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French pro says French people don’t really care about golf or the Ryder Cup

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French people don’t really care about golf, says French pro golfer Michael Lorenzo-Vera. The 33-year-old is one of 19 entrants in the Open de France this week.

Reportedly, only 10 percent of French people follow golf, and according to the European Golf Course Owners Association, only 400,000 of the country’s 66 million citizens play golf.

Lorenzo-Vera spoke with the New York Times, and he doesn’t think hosting the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National is going to do much to boost the game’s popularity in the country.

“People don’t care about the Ryder Cup. Honestly, nobody knows there’s going to be a Ryder Cup in France. Only the golfers know. That’s it. There won’t be many French there. There will be so many more from England or Spain.”

Asked about the perception of golf in France, he had this to say

“Golf is a very private thing for people in France. Private courses for only rich families or rich people — that’s it….Golf is not a good thing here. It’s for rich people and spoiled kids. That’s the image we have.”

Hmm. Well that’s definitely not good stuff.

His take on French golfers wasn’t exactly great either.

“Mentally, the Americans are way ahead. They are much more positive, aggressive and patient than French golfers…The French player typically doesn’t putt very well, either. The Americans’ short game is fantastic. The French also complain. I’m not kidding…In France, we push too hard and complain. We get angry and swear.”

And who’s to blame for the lack of French major champions? The schools, apparently.

“The French education points out the negative things instead of pushing hard on the positive things. It brings you down mentally. This is why we don’t have any big champions.”

Wow. Albert Camus would have offered a rosier take.

Probably not helping his mood any: Lorenzo-Vera opened with a 6-over 77 at Le Golf National.

But seriously, this is an interesting story, right? If French people don’t really care about golf or play the game, why is the Ryder Cup being held there? To jumpstart participation and interest?

And how representative should we take Lorenzo-Vera’s comments to be? Any of our European WRXers have a take on this?

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. New Order

    Jul 2, 2018 at 4:08 am

    Maybe reading this article could bring a different light :

    http://www.rydercup.com/news-media/europe/french-fans-ryder-cup-record-numbers

  2. George

    Jun 30, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Desperate Democrats protest marching for open borders to import illegal dago voters… sooo obvious.

  3. Mick

    Jun 30, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Its true , Golf is not even a sport to the French. A past time for the rich is all it is.

  4. mlecuni

    Jun 29, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Football, rugby, tennis, judo, handball, track and fields are much more common in France than golf.

    It is true that golf is confidential here and still has a sticker on it “for rich people” and “not a real sport” + There is very few muni golf too.

    Moreover, it’s not available on tv as only one private tv channel streams some tournaments (mostly european tour and PGA/LPGA).
    Even the evian championship is confidential and not stream on national tv.

    Now, i would like to ear from other french pro.

    • Man

      Jun 29, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      Don’t forget cycling and Tour de France. And skiing.

  5. Grenouille

    Jun 29, 2018 at 2:47 am

    With a name like Michael Lorenzo-Vera, you are not French, is why the real French ignore you. They don’t think you’re very French.

  6. Chippster

    Jun 28, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I can give a different viewpoint. I live on the Atlantic coast in France. And, I play at non-private golf courses. It looks to me that golf is growing here. There are regularly a lot of beginners at the well attended group lessons at the course I normally play at… even this evening! The proportion of women golfers seems high. There’s a surprising number of kids and teenagers learning how to golf and playing in competitions.

    All that said, professional golf still has little recognition here. It’s all about soccer and rugby in France, and handball, basketball and other sports to some degree.

    In my estimation, the biggest hole in their player development system is (probably) a lack of university programs.

    I am not in the golf industry and I am only reporting what I see in my local area, but there’s my 2c.

    • harold

      Jun 28, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      Most western nation universities do not have US-style athletic programs. French universities will never follow the US for campus athletics…. jamais !!!!!
      And 2 centimes is less than 2¢ US.

      • gif

        Jun 29, 2018 at 12:03 am

        French universities are filled with Marxist-Leninists… aka “anarchists”. 😮

  7. faq

    Jun 28, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    The French love themselves…. and hate everybody and everything not Fremch…. it’s their je ne sais quois thing about golf…. snoots all except for this frustrated frenchman golffing pro. He’s incroyablement stupide… un bête noir … si évident …

    • Chippster

      Jun 29, 2018 at 7:14 am

      The French seem to be nice. I am having a positive experience living here. And, the food! It is incredible. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

    • JThunder

      Jun 29, 2018 at 5:23 pm

      “love themselves and hate everybody and everything not French” …

      I’m sure there’s some truth there, but I hope you’re not singling out the French on this.

      Or maybe you’ve not heard of Brexit and Red Hat America.

  8. MD

    Jun 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Gotta appreciate the candor

    • Jean Van De Velde

      Jun 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      …and if it wasn’t for that F**kin’ bleacher seats…I woulda won the open at Carnoustie.

  9. ogo

    Jun 28, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Sports in France? Frenchmen only get out of bed to rest before diving back in.. 😮

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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Sung Kang finally responds to cheating allegations

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Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled British Open programming, but Sung Kang stated today he still doesn’t think he didn’t anything wrong. “I followed the rules by the rules official…I think I did the right thing,” he said after his opening round at The Open.

Joel Dahmen, if you recall, accused the 31-year-old pro of taking a bad drop at the 10th hole during the final round of the Quicken Loans National.

The comments were Kang’s first public remarks since a statement co-released with the PGA Tour which said, “He is standing by the ruling that was made by PGA Tour Rules officials on Sunday and will have no further comment.”

While he stopped short of giving his side of the story, Kang did indeed make “further comment.”

Here’s some of what he said.

“I did not want to say anything bad about Joel. Because there can be difference of opinions. But the way he just said it on Twitter was not right. There can be different opinions. And also, it was made a decision by the rules official. So nothing was wrong.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened, but no comment because I’m not going to say anything. I think I made the right decision. … Even when I say something, a few people still kind of think i still did something wrong. And if someone believes in me, they aren’t going to trust what Joel said.”

“No matter what I say, some people are going to trust it, some people are not going to trust it. And then I’m going to be thinking about it more and more. So I’m just focusing on my golf game.”

The British press asked Kang if he wishes he had done anything differently.

“No. Why? I did the right thing,” Kang replied.

Now, I’m not here to argue one way or the other, but the rules official wasn’t in position to do anything other than leave things at the player’s discretion, which he did. So, it’s misleading–if not downright deceptive–for Kang to suggest otherwise.

The official didn’t see the shot. There was no video of it. The only thing he had to rely on was the accounts of those who did see it. In a situation where accounts vary, and with the Rules of Golf relying on player integrity as they do, all he could do was leave the ball in Kang’s court. Thus, the decision as to where to drop was wholly Sung Kang’s.

Again, this isn’t to say the drop was necessarily bad, bad to play the “decision by the rules official” card is, well, a bad drop.

 

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