A generation of younger fans knows him as that opinionated announcer on NBC golf telecasts, but to those who know the sport, Johnny Miller is much more than that. Perhaps no golfer had more influence on swing instruction of the 1970s as did Miller. With his strong lateral leg drive and reverse C finish propelling laser-straight iron shots, Miller’s swing became the standard for a decade. He won two major championships, the 1973 US Open at Oakmont, and the 1976 British Open at Royal Birkdale, along with 23 other PGA Tour victories. In the early 70s, Miller could rip off victories with stunning dominance, winning by such margins as 5, 6, 8, 9, and 14 strokes.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Miller first burst upon the national scene in 1966 at the US Open at Olympic Club. He finished in a tie for eighth, and his performance earned him a spot in the 1967 Masters. Speaking of the Masters, Miller and Tom Weiskopf engaged in an epic duel in 1975 against none other than Jack Nicklaus, in one of the most famous tournaments of all time. Nicklaus prevailed in the end, but Miller’s performance was worthy of victory in almost any other year. During the 1976-77 offseason, Miller spent much of his time chopping wood on his farm, and he says this likely caused a drop from his glory days. Despite no longer being one of the best in the game, Miller did go on to record seven more victories, the last in 1994 at the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Today Miller calls the action for NBC golf in a no-holds-barred format, and resides in Napa, California.