Biggest mistake amateurs make? Michael Block says it’s this 8-word thought

Michael Block

Michael Block hits a tee shot last June.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ready. Aim. 


That, Michael Block says, is the biggest mistake amateurs make. 

Block? He’s a teaching pro, though after last year’s PGA Championship, and the final-round pairing with Rory McIlroy, and the final-round hole in one, and one of the highest club-pro finishes ever, and with the flood of opportunities that have popped up because of all that — golf with Max Verstappen and DJ Khaled, for example — he’s had to pause curing slices and fixing grips. But he’s still at Arroyo Trabuco, his club in Mission Viejo, Calif. 

He still instructs. 

So at the end of a conversation about his past year, a reporter was curious. 

“You’ve probably heard this one more than the PGA Championship question, but what is the biggest mistake amateurs make and what’s a simple, concrete fix they could make?”

The mistake got an eight-word answer. 

“They aim at the target,” Block said, “and they pray.”

His solution calls for some work.

Go to the range, Block said, and try to hit a draw. Then a cut. Then a straighter shot. 

“And then go to yourself and say, which one did I have to try really hard to do? OK, and then cross that one off and never try it again,” Block said. “And then the next one, go, which one did I have to try to do? And cross that one off. And then go, which one just happened naturally? Which one did I not have to try to do at all and it naturally came off in that way? 

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“Well, that shot, whatever it is — draw, fade, straight, or it could be any three of them —  but whichever one it is, commit to that and go play 18 holes of golf committed to it and say, I’m going to hit that shot the entire day no matter what the circumstance is and see what your score is.”

Does Block miss these types of questions, what with his newfound celebrity and all?

No and yes. He likes the spotlight. But he knows his job.

“I like it all,” Block said. “I mean, I love the playing aspect. I’m not a huge mechanics guy in the swing per se. I’m kind of more like a Freddie Couples thought — you know, I kind of let the body move how it moves. But I do really enjoy how to play the game, how to score. 

“And that’s why I have pretty good scores for honestly how s****y I hit the ball. I mean, I don’t hit it great, you know. But I really kind of, I think, learned the scoring aspect of the game and that’s what I’m living off of.”

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