"You are the best, so do not let anything deter or get in your way. After every bad shot, FIGHT, fight, fight back, and show the world that you belong with the best. CHAMP."
- Larry Otto Miller
My father, Larry Otto Miller, spent a lifetime helping people become champions. He called me Champ, he called my children Champ, and he said it in a way that made me believe. When I was 5 years old, dad set up a makeshift golf net from a green army tarp in the basement of our San Francisco home. He handed me my first club and said, “If you want to do things that no one else has done, you have to be willing to do things that no one else is willing to do.”
He was an eternal optimist. I never heard him say a negative thing about my game. No matter where I hit the ball, his reaction was either "good shot" or "good swing." He spent endless hours watching me on the driving range; for him, it wasn't a sacrifice. He hand-typed countless letters to my children. He used every spare moment to cultivate and inspire greatness in others.
He taught me that I was a champion, and I never doubted it. My dad was a great teacher of golf and life. He was simply the greatest man I ever knew.
I created The Johnny Miller Jr. Golf Foundation in 1993 as a means to promote junior golf. In 2015 the foundation was renamed The Johnny Miller Champ Foundation, to honor and develop my father’s legacy of creating champions. The role of the foundation has expanded, to not only nurture junior golfers, but to advance the cause of “Champ Makers” within the local community.
Champ Makers shape lives. They give hope; they inspire vision and hard work. Whether it is through athletics, education, or community service, they reach out on an individual level to bring out the best in a person. Some children have no one. But my desire is that we can all have a Champ Maker who believes in us.
The mission of the Champ Foundation is to foster these teachers, organizations, and causes, which are seeking to promote the dreams and aspirations of local youth.
My dad worked for RCA Communications, and in addition to teaching my children Morse Code, he would use his typing skills to send them golf lessons via mail. His theories on golf examined ways to dominate the mental portion of the game, and he would often teach about the “PSYCHE” and “CONFIDENCE" by means of his letters.
The stylized “Champ” in the logo of my foundation comes from a carefully drawn, felt pen inscription that was found at the head of each of my father’s messages. The American Typewriter font of this website is in memory of him. Below is a letter which contains one of his many unique methodologies on the game of golf.
NAPA VALLEY, CA
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Celebrity Clinic and Party on the Driving Range
Bouchon Bakery Sweets
Local Celebrity Chef
Presentation of Champs
July 9-10, 2018
SILVERADO RESORT + SPA
Roy Estate Winery
Chef Viet Pham
Olivewood Ranch Olive Oil