Johnny Miller is a polarizing figure. People love him or hate him. I’m one of the lovers.
I think he’s misunderstood. Let me plead my case. Miller calls it as he sees it – he doesn’t pull any punches. I don’t think he does it to be edgy or interesting … he just says what he believes to be true. And that’s what makes him such a great golf analyst.
Miller is very analytical and insightful. Those qualities helped make him a great golfer. Nobody except for maybe Byron Nelson hit the ball as solid and straight as Miller did in his heyday. Once in a PGA Tournament in Tucson, Miller hit the pin 11 times. Miller really figured out thegolf swing. His instructional videos are the best out there.
Was he a great player? Yes – though his playing ability seems to have been forgotten. His final round 63 at Oakmont CC to win the 1973 US Open is one of the all-time great rounds of golf. A few years later – 1976 – he won the British Open by 6 shots. During that time he dominatedgolf, and that was by beating Nicklaus, Player, Watson, Trevino, and Weiskopf in their prime – not exactly easy pickings.
But that analytical, insightful mind was also his downfall. He’s harder on himself than he is on the players he comments on. And that brutal self-analysis led to putting too much pressure on himself and a tendency to choke. It especially showed up in his putting. He developed a case of the yips that was too painful to watch.
Well this week the PGA Tour is playing at Silverado CC – Miller is one of the owners. Golf has been good to Johnny Miller – but Johnny Miller has been good for golf.
Miller is outspoken. But it is a reflection of his hyper-sensitivity – not a reflection of a being jerk.
GM and Head Golf Professional