Q&A: Michael Hebert
March 23, 2016
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- Michael Hebert finished T14 at last week's Chitimacha Louisiana Open. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Michael Hebert is playing his second full season on the Web.com Tour, trying to build on a 2015 campaign where he finished 84th on the money list with four top-25 finishes in 21 starts.
The 25-year-old Auburn graduate earned back strong status for the 2016 season with a top-45 finish at Q-School in December. This season, he’ll try to apply lessons learned along the way in a push for a top-25 spot on the money list and subsequent PGA TOUR card for next season.
The Florida native spent a few minutes with PGATOUR.COM to discuss his newfound love of skiing, his close friendship with TOUR player Blayne Barber, and more.
How did you get your start in the game?
My grandpa started me. Six years old, he took me out to a park, hit some plastic clubs around. That’s where it all started.
What is your most memorable moment in golf?
The most memorable to me, right now, would be the shot I hit at Q-School this past year on No. 17. I was one off the cut line, and the hole was playing tough. Seventeen at the Bear Trap (at PGA National), I hit one in there to a couple feet, ended up parring the last to get through. Probably the most memorable right now.
What’s your favorite course that you have ever played?
I really like Victoria National. I think it’s beautiful. It’s challenging, beautiful, fun to play. You don’t really play a lot of tough golf courses here on the Web; you play a lot of birdie-fests. But there, it’s more of a course where par is a good score. Par takes you a long way. So it’s fun to switch it up and play there.
Growing up, was there any golfer that you looked up to?
I would always watch Tiger. It was always fun to watch Tiger, fun to watch Phil. Just the standard, you know. No one out of the ordinary.
Any go-to event that you went to growing up?
Yeah. So my grandfather who started me in the game, he would always take me to Bay Hill, and we would sit there behind the second green, and we would watch them all hit into the par 3. Did that for a number of years, probably when I was 7 to 12 years old, and we would always go to the Disney event too. They let kids in free, and I would always have fun going there. I think Tiger won one year I was there. And Steve Flesch played well too, a little throwback.
What’s your favorite thing to do to get away from the game?
I like to go hiking. I hated it at first, but my wife Rachel has gotten me into it, and I really enjoy it, so Rachel and I will go hiking, do that. We’re sort of moviegoers, and we just like to do outdoor stuff, switch it up. Love to go skiing, but you can’t do that a lot, living in Georgia now.
Michael and Rachel Hebert visit Nova Scotia
What’s your favorite place that you’ve been?
Favorite place I’ve been is Deer Valley Resort in Utah. I had a great time out there; we stayed at a nice hotel. Ski in, ski out. Definitely the most fun I think I’ve ever had on a vacation, it was awesome. The snow was great … I learned to ski on that vacation. I really loved it.
I went out there on the first run and just wiped out. I was just pulling where I would just … going down the hill and going too fast, I really didn’t know where to turn. Just trying to find a spot where there was lots of snow, and I just buried my face in the snow. Get back up, do the same thing. Then I got a lesson later in the day, got the hang of it. It was a lot of fun, though. By the end of the week, I was addicted.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
So I leave my home course usually around dinnertime, and I know I’m going to hit traffic, so I stop at the local Walgreens and pick up Munchies. Yeah, I pick up a bag of Munchies and eat it on the way home. Something I always do. At least three times a week, I’ll do that.
What’s your goal for this season?
I want to win one. I definitely want to win a tournament, so that would be the goal. Any tournament. I just want to win one.
I’ve been starting to understand my swing a little more … my coach and I, we’re working on how to correct it when things go wrong during a tournament, so you don’t have to play yourself out of it. So I think that can help a lot.
What’s one cool memory that you have from your college years?
You know, I always go back to my first semester at Auburn. I was living in the dorm but I would always stay over at Blayne Barber’s, at his apartment. It was before we were roommates. We hung out a lot that fall semester, and that was the semester we had Cam Newton. So we would go to the football games, and then I’d go out with him afterwards to wherever … I would always just tag along with him. I think I was known as Blayne’s friend for a long time. I really enjoyed that semester, and I actually met Rachel that semester, my wife now.
So when I look back at college and think of memories, that fall … that first fall with Cam, meeting Rachel, getting plugged in with Blayne’s friend group and all that. It was a lot of fun.