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'They’re understanding of movements and work ethic'

Dan Boisvert has given golf lessons to a lot of people, but one of his students stands out even though he’s not known for golf.

He’s Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who is known more for driving to the basket than driving a golf ball.

Boisvert worked with Tatum for a few years while he was a teaching pro at KOHR Golf Center in Natick and more recently at Pin High Golf, the indoor golf facility he opened at 49 North Main St. in North Grafton in February 2022. Tatum’s most recent lesson at Pin High was late last summer just before Celtics training camp began. Boisvert also has given Tatum lessons at the simulator that Tatum installed in his Boston area home.

The two have played about 15 rounds of golf together at such clubs as Worcester Country Club, Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth and Belmont CC.

Tatum doesn’t take golf lessons during the Celtics season, but Boisvert keeps in touch with him year round. Tatum texts Boisvert once in a while to offer him Celtics tickets, usually at the last minute.

“I have to rearrange my whole schedule, but I don’t miss out on those,” the 36-year-old Worcester resident said.

What’s it like teaching Tatum?

“It’s easy,” Boisvert said. “When you have an athlete who plays at that level, they’re understanding of movements and work ethic, and the process of getting better at something is just better than the average person.”

So who wins when Boisvert and Tatum play golf?

“I crush him,” Boisvert said with a laugh.

Boisvert said the best score he’s seen Tatum shoot is an 85, but he estimates that the Celtics star has played only 40 rounds in his life. Boisvert’s best round was a 7-under 65 at the Legends Golf Course in Parris Island, South Carolina.

Dan Boisvert swings a club inside a golf swing trainer.

Boisvert carries a handicap of a plus 1.8 even though he plays only about 20 rounds a year. He plays in the qualifiers for the U.S. Open and Mass. Open to get a feel for tournament competition and to relate to his students. He hasn’t qualified yet, however, and he’s never wanted to play professional golf.

What is Tatum like on the golf course?

“He’s awesome,” Boisvert said.

Tatum parks his Mercedes Maybach in front of Pin High, but Boisvert said no one has seemed to notice.

Boisvert also has taught Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, former Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, former Bruins forward Ryan Donato, former Red Sox outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr., former Celtic forward Grant Williams and former Patriots nose tackle Carl Davis.

Boisvert also taught several members of the Paul Fireman family. Fireman is a former owner of Reebok and owns several golf courses, including Willowbend CC in Mashpee.

Boisvert said he doesn’t ask his famous students for autographs or photos, and he thinks that’s one of the reasons they continue to see him.

Boisvert grew up on Chester Street in Worcester and graduated from Holy Name High School in 2006. He pitched, played shortstop and majored in criminal justice at Anna Maria College, but left after his sophomore year and moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to try to make a career out of golf.

That was quite a leap of faith for someone who played golf only about twice a year until the previous summer.

“I just took a huge risk,” Boisvert said. “My dad (Paul) was very supportive. My mom (Nancy) was nervous.”

He got hooked on the game that summer after his freshman year of college while lowering his average score from 95 to 75 at such courses as Wachusett CC and Kettle Brook GC. He’d hit about 300 balls three days at Wachusett, Tatnuck Driving Range or Auburn Driving Range.

Dan Boisvert poses with his Ping golf bag.

While working towards a two-year degree in golf management at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Boisvert volunteered at anything golf-related he could find. He assisted a junior golf academy conducted by Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’ former coach, and offered his services to Andrew Rice, another renowned golf instructor.  He helped run junior golf tournaments, he was a starter and a rules official, and he marked up courses before tournaments. He wasn’t paid anything, but he learned a lot about golf.

After earning his degree, he went to work for Bill McInerney at McGolf driving range in Dedham for three years. There he spent time with Tom Brady’s sons Benny and Jack. The Patriots great would hit balls to the side and sometimes he’d ask Boisvert to critique his swing.

“He was always more worried about his kids than himself,” Boisvert said, “which I thought was great. Super focused on what the kids were doing and them having fun.”

