European Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera has revealed how golf in his home nation of France is in a dire place heading into this week's Open de France at Le Golf National, host venue of The Ryder Cup in three months time.
Lorenzo-Vera, 33, explained he is excited to see his country host the Ryder Cup from September 28 to 30, but the state of the sport is not progressing how everyone anticipated on the eve of the biennial clash between Europe and the United States.
"Golf is not a good thing here. It's for rich people and spoiled kids. That's the image we have," Lorenzo-Vera told The New York Times this week. "Golf is a very private thing for people in France. Private courses for only rich families or rich people — that's it."
He even believes there will be very few people from France even attending.
"People don't care about the Ryder Cup," he added. "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."
Lorenzo-Vera, who has one Challenge Tour title to his name in 2007 but no European Tour titles despite coming close in recent months, did not stop there in his assessment of French golf. Far from it.
Poor attitudes, bad putting and a general negative perspective on all things golf.
"French golfers push too hard and complain. We get angry and swear," he said. "The French player also typically doesn't putt very well, either. We just want to always look good."
He added: "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."
If only Jean Van de Velde had won that Open in 1999. Remind us why the Ryder Cup is going to France again?