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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

Peter Kessler lashed out at anyone and everyone on Twitter

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With 140K followers on Twitter and a website as well, No Laying Up have become one of the most popular accounts in the golfing world. However, when the group plugged the second season of their show Tourist Sauce” with a new promo, it provoked a strong response from “the voice of golf,” former Golf Channel and PGA Tour host, writer, and producer, Peter Kessler. (Kessler responded to Green Jacket Auctions, who praised NLU’s work).

Kessler, no stranger to speaking his mind, then spent hours feuding with fellow social media users who defended No Laying Up’s promo. As is often the case in the world of social media, the arguments descended into personal insults, on which Kessler did not hold back.

Consider these tweets representative of dozens more in the same vein.

Although Kessler was firmly in attack mode, he had to be on his guard when @ProV1_iron took aim at his Perfect Club infomercials from back in the day. The spots are largely a humorous relic in the golfing world, but Kessler was having none of the “people in glass houses” analogy.

The responses from Kessler went on and on, and many had been expecting the ex-Golf Channel host cool off after yesterday’s exploits. However, the opposite happened, with Kessler getting right back in the saddle this morning and continuing his tirade against defenders of the show, with Kessler claiming NLU’s promo “is like intro to entertainment in 9th grade and school just started. Surely you’ve seen good movies and tv shows. These aren’t them.”

Despite saying that he has “Gotta run,” Kessler remains locked in a battle of personal insults with other social media users.

What do you make of Peter Kessler’s social media outburst, GolfWRX members?

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19th Hole

Which Air Jordan model should Nike release as a golf shoe next?

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According to GolfMagic, Nike’s Air Jordan III golf shoe took off from the foul line and soared right out of stock.

Per the site: “Nike launched this new model back in February… but you’ll do very well to get your hands on either them right now as they have sold out on Nike’s website. However, a Nike spokesperson has since commented saying “more is on the way.”

Grammar aside, this is interesting.

Now, it wasn’t long ago that all golf shoes looked like this.

And with all due respect to the Etonic Dri-Lite of yore, and giving wide berth to the traditionalists in the golf footwear space, the transition to sneaker-style golf shoes is cool, isn’t it? I mean, even if you’re monumentally swagger impaired like myself and could never pull the “Js on the fairways” look off, it’s intriguing, no?

With that in mind, and recognizing the demand for the 3s, I thought it’d be interesting to consider what the next Jordan golf shoe ought to be.

Here are my finalists for the next wide release (yes, I know Nike made Ray Allen custom 11s and MJ has had a few customs). Many of these are new colorways of classic (OG) models. I’ve tried for a range of styles and picks from across the Jordan timeline. Images via the excellent catalogue on the Jordan website.

Air Jordan XXXII

Air Jordan VI

Air Jordan VIII

Air Jordan II (low)

Air Jordan XXX

Let me know what you think, GolfWRX Members!

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19th Hole

Looks like Tiger is exploring some innovative solutions to his putting woes…

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Tiger Woods was 39th in strokes gained: putting in 2018. Historically an excellent putter, Woods was hot-and-cold with the flatstick, even benching his soulmate Scotty Cameron Newport 2.

It looks like Woods may have an ace in the hole for the upcoming season, however, with respect to his green reading and putt sinking. Check out this video posted to his Instagram from the Tiger Woods Invitational on the Monterey Peninsula earlier this week.

Good thing the USGA is restricting the use of green-reading devices and technologies, because this kid looks close to cracking the eternal mystery of the perfect marriage of line and speed for every putt.

Cool stuff, though, isn’t it? It’s also cool to see Tiger so genuinely excited about his “mentee.”

We all know the story of how, after September 11, Woods re-evaluated his charitable endeavors and began to conceive of the Tiger Woods Learning Center. He’s spoken passionately about the students who have made their way through the various programs in the past, and there’s no doubt he cares deeply about the TGR Foundation’s efforts, but seeing a thin slice of that reality is awesome.

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