The Lacoste Ladies Open de France - At Home in Saint-Jean-de-Luz

St-Jean-de-Luz        photo credit: RLasaosa via photopin cc
There's a lot to love about the, southwestern corner of France, from the expansive Atlantic beaches to the wonderful wines of Bordeaux and the Cote Basque.  The towns and cities are steeped in history and the cuisine is... Bordelaise, in other words: fois gras, truffles, cassoulet and amazing almondy, multi-chromatic sweets.  And what's not to love about that?

I know the area well having spent numerous holidays in Biarritz during the 90s, when I lived in Paris with my French husband.  However, we didn't play golf back then, and though we enjoyed memorable meals at L'Atlantique and Le Kaiku, we never spent more than an afternoon Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the charming port city just a few miles from the Spanish border where the Lacoste Ladies Open de France is taking place this week.

Golf de Chantaco                        photo:
In addition to the sumptuous gastronomy, charming Basque architecture... and its history as a pirate's cove... Saint-Jean-de-Luz has a unique bond with the game of golf.  It's a bond that has roots in the early part of the 20th century, with the Thion de la Chaume family and their creation of Golf de Chantaco.

Simone Thion de le Chaume was a renowned, golden-age golfer who became the first foreign player to win the British Girls Amateur and the first to win the British Ladies Amateur championships.  Her marriage to French tennis star Rene Lacoste brought together two star athletes and led to the creation of an apparel brand that revolutionized athletic wear in the early nineteen thirties with the introduction of La Chemise Lacoste; the original version of today's ubiquitous polo shirt.  A couple of years ago I wrote about  the Lacoste family and their singular and profound relationship with golf.

The company has remained family owned... and continues to enjoy immense global popularity... almost 70 years after its creation, a testament to the tenacity that inspired its iconic crocodile logo. As for the 2012 Ladies Open de France, with Lacoste as title sponsor, the event will surely receive a warm welcome at home in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
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