Michael Block of Mission Viejo, the Head Golf Professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo , has been named 2022 PGA of America Professional Player of the Year.
The 46-year-old Block captured the SCPGA Four Ball Championship, the Summer Meeting and Team Stableford Championship, the SCPGA Second Championship and came within an inch of holing his approach at the 18th hole for an eagle that would have won Event No. 3 of the PGA Tournament Series.
That only delayed his celebration by 20 minutes, as Block birdied the first playoff hole to beat Vince Drahman to earn the $5,000 first prize and wrap the title and his PGA Professional Player of the Year award.
“It was an absolute perfect knockdown 8-iron,” said Block, who finished sixth, fourth and first in the three PGA Tournament Series events. “I have a lot of confidence in that shot. I hit the same shot with the same club to a foot (earlier in the week).
“I have a pretty good record in playoffs,” Block said. “My mindset is I’m going to win it.”
Block recently was named the 2022 Rolex Southern California PGA Player of the Year for the ninth time in his career and fifth straight. He claimed the 2022 Section Championship, his third time winning the Southern California PGA Professional Championship.
“Block, who not only was a fixture atop the leaderboards in Southern California, also took his game across the country and amassed 1007.5 points to sit atop this year’s points list and won the award over the best competitive PGA Professionals,” a spokesperson for the PGA of America said.
In September of 2022, Block played for the U.S. team at the 30th PGA Cup, contested at FoxHills Club & Resort in Surrey, England. There, he rallied from a four-hole deficit in the opening singles match on the final day to earn a crucial point to help the U.S. team win its first overseas PGA Cup since 2009.
Block recorded a 4-1 record in the event to help the U.S. win by a score of 15.5-10.5.
It was simply another landmark in Block’s standout career.
“This was one of my last bucket list dreams,” Block said of earning the PGA of America Professional of the Year Award. “That’s why I made it a priority to make it to Florida to seal it up. Once I did have the lead, I didn’t want to lose it again as I had in the past by not playing in the Tournament Series events.
“I have a very supportive management at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. There’s no way I could have done this and been gone as much as I am from home if I didn’t have my wife and kids’ support as well.
“It’s an awesome honor. Wow . . . especially when you think there are 29,000 pros around the country. I know I’m 46, but I think overall this was the best year of my career. And I really feel my best golf may be yet to come.”
Block is only the second national PGA Professional Player of the Year from the Southern California Section since the award was established in 1984, joining 1999 winner Robin Freeman, then an assistant pro at Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage.
Sandra Changkija, the PGA Assistant Professional at ChampionsGate Golf Resort in Davenport, Fla., collected 725 points to earn her first career national Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Award. The 32-year-old also won North Florida PGA Woman Player of the Year Award.
Bob Sowards, the PGA Director of Instruction at Kinsale Golf and Fitness Club in Powell, Ohio, claimed his second straight PGA Professional Senior of the Year Award after winning the PGA of America Player of the Year Award in 2003-05 and 2014, and his eight national PGA awards are the most in the history of the association.