Michael Block has become one of the best stories in golf, but his meteoric rise following his performance at the PGA Championship has been no surprise to those who have known the club professional for nearly two decades.
Aside from Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, no place was buzzing more this past weekend than the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California — Block's home course.
The club's restaurant was packed throughout the weekend as members watched Block make his first cut in a major and, like Block has said, they are all still riding the wave of the memorable moment. There's also been a flurry of media request, phone calls for lessons and people clamoring for merch from the club.
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"We've become a big family around here. All the players and employees, we've all been around a long time and it's no surprise to any of us," Matthew Donovan, general manager of Arroyo Trabuco, told USA TODAY Sports. "Mike, we all love him and I think we're all crying right now."
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Block "came with the place" after Arroyo Trabuco opened in 2004, Donovan said, meaning he has spent lots of time around the staff and members of the course as he became a club professional in Mission Viejo. Donovan described him as the most generous person you'll meet.
"He's just like a saint. He's just a true friend with everybody he meets," Donovan said. "That's just the way he is with everybody. The staff. The golf course maintenance crew. He knows some PGA Tour pros. He treats everybody the same way. He's just so likable."
Donovan was in Mission Viejo for the first two rounds of the PGA Championship, but once Block made the cut, he said he had to get to Rochester to see him finish the tournament. Donovan was there to see Block's immaculate hole-in-one in the final round, but Arroyo Trabuco erupted in celebration and chants watching it over 2,000 miles away from Oak Hill.
When Donovan returned to Arroyo Trabuco Tuesday, he was met with a frenzy of media and reporters wanting to know about the course's reaction. He also learned how busy the club had been since he left; its store sold out of their logo shirts by Monday, and there was a line of people trying to get any sort of merchandise.
"They're asking us do we have an online shop," Donovan said. "We're gonna probably set up an online shop for sales. We're telling people we just didn't know this was going to happen. Let us get up off the ground and get it together.
"We got hit by lightning, it seems."
Donovan and Block said the course has been busy in recent years, and it continues to be busy following Block's PGA Championship performance. However, there's been an influx of calls from people wondering about getting golf lessons from Block.
But anyone hoping to get lessons from Block will have to wait or may already be out of luck. Donovan said Block books his own lessons, "so he can be selective if he wants to." Block also typically teaches junior golfers to help "grow the game of golf."
But Block's return to Southern California is up in the air. After the PGA Championship, he flew to Fort Worth, Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club, which begins Thursday. He was also invited to the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto June 6 - 11.
Donovan said the club is anxious to see Block's next tournaments and he "can do whatever he wants" when deciding when to come back.
But Block can't wait to get back.
"I've seen videos. It looks amazing. It looks really cool," Block said about Arroyo Trabuco in a press conference Tuesday. "I can't wait to get back there and celebrate with everybody that's there working while I'm out here living the dream."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Golfers rush to Michael Block's home course in California for lessons: 'We got hit by lightning'2023-05-25T19:53:31Z dg43tfdfdgfd