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The Challengers Michael Block

  • Intense, drum-focused music begins.

    on screen text: Charles Schwab Presents

    Michael Block: I was never that great in high school. But I was kind of a late bloomer. I started playing a little better and better, but at no point was I like, “Hey, let's go turn pro and be on the PGA Tour.”

    on screen text: The Challengers. A series about people who QUESTION. ENGAGE. SUCCEED. Michael Block

    Michael Block: My name is Michael Block, I'm the head golf professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. I asked myself at an early age, “Are you good enough to be on the PGA Tour?” And I realized, thank goodness that no, I wasn't. Because for me to be successful on the tour, I needed to be top 100 in the world, and I really didn't feel like I had that game. I just knew that I really wanted to be in the golf business, and I needed to go to the golf course every day of my life. I didn't want to be anywhere else but at a golf course. So my goal was to be the head pro at a great course, and I've been lucky enough to do that.

    Michael Block: Arroyo Trabuco opened in '04, and for, I'd say, almost eight years, I helped the people here to open this club up. I only ran a Tuesday morning skins game for the employees, and that's all my golf was. And then once the club was up and going, I had a lot of people going, "Michael, you need to get your PGA membership and plan these tournaments. You're just throwing money out your sunroof." So I got my PGA membership at age 35 and immediately qualified for the national championship for the PGA Club Pros—312 pros from across the country, and I was lucky enough to win it my first year out. And it just kind of opened up the floodgates. So I shoot some course records or whatever it might be, and everyone's always like, "Hey, Michael, you need to go get on the tour. You need to go on the tour.”

    on screen text: Do I want to have a six-foot putt to pay for my mortgage?

    Michael Block: And I’m like, “Do I want to have a six-foot putt to pay for my mortgage?” And I figured out very early, I am much more comfortable at a golf course, being social with the members, teaching. And I know that that's my path in the golf world.

    Music stops.

    [Exclaiming after sinking a putt] “Oh, there we go.”

    Rhythmic but less intense music begins.

    So a lot of people think that PGA Professionals such as myself, who run golf courses or teach, can't really play golf. But it's so far from the truth. Every year, if you're able to qualify, you can go play against the Rory McIlroys and the Jordan Spieths and the Tiger Woods.

    on screen text: 2023 PGA Championship Oak Hill Country Club

    Tournament announcer: Now on the tee from California, PGA Professional, Michael Block.

    Michael Block: Obviously, the PGA Professional, we don't make nearly the money or have the fame, which they deserve. PGA Tour players are out on the road 35 weeks a year. Club professionals get to be at their house with their family year-round. And I'm lucky enough to where I've been able to kind of do both. I dabble in the PGA Tour world, but there's nothing absolutely better for me than to get in the cart, to have my puppy, Messy, jump in there with me. I love being with my family. And I'm lucky enough to have two boys, Ethan and Dylan, that love the game as much as I do. I always tell my boys and my wife, I say, "Golf gave us this; that golf gave us the food that we have on the table, and it gave us the house we live in." So the sport's been very good to me, and I love giving back.

    [After a shot] We’ll take it.

    Michael Block: It's sad to say, but also fantastic. Literally every day, 365 days a year, evolves around the game of golf.

    on screen text: When we have a day off we go play golf.

    Michael Block: My family, when we have a day off, we go play golf. We don't go to the beach. We don't go to the mall. We go to the golf course. That's just what the Block family does.

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    Dylan Block: [Laughing] Messy’s on my side.

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    Michael Block: I love being a club professional. And I feel like we're lucky enough where we get to still go out there and compete against the best in the world. But the PGA Tour pros, they're not afraid of me, a 47-year-old club pro. They're so good. It is unbelievable. For me to just even be able to compete against them is a dream, and I'm very lucky to do that. But I've always lived in this way where, “Why not?” Why can't it be me that hits that low chip, lands just short, and checks to a foot, and I get up and down, and I qualify for an event? Why can't that be me? [Fans cheer.]

    Seth Waugh I am Seth Waugh. I'm the CEO of the PGA of America at the PGA Championship.

    on screen text: 2023 PGA Championship 15th Hole

    Seth Waugh Michael's hole in one on 15, it was extraordinary.

    TV announcer: A hole in one for Michael Block!

    Seth Waugh The cheers were louder for the everyman than they were for the champion. And the game needed something like that.

    on screen text: Arroyo Trabuco Club House

    Seth Waugh: Shining a light on PGA Professionals and what our 30,000 do every day and showcased and why we're the gold standard in the game. There's just so many good young players coming up, and I think Michael has given them even more belief and inspiration.

    Onscreen text: Michael Tothe Tournament Director Charles Schwab Challenge

    Michael Tothe: We have an exemption available, and we'd love for you to be at Fort Worth this week.

    Michael Block: PGA Professionals have been very supportive. I've gotten so many emails and personal phone calls and letters saying their clubs have been in their office with dust on them, and they're starting to play again. And they're playing in their metro events, their chapter events, their section events, and hopefully going to get a top 20 and play in a Major. It's so cool. The PGA America has given me so much. If I can just repay them in any way possible, I'm going to.

    Seth Waugh Because it isn't about the 18th green for us. It's about leaving this game better than we found it.

    on screen text: ASK QUESTIONS. BE ENGAGED.

    [Charles Schwab logo] Own your tomorrow

    Michael Block: If my boys are in a PGA Tour event, or even better, a major championship, I can retire. I could basically just put the clubs to the side and be the happiest guy in the world.

    on screen text: [Charles Schwab logo] [PGA Tour logo] The Official Investment Firm ©2024 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. (0224-4P5E)

    Music stops.

    On screen text: THANKS TO Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club Dylan Block Geoff Cram Davis Holman

Can I teach and compete?

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