Golfgal Gets LUCK-y In Maui

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2008 Aloha Section PGA Teacher Of The Year, Montreal Native Claude Brousseau Has Found His Calling In Maui. Photo Credit: Bob Bangerter, Kula, Maui, HI

By Gayle Moss (www.golfgal.ca)

It never fails to annoy me when I see women riding shotgun in the cart while their husbands play a round of golf.

I saw this two days in a row during my recent vacation in Maui and both times I wanted to run up to those women and yell, “Ladies, what are you doing? You should be playing. You don’t know what you are missing!”. Oh…but maybe they do…

Maybe they’ve tried golf before and it was more frustrating than fun. I’ve certainly heard that before.

But when I ask them why, it’s often because they didn’t learn the game the right way – they either batted a few balls around at the range while their boyfriend/spouse practiced, or even worse, they tried to learn golf from their other half. Yup – that’s a recipe for disaster.

Ladies, what you need is a golf professional that cares about YOU and YOUR game – someone who instils confidence in YOU and whose only goal is to make YOU successful.

I found just the teacher – Claude Brousseau, Senior PGA Teaching Professional at the Kapalua Golf Academy on Maui and the "2008 Aloha Section PGA Teacher of the Year”.

Before heading to Maui in November, I read some of Claude’s articles on Inside Golf and I knew I wanted to meet him. He spoke my language with titles such as:  Grip it like a yardstick and Keep the Chicken in the Kitchen

Luckily he had just returned to Maui after spending 4 months in Le Vaudreuil located about one hour from Paris, creating from scratch, the first short game only golf school, GolfCourt Academy, www.golfcourt.fr (not bad work if you can get it, eh?). 

So I was able to catch up with him after my round at The Kapalua Plantation Course – home of the SBS Championship.

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Claude Offers Tips On Putting Techniques At His Indoor Facility. Photo Credit: Bob Bangerter, Kula, Maui, HI
I didn’t know it, but this award-winning instructor didn’t really start playing golf until he was 30. His story is pretty inspirational.

Claude grew up in a small town about 800 miles northwest of Montreal and started his 1st career as an ICU nurse.

A born helper of others, it sounded like the perfect career for him, but he quickly realized that he wanted more.

So he went back to school and got his masters in health safety and then went on to complete his MBA.

For most people that would be more than enough to kick start a career of a lifetime, but not for Claude. Something was missing…

Then one day he attended the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in 1988 and fell in love with golf. So at 30 years of age, Claude started life #3 - he decided he was going to be a golf professional. 

Not to let the grass grow under his Footjoys, Claude immediately packed up everything and headed to Florida where his nursing credentials landed him a job where he could work his butt off on the weekends, and learn the game of golf during the week from top golfing professionals.

Monday through Friday, Claude started his day at 7:30 AM on the practice green, hitting 300-400 putts (many with his eyes closed), then off to the range to hit 600-800 balls, followed by 9 holes of golf, topped off with 2 more hours at the gym and if that wasn’t enough…an intensive yoga session.  

Oh yeah, and there were lessons in there too.

In just 3 years, Claude was a scratch golfer – yes, you heard it – in his 3rd life, in his 30’s, in just 3 years, Claude went from hacker to scratch golfer and was competing with the likes of PGA winners Bart Bryant and Robert Gamez, until he realized he liked helping people more than trying to beat them every day.  Well, they do say that “3’s a charm” don’t they?  

And Claude’s the first person to tell you that he is a fortunate man, “I am a very, very lucky guy.  I love what I do. I love doing it for a living and I get to do it on Maui. When people ask me why am I so lucky, I tell them that LUCK stands for ‘Labouring Under Correct Knowledge’. You need to have an open mind, keep learning, be willing to try new things and pay the price for it. “ 

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