Prior to the PGA Championship, the only people in golf who knew the name Michael Block were the members and clientele of the course where he works, Arroyo Trabuco in Mission Viejo, California, his fellow PGA section members, and golf geeks. After his performance in the PGA Championship, every golf fan knows his name.
For three days, Block mesmerized the golfing world as he shot even-par each day to land a spot in the top 10 entering the final round, where he would be paired with Rory McIlroy. Block’s dream week continued when he aced the par-3 15th hole, sending everyone into a frenzy, and even received a hug from McIlroy. He finished in a tie for 15th place and secured a place in next year’s PGA Championship.
Block’s epic performance has several meanings, one of which is the seemingly impossible (or at least improbable) may not be so impossible, after all. Although Block somewhat downplayed his accomplishment by saying this is how he normally plays when his mind is free (calling it “Blocky golf”), what he did is remarkable. It also means that those of us who teach golf for a living can really play the game at a level that commands respect from our students – although perhaps not to Block’s ability, but the point stands. It also means that someone with a dream can really accomplish that dream if he or she puts in the blood, sweat and tears necessary. Finally, and perhaps most important, Block conducted himself in such a classy manner that showed you can still have success and be respectful and gracious. It’s a lesson that some athletes and other successful people should take to heart.