Then Boisvert worked at McInerney’s KOHR Golf Center for seven years before he opened Pin High Golf in the former Trek Stop Bicycles shop two years ago.

Boisvert taught many top golfers from the Boston suburbs, and they followed him to North Grafton. He figures his average student has been with him for eight years. Among his many students are 37 in college and 50 or 60 in high school. The college students include the last two Worcester County Amateur champions, Weston Jones, a Rutgers junior from Sudbury, and Sean Magarian, an Assumption senior from Worcester, as well as Matt Quinn, a Lehigh freshman from Holden.

Ever since he began working at McGolf, Boisvert has taught reigning New England Amateur champion Joey Lenane, a Dedham resident and North Carolina State junior who tied for eighth in the ACC championship last Sunday.

He also teaches Shannon Johnson, the Norton resident who won the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and captured the Mass Golf Women’s Player of the Year for the fifth time last year.

“I just want to work with people who are committed to getting better,” Boisvert said. “If they’re just coming in to do a one-off, it’s not really for me.”

Boisvert spent about $150,000 to renovate the building and install two Trackman golf simulators on the first floor  and 1,500-square feet of chipping and putting space on the second floor. He even hung a basketball hoop a few weeks ago. Tatum hasn’t seen the hoop yet, but he is aware of it.

“I’m sure he will get a few shots off next time he’s in,” Boisvert said.

Dan Boisvert stands in front of one of his two Trackman golf simulators at his Pin High Golf center in North Grafton.

Anthony LaCascia, 50, has taken lessons from Boisvert ever since Boisvert began giving lessons at McGolf in Dedham. He drove to Pin High on Tuesday from the bakery and deli he owns in Burlington, and sometimes he drives from his home in downtown Boston.

“Because he’s the best,” LaCascia said. “His personality, how much he cares about his students. He’s all in. That means a lot to me. You go to Dan, and you know that’s not there just going through the motions. He’s all in with his students.”

Boisvert also teaches two or three days a week during the golf season at Nashawtuc CC in Concord, and he even travels to homes with simulators in the Boston area to give lessons two nights a week.

“I’m very passionate about what I do,” Boisvert said. “I’m all in. This is what I do seven days a week for the last 10 years. I teach every day all day.”

Boisvert is single and lives with his dog, Arnie, a shorthaired pointer named after golfing great Arnold Palmer, in the Grafton Hill section of Worcester in his grandfather’s former house.

Pin High has nothing to do with the former Pin Hi golf club making business in West Boylston. Boisvert said he hadn’t heard of Pin Hi and that he named his business Pin High because he remembers Mark O’Meara saying the key to his ability to shoot low scores was to hit the ball pin high.

Boisvert’s lessons sell out well in advance even though his building has no sign that can be seen from the street. His business is all word of mouth and he has done no marketing.

Worcester Country Club teaching pro Bob Bruso has taught four days a week at Pin High the past two winters. Bruso has a lot of respect for Boisvert.

“What makes him so good,” Bruso said, “is that he doesn’t just teach the golf swing, he teaches the mental side of golf. How to play in these tournaments, how to play at a high level, how to practice. He’s really good at that.”

Tatnuck CC pro P.J. Breton and former Worcester CC pro Allan Belden, currently director of instruction at Salem CC, also teach at Pin High in the winter.

To book a lesson, visit phggolf.com.

Egan at PGA Professional Championship

Ben Egan, former head pro at Gardner Municipal Golf Course and currently the head pro at the Bay Club in Mattapoisett, will tee off Sunday, April 28, in the PGA Professional Championship at Fields Ranch at PGA Frisco in Frisco, Texas.

Egan, 39, earned an alternate spot in the tournament from the New England PGA Championship. The field of 312 will be cut to 90 after two rounds. The top 20 finishers will advance to the PGA Championship May 16-19 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Ideas most welcome

You can suggest story ideas for this golf column by reaching me at the email listed below. Comments are also welcome.

—Contact Bill Doyle at bcdoyle15@charter.net. Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter @BillDoyle15.

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Worcester's Dan Boisvert thrives as golf instructor to the stars