An Interview With Mike Miller (Pt. 1)
Mike Miller, a 19-year old amateur golfer from New York, was the subject of recent media attention from a number of sources. With good reason, I can add. The aspiring professional has been a force in Metropolitan (NY) Golf Association events since his junior days. In 2012, he became more than a curiosity when he won the USGA State Team Championship individual medal by eight strokes and led New York State to its first team championship by six blows. Miller recently placed third in the New Year’s Invitational in Florida and, after holing his final putt, answered a series of questions we posed.
1. Give us your name, age, height, weight, current occupation.
-Michael Miller, 20 , 165 pounds, 5′11
2. Walk us through your bag, from driver to putter, including favorite ball and any other equip ment/apparel you care to mention.
-Driver and 3 wood Titleist 913 -Hybrid Titleist 17 degree -Irons 3-pw Titleist 712s -Wedges Titleist 54 and 60 -Putter Circle T scotty cameron -Ball Prov1x
3. How did you start in golf? Family influence? Job? Local course you would sneak on? Don’t be shy about giving details.
-My father is a head golf pro at Knollwood Country Club….I owe everything in golf to Knollwood CC because without them I would have had no where to play or practice…and I started when I was about 13 really wanted to play and get into golf….I tried out for my high school golf team in 7th grade and made the team and evertthing went from there…
4. At what age did you play your first tournament? Did you then decide that you liked tournament golf?
-I was 14 when I played in my first ever tournament with the Met PGA golf association and I fell in love with it right then and there….I finished 2nd so that made the day that much better!
5. What other interests do you have in life? What do you do during your down time to ensure that golf does not become stale?
-I love to just relax and spend time with family…they are the ones that really keep me humble and make sure I don’t get ahead of myself and really make sure I keep my feet on the ground! I have a great family that would do anything for me to succeed in golf but they also know that you don’t own the game of golf and as soon as you do think you have it….thats when you really need to practice and understand that golf is a process and not something you own…
6. Did you have to give anything up when you decided to concentrate on golfing excellence?
-I used to be a big hockey player and when i realized i wasn’t 6′5 and 220 pounds it was okay that i gave up travel hockey…still play in my alumni game every year and always miss it…
7. Have you worked with any golf professionals on any parts of your game? Give their names, how long you worked/have worked with them and whether it was full game/long game/short game or any other specific part of your game.
-The best part about the man i work with is he is also my father..Bob Miller JR…He is the head golf professional at Knollwood CC in Elmsford NY…i get to have conversations about the game of golf and my round that most people don’t get to have…we also get to play and just be a normal father and son…..he has never pushed me to play golf just is always there and knows my swing better then i do…
8. Tell us about high school/junior golf. Highs and lows, stepping stones, etc.
-I wasn’t/ didnt play in too many national events when i was younger….the philosophy that my father thought was why go travel all around the nation if you cant win in your own back yard….i bought into that system and thought he was right….my highschool career was a step stone in itself…every year i tried to get better and to just keep my goals in the back of my mind…
9. You played a bit of college golf before deciding it wasn’t for you. Why not? Any plans to return?-
Myself and my college coach did not see eye to eye….his coaching style and playing style were just different….and no plans to return…
10. Often we hear amateurs exclaim “hey, how do you hit that shot?” What shot was the most difficult to learn for you? How did you finally learn it?
-The way i learn is by doing and visualizing each shot before i hit them….the best part about my swing coach and father is they live in the same house as i do. im able to ask him over dinner how do you hit spinners or a high lob or just a knockdown shot…..he would tell me to go and try it and “visualize” the shot before you hit….look and react…..but to answer the question i feel the straight ball is the hardest to hit…i always see the ball falling one way…never just being on a string because the ball curves now….its to your advantage to visualize and do it…
For Part Two of the Interview, visit BuffaloGolfer.Com.
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