60-Canada), who tied for 40th in 2005. “It was a surreal experience,” said Block, who had the word “Why Not” written on his golf ball during the tournament. I’m living a dream,” he said in tears.

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