Experiences at Michael Hebron's School for Learning Golf

     Yale University
     Department of Applied Physics
     Professor Robert D. Grober

     Michael,

     I very much enjoyed the last couple of days: talking with you about golf and learning.

     It has always impressed me that capable golf professionals develop an intuitive understanding of classical physics (i.e. forces, inertia,  
momentum, rotational motion, etc.).  In your case, you have moved this casual relation between golf professionals and science to the next level.    
One can argue the essence of physics is the art of reducing problems to their core principles by seeing past outward complexities, and then
communicating these ideas to others.  This is what you have done for the game of golf, both in terms of your understanding of the golf swing and
the way in which you relate it to students.

     I saw this reduced to practice while you worked with students at Pine Needles and at the seminar you conducted for the Professional Golf
Management students at Methodist College.  The simplicity with which you described and demonstrated the teaching process was extraordinarily
refreshing.

     All the best,  Bob



     Hofstra University
     Ed Wolfarth, EdD
     Professor, Physical Education & Sports Sciences
     Hempstead  NY

     I recently attended one of your seminars at the Long Island Golf Expo, and as a fellow “learning facilitator”, I was quite impressed.  You are the
first golf instructor, that I have ever heard speak, who REALLY GETS IT.
     Learning and not teaching is what it’s all about.  You were able to put a complex motor skill into simple concepts and images that learners
could grasp easily. You are the quintessential teacher.
     I frequently use the analogy of learning how to walk.  There are no books on walking!  No gurus.  And yet, people around the world seem to
have learned how to walk quite efficiently.  As a famous child psychologist once said, “if children could talk before they could walk, walking would
be the most difficult motor sill to master.”
     As a teacher of motor skills at Hofstra University, I have come to the realization that the less I teach, the more they learn.  Of course it’s not that
simplistic.  Putting the emphasis on the learning process, however, is key.
     Keep up the good work.  I hope you get the opportunity, as I have, to train future teachers.  It’s a rewarding experience and others need to
embrace your approach.

Sincerely,
Ed Wolfarth EdD




     University of Arkansas at Little Rock
     Robert R. Ulmer, Chair
     Department of Speech Communication

     January 2006

     Dear Michael,

     I really enjoyed attending your three-day golf school at Southern Pines in North Carolina.  Your approach to learning golf is unique and yet
consistent with the best research that I know of in instruction and learning.  Your focus on the misconceptions that I had about golf, the
development of my own core knowledge about the game, and the positive learning environment developed at your school made my experience a
very positive one.

     I thought it was interesting that each day we spent some time discussing misconceptions related to the golf swing.  Our discussions
regarding my perceptions about what makes the ball fly and your explanation that golf club weights something have been extremely valuable to my
experience of the golf swing.  These new insights have made a huge impact on my approach to playing golf.

     After completing your golf school, I felt like I developed some sound core knowledge about how I swing the golf club.  You did not give me
several swing thoughts to take on the course but rather core knowledge that I can work on during my practice sessions.  Keeping with this idea, I
realized that effective motor skill learning is about subtraction not necessarily addition.  As a college professor this was an interesting and new
approach for me to consider.

     One of the things I appreciated the most about your golf school was the positive, supportive learning environment that you created.  Without this
type of environment I believe that learning golf would be much more difficult.  We tried different shots and different ways to apply force to the golf
ball without judgement.  As I played more and judged less I found my improvement increased dramatically.  I also enjoyed myself more.   I have
continued this approach to this day.

     Michael, thank you for your guidance and instruction.  I really appreciate it.  I am enjoying the game more than ever!
Sincerely,
Robert R. Ulmer


Dear Michael,
We are back home and we wanted to let you know that we will always treasure our golf school days with you!  We played our local country club
course yesterday, and I parred the longest par 4 on the course, a first for me!  
Thanks again, Annie & Tom

Dear Michael,

Just a few lines to let you know the progress that has taken place since my time with you in Hamburg.  First off, my own swing and result have
shown a rather dramatic improvement with scores under par and my best round in years (a 68), no world record for sure but from me a great
encouragement, so much so that when I returned home to Australia I have entered senior events for the past month.

Secondly, I have found more success with my lessons as well.  My friend who accompanied me has shown much improvement as well.

Sincerely,
Terry of Switzerland


Dear Michael,

A quick note to let you know how much my wife and I enjoyed the golf school experience.  

