If you’re a golf fan, you probably heard about the amazing feat that Michael Block achieved at the PGA Professional Championship last week. Michael Block’s hole-in-one was made on the 15th hole, a 155-yard par-3 that required a precise and powerful shot. It was his first ace in a PGA event, and it helped him secure a spot in next year’s PGA Championship at Valhalla.
But how did he do it? What made his swing so effective and accurate? And what can we learn from his technique to improve our own golf game? In this article, we’ll analyze the key elements of Block’s swing, and then we’ll look at some of the other miracles that have happened in golf history.
The Anatomy of a Hole-in-One Swing
A hole-in-one is a rare and thrilling occurrence in golf. According to Golf Digest, the odds of an average golfer making an ace are about 12,000 to 1. For a professional golfer, the odds are much better, but still around 2,500 to 1. So what did Block do to beat the odds and nail his shot?
“The best shot of my life”
Michael Block’s hole-in-one was not only amazing, but also historic. First, he chose the right club for the distance and the wind. He used a TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 7-iron, which gave him enough loft and carry to cross 155 yards away to the flag. Later, Block states that he has been presented with a $50,000 offer for the club; however, he has not yet finalized the sale.
Next, he executed a smooth and balanced swing that generated enough speed and spin to control the ball. He maintained good posture and alignment throughout his swing, keeping his head still and his eyes on the ball. He swung back with a full shoulder turn and a slight wrist hinge, creating a wide arc and storing power. The ball speed was estimated to be between 110 and 150 mph. Block’s swing suits him perfectly. In one of Block’s videos, he said he would not teach just anybody Tiger’s or Rory’s swing because that’s just not going to happen. “You’ve got to be realistic with your capabilities and goals.”
Finally he got lucky. Even with a perfect swing, there’s no guarantee that the ball will go in the hole. It depends on factors like the bounce of the ball, the slope of the green, and the position of the pin. In Block’s case, he sent the golf ball sailing – without any bounce – and the ball dropped directly into the hole with full speed.
The result was a spectacular hole-in-one that stunned everyone watching. Block himself was speechless as he said in disbelief “No. No. No way”. He later said that it was “the best shot of my life”.
Top 5 Miracles in Golf History
Michael Block’s hole-in-one was certainly impressive, but it was not the only miracle that has happened in golf history. Here are some of the other shots that defied logic and probability:
Tiger Woods’ chip-in at the 2005 Masters
On the 16th hole of Augusta National, Woods faced a difficult chip shot from behind the green. He had to land his ball on a steep slope and let it roll down towards the hole, which was guarded by a ridge. He executed his shot perfectly, hitting his ball high and soft with a lot of spin. His ball landed on the slope, rolled down towards the ridge, paused for a moment on the edge of the cup, then dropped in for an incredible birdie. The crowd went wild as Woods pumped his fist and roared.
Jack Nicklaus’ putt at the 1986 Masters
At age 46, Nicklaus was chasing his sixth green jacket and his 18th major title. He trailed by four shots with nine holes to play, but mounted a remarkable comeback with birdies on holes 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, and 16th. On the 17th hole, he faced a 18-foot putt for birdie that would give him the outright lead. He stroked his putt with confidence and watched as it rolled towards the hole. It broke slightly to the right at the end and dropped in for an unbelievable birdie. Nicklaus raised his putter in triumph as he heard one of the loudest roars ever at Augusta.
Tom Watson’s chip-in at the 1982 U.S. Open
On the final hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links, Watson needed a birdie to win his first U.S. Open title over Jack Nicklaus. Watson’s chances seemed bleak and nearly impossible as the ball nestled deep into the rough off the green, with the challenging slope of the green running away from him. Later he decided to go for broke and try to hole out his chip instead of playing it safe and hoping for a putt. He hit his chip with perfect touch and spin, sending it flying onto the green. His ball bounced once, twice, then rolled into the hole. Watson finally won the U.S. Open, two strokes ahead of runner-up Jack Nicklaus.
Bob Tway’s bunker shot at the 1986 PGA Championship
On the final hole of Inverness Club, Tway trailed Greg Norman by one shot. He hit his approach shot into a greenside bunker, while Norman hit his onto the fringe of the green. It looked like Norman had the advantage, but Tway had other plans. He blasted his bunker shot out of the sand and watched as it flew towards the hole. It landed softly on the green and rolled into the cup for an astonishing birdie. Tway jumped out of the bunker and celebrated, while Norman could only shake his head.
Larry Mize’s chip-in at the 1987 Masters
In a sudden-death playoff against Greg Norman and Seve Ballesteros, Mize found himself in trouble on the second extra hole. He missed the green with his second shot, leaving him with a difficult chip shot from about 140 feet away. Finally he chose to use a 56-degree sand wedge and pitched the ball perfectly. His ball then bounced twice and rolled towards the hole with perfect speed and dropped in for an incredible birdie. Mize threw his arms up in disbelief as he won his first major title and denied Norman another chance at Augusta glory.
Luck and Skills
Michael Block’s hole-in-one was one of the most amazing shots ever seen in golf history. It showed us how a perfect golf swing can produce a perfect result. But it also reminded us how golf is a game of luck as well as skill, and how sometimes miracles do happen on the course. We hope you enjoyed this article, and learned something new about golf swing technique and golf history. If you want to improve your own golf swing, check out our blog for more tips and tricks.