On Swing Coaches

by: Stephane Boudreau


Golf is a sport that requires technique and good fundamentals. The best way to get good technique and fundamentals is to have a swing coach and take lessons. I have played most of my golfing career while having a swing coach. When I was a junior I worked seven years with swing Coach Louis Melanson. I played great golf and had a lot of success while being coached by Louis.

I have only gone two and a half years without a swing coach in the past 12 years. Those two and a half years started when I joined the Kent State University Golf Team when I was 18. It was the first time in seven years that I went a few months without a lesson.

After one year at Kent State I then transferred to the University of South Carolina Aiken. For my first year and a half at USCA I still did not have a swing coach. So that meant I was going on my third year without having a lesson or swing coach. Now that I look back, it is no surprise why I was potentially playing the worst golf of my career. The swing that I built and had much success with during my seven years with Coach Melanson was now far away from me.

After 18 months of being at USCA, I decided to start taking lessons with Coach Hathaway. I have now been taking lessons weekly with Coach Hathaway for three years. The difference between my swings while not having a coach and having coach is second to none. Without having someone criticizing or pointing out bad habits that I couldn’t notice alone made it impossible for me to be a consistently good golfer.

My point is that to get better at golf, you need a swing coach. You need someone to spot bad habits and movements that are not meant to be made. Swing coaches will always bring up something that you never thought of and it might be something small, but it will make a huge difference.

For me, I need someone to look at my swing once a week or so and have a little tune up. During lessons, I ask a lot of questions. I want to know why I’m missing it right or left and what I can do to correct it if it happens on the course. Taking golf lessons gives you the knowledge of why your golf ball does what it does and if you miss it on the course, you do not wonder why you did it. You become aware of why it went where it did and makes it easier to correct it.

It is next to impossible to coach yourself and notice bad movements on your own, expect for the few exceptions like Bubba Watson for example. The majority of the pros have had the same coaches for years; they didn’t just get better by themselves. So if you are serious about getting better, do yourself a favor and take lessons.