Mark Johnson

A unique career in amateur and professional golf, along with a casual 18 years of driving a beer truck

The architect of an unusual but remarkable resume, Mark Johnson enjoyed a unique career in amateur and professional golf, along with a casual 18 years of driving a beer truck. In high school, Johnson won the CIF-SCGA Championship as an individual and immediately decided to turn professional in 1972. After two years of struggling on mini tours, he regained his amateur status while working as a delivery truck driver for Anheuser-Busch in the Mojave Desert – a job he would hold for nearly two decades.

Johnson’s early morning travels on the open road, combined with his newfound amateur status paved the way to great success throughout the 1990s. He would win three SCGA Mid-Amateur Championships, four SCGA Tournament of Club Champions titles and the 1996 California Amateur – all after the age of 35.

In 1994, he battled with a young and emerging Tiger Woods, going head-to-head in the SCGA Amateur Championship, where Johnson finished runner-up. However, he would not let Tiger steal the entire spotlight, going on to win the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship just two weeks after his run-in with Woods. Johnson continued his torrid run later in the year as he was crowned the SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion.

At 45-years-old, he tested his professional skills once again. He earned his PGA TOUR Champions card in 2004, won Q-school and proceeded to spend the next five years on tour sponsored by his old employer, Anheuser-Busch. Mark Johnson would become a fan favorite, known as the “Beer Man.”

After 14 professional starts, Johnson earned his first professional victory in 2005 – dramatically holing out for eagle on the par-5 18th to win the Toshiba Senior Classic in front of a home crowd at Newport Beach CC. Johnson’s only official victory earned him nearly a quarter million dollars – becoming an instant hero for the working class.

"This win isn’t just for me," Johnson said. "I'm going to celebrate it with the fans; this is an awful lot of money for a beer truck driver."