Homegrown golf pro ready to teach in Rupert

For five days this week, Prince Rupert-raised Edd Boudreau will be offering clinics to North Coast golfers

Living in Victoria since 1996

Living in Victoria since 1996

With the absence of a designated club professional at the Prince Rupert Golf Club and summer quickly approaching, established players and newcomers to golf alike will have an excellent opportunity to work on their game with one of Victoria’s top professionals and Prince Rupert-raised product, Edd Boudreau, who will be offering his pro services from May 20 – 24.

Boudreau, who currently teaches at the Gorge Vale Golf Club on Vancouver Island, lived in Prince Rupert for 27 years before moving to Victoria in 1996. He will be leading clinics and lessons from Wednesday to Sunday of this week.

Early on, it was his proximity to the course that led him to the links.

“I grew up on the edge of the golf course when I was a kid and I started playing when I wasn’t fishing,” said Boudreau from Gorge Vale, days before making his way to the North Coast.

Living so close to the course had its benefits for Boudreau, who grew accustomed to its unique features.

“Every hole is a different shape to the golf course. You’ve got your doglegs left – I think it’s just such a good layout. You’ve got elevation changes … You could turn around on every hole and think OK what’s next, is the fairway going to be there? Is it going to be washed out? Is a bear going to be there?” he said.

Interested golfers or pure beginners can sign up for a variety of lessons including 30-minute private lessons, one-hour private lessons, one-hour semi-private lessons, one-hour group clinics, one-hour junior clinics and a series of three lessons with Boudreau.

The lesson topics include basic swings, drivers, fairway woods, irons, wedges, chipping, putting, sand, course management and even video.

“I know [the club] is currently looking for a golf pro and I have to come up [to Rupert] because of family, so they knew I was going to be coming up in the spring, so they just asked me then if I wanted to come up and I’d love to combine [instructing and family time],” said Boudreau.

One of the most common challenges the instructor faces is the bad habits that adults have developed or the advice given to amateur golfers by their friends that may not be correct.

“You always have buddies that are always giving you their version of a helping hand and of course, they’re not professionals. Everybody wants to help – it’s like playing a game of crib … Everybody has an opinion,” he said.

Kids are easier to work with because they haven’t had the chance to develop bad habits, said the pro, and poor alignment and bad swings are some of the more common problems he fixes with golfers. Some players also place themselves mentally in the elite crop of golfers thanks to the vault of information readily available to anyone that wants it and Boudreau said it’s important to manage expectations.

“With the golf channel and the Internet, golfers have a lot more information and what they see and what they read [is more suited to] what a tour player does … so I’m letting them know this is what a tour player does and this is what 15 to 20-handicappers do and most golfers are in that range. They want to be thinking like low handicappers or professionals, so I just have to make sure they’re aware that [it’s OK and] that they’re supposed to make mistakes,” he said.

Boudreau’s visit comes at a time of transition for the golf course, as the City of Prince Rupert recently released a job alert for a golf course superintendent. The position’s duties involve overseeing maintenance and staff, supervising the repair and operation of turf equipment and the golf cart fleet, mowing and irrigating course greens, overseeing fertilizer and chemical applications and maintaining budget and labour guidelines.

The club’s finances are back in the black for 2015 after a rough 2014 fiscal year saw the Prince Rupert Golf Club emerge from debt.

An earlier start to the year for the seasonably warm, albeit rainy months of April and May alleviates the club with added revenue that other courses in northern B.C. wouldn’t be able to accomodate with colder temperatures.

Boudreau’s credentials are impressive  — along with his work at Gorge Vale, he’s worked at Victoria’s Arbutus Ridge, developing Golf BC’s Golf Academy.

“I’ve always wanted to help people learn the game, that’s for sure. And it was around 2000 when I turned [pro], he said.

Above all, practice habits are what have gotten Boudreau so far in the game.

“I enjoy practicing. Some people enjoy playing more and I would say the work ethic part is the part I enjoy – being at the golf course all day, working on my game,” Boudreau said, adding that practice schedules, tournament prep and drinking after, not before a round, is important.

“A lot of it is desire … If you’ve got good practice habits and a good work ethic then you’ll more than likely see some improvement quicker than others.”