Michael Block’s Shank Turns Into the Best Coaching Moment of the Year
By Joshua Min
PGA Professional Michael Block was doing something that 99.999% of golfers could never dream of — he was in contention deep into the 2nd round of the 2023 PGA Championship.
And then on the 5th hole, Michael Block did something that 99.999% of golfers can completely relate to.
The 46-year-old PGA Professional from Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, hit a stone cold shank off the tee on the par-3.
At PGA.com, we’re certainly not in the business of celebrating misfortunes, but hearing Block speak about how he overcame this mishap provides one of the best coaching moments we’ve heard all year.
“I had the same swing I've had all week,” Block said. “I love hitting a baby draw with my 8-iron. I've done it well all week and all of a sudden we've all been there, done that, and we look up, and I'm like ‘oh my goodness.’
"The ball was just going off, somehow hit the tree, almost killed somebody, and then comes off and goes in the deep rough, and I was actually fortunate enough to make a double bogey after that, after just making a bogey on the hole before being in the middle of the fairway with a 60-degree wedge in my hand.”
Block was fortunate that the ball did not land out of bounds. Still reeling from the mishit, his bad luck continued when his second shot landed in the greenside bunker. Block was not able to get up and down and would settle for a double-bogey 5 after missing a 24-foot putt for bogey.
Block bounced back from the double bogey debacle with four straight pars to finish the day, shooting an even-par 70, which matched his first-round score. He was tied for 13th place when he finished, a place that is sure to improve with windy conditions expected in the afternoon.
“A lot of people let it affect them, and my big thing is to spiral upwards, which is what I really try to do, but I used to all the time spiral downwards,” he said. “I've learned how to start going forward rather than going backwards, and it's been a huge help for me in the game of golf, which as you know, can go sideways very quickly.”