If you're just a guy, if you're just somebody, guy, girl, doesn't matter, who plays golf, and maybe you're good at it, maybe some people in the audience are PGA professionals, you work at a golf course, you work at a golf club, and I know several.
The best story that came out of the PGA Championship was Michael Block. PGA Championship is run by the PGA of America, it's not the PGA Tour, and many people don't know that those two entities are absolutely separate. PGA of America are a bunch of club professionals. If you are a member at a country club, there are several PGA professionals on staff at a country club. They give lessons, they run the pro shop, they don't play as much golf as you think, they do other things, they make sure the golf course runs properly, and they have a tournament every year, and the top, I think it's 20 finishers from those, from that tournament, qualify into the field at the PGA Championship. It's just like how many amateurs are playing in the U.S. Open, how many people have to qualify, just, you know, grinder players who come from every tour get to qualify for the U.S. Open. So there are a whole bunch of just regular dudes playing in the PGA Championship, and Michael Block is the head golf professional at a public course in Southern California, and it's a good one. He charges 150 bucks an hour for lessons, which is, I think, a pretty good, pretty nice rate.
I mean, if the lessons are great, it's economical, to be honest, but I mean, that's an expensive rate, to be honest, right? And he finished in the top 15. He made a hole-in-one yesterday playing with Rory McIlroy. He just slam dunked a seven iron from about 150 yards straight in the hole.
I mean, just an absolute dream weekend. John Marina, director of golf, head professional, old Chatham, past president of the North Carolina or the PGA of America Carolina section. He joins us on the Adam Gold show. Sir, as you're watching yesterday and Michael Block is doing, or really all week because he was featured all week because he was in the mix, as you're watching that, what is going through your mind?
Adam, how are you? Thanks for having me. It was absolutely awesome to watch, you know, as you were describing what PGA professionals do. We, you know, merchandise and we give lessons and we run tournaments and if we're fortunate enough, we get to play once a week. Um, you know, but working on your game is, you know, not something that we can do religiously and to watch Michael do what he did yesterday on that stage with, uh, the players he was playing with and, and certainly playing with and better than most of the superstars that we get to watch every week was absolutely phenomenal and inspiring.
John Marino is joining us here. He's from old Chatham right here in Chatham County, North Carolina, about 25, 30 minutes from where I'm sitting right now. So just real quick, personally, how, how much golf do you play now? Your situation is probably different from his because his is a public course and he has a lot other, a lot of other things that he has to do to keep that place running. But how much golf do you get to play as a head pro? You know, here at old Chatham, I'm pretty fortunate.
I've been here for 22 years. And one of the things we established early on, and I learned this early in my career from the club that I worked at as an assistant before I came to old Chatham was playing was important. Um, play with your members, uh, work on your game. And, uh, it's an important part of what we do. You know, we wear so many hats, but, you know, I think our members really do look up to us when we play well. And I think it's really important. So we encourage it for our assistance, uh, to, to play in practice. And, uh, I, I try to play once or twice a week.
Try, which is not exactly what the guys who are paid millions of dollars, uh, to do this for a living, uh, have to do. You have to do, they have to play a lot more than that. So what is it when, when Michael block does what he does, and again, a top 15 finish, um, where he gets to play in next year's PGA, cause he's exempt into that event next year. He doesn't have to finish in the top 20 of the PGA, uh, you know, of America championship. Um, what does that do for whether it's not you, but maybe some of the assistance, the younger assistance, uh, at old Chatham and those people around the country, it gives them hope, you know, every time we tee it up in a tournament or with our members, you know, we want to play our best. Uh, certainly there are guys that play, have played collegiately and then crossed over and become a, uh, a golf professional and gotten on my side of the counter, if you will, right. That are really great talents. You know, we have some of the best playing professionals in the Carolinas in the United States. And, uh, we have over 2100 golf professionals. The Carolina section is North and South Carolina, and we are the largest section and we have a lot of great players that plan our section.
I worked up in New York area in the met section. There's a lot of great players that come out of there. Um, and it is, it gives you hope. And every time you tee it up in an event, you know, we work hard on our games and we, we play in practice to, to win. And, uh, you know, you, you dream of that opportunity that Michael had this week and to go there and do what he did, you know, he didn't go there, uh, thinking he's just going to be happy to be there. You know, he wanted to play well. He's a, he's done well.
He's been the playing professional, I believe nine times in the, uh, Southern California section. So he had some game he can play golf and he really, he showed it this week. So what does, and I don't know how well, you know, Michael or know of his situation, but what does the tied for 15th place check for $288,000 do for Michael block? You know, it changes his life. I mean, obviously the money is fantastic and, you know, that's, that'll make him feel pretty comfortable this year. Uh, he works hard. He's, like you said, he teaches, uh, he's on his feet all day long. He's probably given eight to 10 lessons. And I would imagine he's exempt. He got an exemption, uh, a sponsor's exemption at the next week.
Yes, he did. So he's not going to teach, you know, next week, but, you know, I'm sure his calendar is booked already with, uh, a lot of lessons and people want to meet him and play and, and, and learn from him. And, you know, and that's part of the business too. I think if you're a good player, people want to take lessons from you and he showcased that. So, you know, people are going to, uh, you know, seek him out for, for his knowledge and expertise in, in teaching and hopefully he can make, uh, grow the game and make golfers better. Can John Marina from old Chatham is joining us here as a PGA professional there past president of the Carolina section of the PGA of America. What can he charge? Like, you know, two 25 for lessons now, or is it, does he have to stay at one 50? He probably can up his rate for sure.
I seem pretty home. He seemed pretty humble. So maybe you won't, but, uh, it is, it is phenomenal. I mean, you know, I think he was describing, he's like, I don't work on my game. I don't, you know, I don't do that. So he must have just some, some raw talent that he just is, he looked comfortable in the skin all week.
He didn't look flustered one bit. Um, it was, it was fun to watch. And again, it gives me hope, uh, when I, when I go and tee it up. All right.
Well, uh, you know, if you need, if you ever need a caddy for any of these, John, I'm available, uh, playing with Justin Rose and Rory, Rory McIlroy, uh, apparently, I mean, I mean, I don't really know either guy personally, but I know people who do two great gentlemen, uh, who I'm sure made it pretty comfortable for Michael block, but what about making the hole in one paired with Rory McIlroy? What, I mean, I don't, how do you process that? That is, that is absolutely phenomenal. I, I left work, I came home and I turned on the television literally when the ball was in the air and it hit. And I'm like, where did it go? And they showed the cup and it looked damaged. That's like, he made a hole in one. Um, you know, playing with Rory and Justin Rose, probably the two nicest players and gentlemen on the PGA tour.
I mean, there's some great guys out there, but I've been fortunate to meet both of them and you couldn't ask for better playing partners in that situation. Um, you know, the crowds are big with Rory and Justin, and certainly that can take on a whole life of its own. Um, you know, making that hole in one and Rory really actually confirming that you made it. Uh, cause I don't think he even knew Michael knew that he made it. He said he didn't know. Pretty cool.
Unbelievable stuff. Well, uh, again, if you need a caddy next year, I'm, uh, you're right. Absolutely. Uh, John Marino, old Chatham golf, uh, golf club, director of golf, past president, PGA of America, Carolina section. Uh, I appreciate your time, sir. It's good to, uh, good to talk with you. I don't know how long it's been since we've talked. It's been a while.
It has been. So, uh, we'll talk again. I appreciate your time. Yes, sir. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-22 16:57:39 / 2023-05-22 17:02:15 / 5