Estate Living Magazine Investment - Issue 34 October 2018 - Page 38
Our golf editor has flown north for the (boreal) winter and it
looks as if he’ll be well entertained both on the course and off.
What a year it has been for France, and coming up from Africa,
the pounding heat of one of the hottest European summers on
record was a real surprise.
This was then followed by the deluges that broke the heatwave
and washed away large areas in the southeast of France. There
was the excitement of the World Cup, a Tour de France that
broke all sorts of records, including the first Welsh national to
ride up the Champs-Élysées in the yellow jersey, and finally golf’s
supreme team event, the Ryder Cup, will be coming to Paris.
The Ryder Cup team selection processes are now over and
Tiger, against all the original odds, has made it into the mix as
a player for team ‘Ooo Esss Aaaay’, while the Europeans are
using social media-type phrasing such as it being time for a little
‘Yankee spanking’, but the talk and the hype are now almost over
as it’s time for the real on-course work to begin.
But what golfing pedigree, if any, do the French have to
showcase professional golf’s premier team event?
Historically, Jean Garaïalde, who won the Open de France 12
times in the 1960s and 1970s, is the most successful French player
in history, with Jean van de Velde possibly the best known after
his spectacularly unsuccessful play over the 72nd hole at the 1999
Open Championship, which eventually cost him the title.
In more recent times French pro golf seems to be very healthy
indeed, with the names Bourdy, Dubuisson, Jacquelin, Levy and
Levet making regular appearances on the leaderboards at pro
events around the world.
The Open de France now has a virtually permanent home at
Le Golf National, which will play host to the Ryder Cup, and
courses that have hosted the French Open multiple times, such
as Le Touquet, Golf de Chantilly and La Boulie, are well known to
Despite France’s tongue-in-cheek reputation as the country
where the ‘customer is always wrong’, it is undoubtedly a tourist
Mecca, with over 82 million visitors last year and the world #1
ranking (again!), so they must be doing something right. It is a
little known fact that the most visited place in France is not some
obvious attraction like the Eiffel Tower, but Mont St Michel. ‘Mont
St Where?’ I can hear some readers asking themselves. Mont St
Michel is one of France’s top tourist attractions, and is perhaps a
good example of the country’s hidden secrets, not least of which
are the rest of its golf courses.