ACME — 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 ’90s, 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 competed 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.
“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 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.”