Michael Block: The club pro set for a potentially life-changing payout after PGA Championship fairytale

Michael Block: The club pro set for a potentially life-changing payout after PGA Championship fairytale


The PGA Championship has been a block party all week, but the man who is at the center of the festivities isn't done yet.

Michael Block, a 46-year old club pro from California who teaches at a public golf course, has been training some of the biggest names in the game on New York’s Oak Hill East Course, a notoriously difficult and challenging course.

Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club’s own Head Professional shot a third consecutive 70 on Saturday, his third even-par round. He was tied for eighth with 18 holes to go, six shots back of the leader, Brooks Koepka, who is a four-time major winner.

In his wake is a who's-who of the golf elite: Dustin Johnson (for Dustin Morikawa), Jordan Spieth (for Jordan Spieth), Jon Rahm (for Justin Thomas), and Phil Mickelson for Phil Mickelson.

Block was one shot ahead of Rory McIlroy in the final round, though initially he did not think he would be walking with the four-time grand champion.

Are you serious? Block was stunned when he learned who his partner would be in a video that the PGA Tour posted on Twitter.

Block was followed by McIlroy as he stripped his first tee-shot down the fairway, just another day of overwhelming partisan support in pursuit of McIlroy's history.

No PGA Professional in the 105-year history of the PGA Championship has ever placed inside the top 10. Since 2005, Steve Schneiter was the last PGA professional to finish in the top 40.

Block has been on a rollercoaster ride this week but is determined to enjoy every moment.

After his third round, he said to reporters, 'I will look back and I will say I am glad you enjoyed it.'

I've learned to enjoy every moment. Sit back, relax, and take it all in because life moves fast. You'll be 60 and retired before you know it. Watch the videos and you will remember the best time of your life.

"I'm going sit back and relax as much as possible with my family and friends at the house that we rented, and watch all the videos tonight. I'll also see my new Instagram followers." It's crazy, it has been awesome.

Contender for hire

Sunday's winner will take home $3.15m of the $17.5m total prize pool. Block's largest cash-in? $75,000. Earned at the Club Professional National Championships in 2014.

According to CBS Golf, Block would earn $545,000 if he were to finish eighth. Even a 30th-place finish would net him $110,000.

If Block continues his excellent play on Sunday, it could be a life-changing payout. It is a far cry compared to the sums that he earns teaching golf in California. Block's PGA Tour profile states that he can be hired for $125 per 45-minute session. However, during a CBS walk and talk after his third round he informed the viewers of an increase in price.

Block told CBS' Trevor Immelman, 'Actually it costs $150 an hour. It hasn't even been updated.'

'I've given a few lessons and I've discovered that the people with whom I enjoy hanging out are those to whom I give lessons. I used to say yes to everyone for the first 10-15 years of my teaching career because I wanted to save money, raise two boys and get along with my spouse.

"I've had the good fortune to be able to play golf well over the past couple of years, and to earn enough money that I no longer have to spend all day on the range." Now I usually give two or three lessons per week to people I enjoy being around.

Teaching is only one of many tasks a club professional performs. Many of these do not even involve golf. Block says he only hits a bucket worth of balls per week.

You deal with 600 personalities. Block said, "You've got a lawyer who tells you how to grow the grass and an accountant who says that your burger isn't cooked properly."

"That's just me being myself. That's my goal ...'