Michigan’s Tiger Woods

Scott Hebert, golf pro at the Grand Traverse Resort, won his third straight Michigan PGA Championship this past week. Hebert had in June already won the PGA Professional National Championship. In addition to the $7,000 he won for the Michigan PGA, he now has seven exemptions into PGA Tour events for 2009,including the next Buick Open.

Hebert began by shooting a course record 65, then closed it out with a 68.

Henert’s obviously tremendously talented. Which leads me to wonder why he is a teaching pro, and not a playing professional.  If Hebert can shoot those kinds of scores, he should be able to make the kind of living that’s generated by three quarters of the guys on tour (the ones who aren’t typically at the top of the leaderboard, but who have a solid career from the middle of the pack).

Is there a difference in the mental approach? Do talented club pros such as Hebert lack an essential competitive spark? Or are the guys on tour just THAT much more talented. I actually kind of doubt it.

Perhaps Hebert simply doesn’t aspire to such things. A tour player’s life certainly has its downsides: hotels, travel, lots of time away from family, and so on. Hebert likely is perfectly happy at Grand Traverse (and why not? It’s beautiful in Up North Michigan).

Knowing as I do the non-material rewards of teaching (I could make far more practicing economics than teaching it), I also can imagine that Hebert simply enjoys teaching and running the course more than he does the competition. His now-annual romps over the rest of the state’s pros, plus the occasional appearance on Tour may be enough.

Finally, if you include giving lessons and exclude the costs of the travel (and such) borne by Tour players, it’s entirely possible that the head pro at Grand Traverse is more rewarding than being a mid level player.

Enough speculation. I’ll end with a simple congratulations.

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