As I said upon departure, it’s a rare treat to come into a situation with high expectations and have those same expectations exceeded!  I fully
attribute our experience to the exceptional coaching team of Michael and Valerie, the facility and the friendliness of the staff.

My wife came there having never hit a golf ball while I brought the bad habits accumulated over 25 years of playing with no formal instruction.  Over
the course of the weekend, Michael and Valerie artfully combined class room lectures with lots of supervised experimentation.  At all times, the
learning environment was safe and constructive.  At one point, my wife was able to hit the ball with her eyes closed; no kidding.  We both left on a
personal high with the core knowledge necessary to continue our golf journey.

In a world that seems to be about “better, faster, cheaper,” our time with you was a truly refreshing experience.  Congratulations and we wish you
continued success!
Sincerely,
David from Montclair, NJ

My wife, Sandy, and I, signed up to participate in the Pine Needles golf school.  We did so based on word-of-mouth recommendations from
friends who had participated in previous schools at Pine Needles as well as the general reputation of the Pine Needles Lodge.  Little did we know
that we would stumble into an even more remarkable learning experience as well as meeting some very nice people in the process. I am
confident that your Pine Needles and Mid Pines golf professionals are excellent professionals but we enjoyed the added experience of learning
golf with Michael Hebron assisted by his assistant, Valerie, and some of your Pine Needles golf staff.

First, we thoroughly enjoyed the Lodge environment at Pine Needles.  The style, food, beverages, staff, accommodations and golf courses were
all excellent!  We look forward to returning for more golf on both courses.

Meeting and talking with Mrs. Bell was a special treat for us.  She is a remarkable person who blazed many trails as a woman golf professional,
long before her time.  I wish my mother and Mrs. Bell had known each other.  Two peas from the same type of personality pod.

It was truly a remarkable learning experience for us to be exposed to Michael Hebron’s approach to learning, which is very different from most golf
instruction I have experienced and witnessed.  It was pure fun, from start to finish and Michael’s ability to work with a wide range of golfing abilities
present in the ten students was also remarkable.

I never felt overwhelmed with detail, often so hard to remember, especially in the middle of a golf swing.  Emphasis on basics, building a golf
swing from Stage One to Stage Two and on to Stage Three, the full swing, was very helpful in my building confidence and the ability to improve on
the long-term basis.  A simple tip like “shaft before club face” is easy to remember.  One of the quotes in Michael’s book, a tool for learning
, Golf
Swing Secrets….. and Lies – Six Timeless Lessons
is “I was enormously lucky to have a teacher who let me learn how to learn.  He did not make
me play the way he did.” Amen!!!

As I mentioned earlier, we stumbled into this great learning experience.  I hope that Pine Needles and Michael Hebron will enter into a long-term
relationship.  You and Michael are a very good fit, you benefit each other!  Long may you team up together.

Thanks to you and all the staff at Pine Needles for a wonderful visit and experience.  We look forward to our return visit next year.

Sincerely yours
Richard Clark

Dear Michael

Since our return from Pine Needles, I turn off the light at night and envision practicing my golf swing; dragging the club across the ground; then
stage 1; stage 2; and if I am still awake, stage 3.  Is there a lovelier way to fall asleep?

For the first time in my bittersweet journey with the game of golf, I have core knowledge that will help me make adjustments to my swing.  Ah, if you
only knew how frustrating it has bee to stand on the practice tee and hit balls consistently right and half the distance they are capable of going
despite my best efforts – and never understand what to do about it.

You have changed my approach to golf.  You have changed my attitude about the game.  I can hardly wait to get to the course – although the snow
will have to melt first.  And I am forever grateful to you.

With kind regards,
Beth of Ontario, Canada

Dear Michael,
I would like to thank you for the time you spent with me last week.  From the information on the lesson tee to the conversation afterward, I truly
appreciate your thoughts and insight on everything we talked about.

I have started to look into establishing my own golf education program, and I will keep you updated on how that endeavor progresses.

I am also very excited about my swing.  I am looking forward to working on the concepts we talked about during the lesson and playing some
tournaments this summer.

Thanks again,
John King, PGA Professional


Michael,
I just wanted to thank you again for the golf lessons this weekend.  I learned a great deal from the lessons and hope to use them to beat everyone
on the course here!  While playing yesterday, I could really tell a difference in my short game and putting.  I do need to work on my driving.

Also, I wanted to thank you for the book that you so graciously gave us.  That was very thoughtful of you.  I am so looking forward to reading it.

Amy