ACME, Mich. -- Scott Hebert, the six-time winner of the Michigan Open, has been a headline maker with a golf club in his hands since the late nineties, but now he is making news as an instructor at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa's Golf Academy.
The resorts head golf professional and director of instruction made news again this season competing again in the Michigan Open, as well as the PGA Professional National Championship at Sunriver Resort in Oregon, a national championship he won in 2008. He then came home to play in a local pro-am event at Forest Dunes Golf Club where he set the course record with a 9-under-par 63.
In between his competitive play, he is now earning a reputation as a leading golf instructor, as one of his top students, Andrew Chapman, won the 102nd Michigan Amateur Championship at Muskegon Country Club in June.
Chapman, a 33-year-old Traverse City financial planner and former University of Michigan standout, talked about Hebert's teaching ability through his week of making headlines.
"He was so patient with me, and we rebuilt my game step by step," Chapman said moments after his dramatic 1-up victory over Saline's Mike Ignasiak with a final birdie on the 18th hole. "He's a big part of this."
Chapman took a long break from competitive golf after an eight-month stint in professional golf following his collegiate career. About 3 ½ years ago he decided to take on the game again, and sought the services of Grand Traverse Resort and Spa Golf Academy and Hebert for help.
"I was as low as you can be with golf when I started trying to compete again," he said. "Scott just said 'let's go one step at a time, and it will happen.' He was right. It has happened."
Hebert has been the Resort's head golf professional since 2007, and founded the Golf Academy in 2011. In addition to being a six-time winner of the Michigan Open Championship, he has won the Michigan PGA Championship six times, including the 2012 title. He balances playing and teaching among the best golf professionals in the nation.
Chapman, who faced down this year's Michigan Open winner Tom Werkmeister of Kentwood at the Amateur, said he was not nervous or intimidated because of his many matches with Hebert on The Bear at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, the Michigan Golf Course Owners 2012 Golf Course of the Year.
"I have matches with Scott all the time, and he's pretty good," Chapman quipped. "He's a great player and teacher."
Chapman cited a drill that he did with Hebert just before the tournament. It concentrated on short game shots from 10-yard increments. In one of his matches, he hit a 40-yard shot so close to the pin that it was conceded, and Ignasiak said Chapman had the better short game in winning the championship match.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa's Golf Academy offers various types of innovative instruction for golfers at all levels from novice to veteran and champion like Chapman. Individual lessons, playing lessons, club-fitting, corporate, public and women-only clinics and golf schools are available. One-, two- and three-day schools are scheduled from May through September, including a special program for junior golfers.
Golfers can practice at the Academy through the winter, and the facility added in 2012 the Foresight GC2 Launch Monitor Smart Camera System and Performance Simulator. The GC2 is widely accepted by touring professionals as a learning tool, and the same innovative thinking that went into developing it has been implemented in Performance Simulation Golf events where a golfer learns while competing and having fun. The Golf Academy is forming winter golf leagues now. In addition, the Academy added V1 Sports Digital Coaching System software so Golfers can view video of their personal instruction by logging in with their password to the V1 page on the Resort's website.
Hebert and his talented staff of accomplished golf instructors work and develop teacher-student relationships with students like Chapman, but also those less accomplished in reaching their goals and making their own personal set of headlines.
"We find out what the golfer hopes to accomplish and work to make it happen," Hebert said.
In addition to the championship-tested Hebert, staff members include Terry Crick, who like Hebert has championship playing and teaching credentials, former PGA Tour caddie Randy Ernst, who shares insights on the mental side of golf gleaned from the touring players, and Adam Rhoades, whose experience includes working at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Texas.
Together they are the headline makers awaiting the opportunity to help golfers transfer lessons to the championship golf courses the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa offers - The Bear, designed by Jack Nicklaus, The Wolverine, designed by Gary Player and Spruce Run, designed by William Newcomb.
Hebert, Chapman, Nicklaus, Player, Newcomb are headline makers all, and all come with the first-class service and variety of activities, amenities and facilities Grand Traverse Resort and Spa offers. For more information, call 800-236-1577 or visit: http://www.grandtraverseresort.com .
Resort & Golf Marketing
J. Michael DeAgostino
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa