That was the story going around shortly before Christmas.
Reported and repeated... as stories are these days... in a plethora of publications from the blatantly gossipy Showbiz Spy to sites many consider serious news sources, like The Huffington Post.
Slate.fr actually published a fictional application... from Tiger Woods... for asylum in France.
There were two reasons given for the golfer's potential dépaysement: France's stricter privacy laws and French indifference to the conjugal infidelities of celebrities. The simplistic conclusion was that Tiger might want to mend fences by taking his family to a secluded chateau in a place where the local population wouldn't dwell on the daily declarations of alleged mistresses. ~ However, as someone who fell in love with golf on a little course outside of Paris, I'm guessing there might be more to it than that.
Renowned golf writer Brian McCallen actually calls the country "Europe’s most underrated golf destination". And as author of Golf Resorts of the World, Top 100 Courses You Can Play and Golf’s Best New Destinations I think it's fair to say that Mr. McCallen knows the nuances of global golf resorts.
In his article, Golf in France: A Moveable Feast, the former senior editor at GOLF Magazine describes a golf destination that's about much more than just the game, and an ambiance that's distinctly more relaxing than what we find in the US... more inclusive and... OK, more sensual:
"At the golf clubs my wife and I visited, from the vineyards of Bordeaux to the foothills of the Alps, nearly every group we encountered was a mixed foursome. The vast majority of these golfers were walkers, the men and women stylishly attired, their bags pulled on trolleys, their rounds completed promptly in four hours. Less time on the course means more time for dining and socializing. France sets the pace for both."Had I never played golf in France I might be skeptical that the game could be like that. But I have played there... several times... and it is.
Mr. McCallen does point out that from a pure golf point-of-view France does not offer what Ireland or England does, but he clearly understands that
I urge you to read the article. It can be found at The A Position where you'll find some of the best golf writing on the internet. The kind of golf writing that's getting increasingly difficult to find.
Despite reports that Elin Woods was spotted... sans Tiger... at a New Year's party in the French Alps, speculation on French future for the Woods family seems to have died down for now. But who knows what the future may bring for the beleaguered Athlete of the Decade.
Meanwhile I'm working on an itinerary for my own 2010 French golf adventure.