World class golfers and surfers swapped skills during the LACOSTE Ladies Open de France at Chantaco in Saint Jean de Luz.
The Ladies European Tour (LET) event was played during the same week as the Quicksilver Pro France, an ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Championship event at nearby Hossegor, setting up the perfect opportunity to explore these polar opposite individualistic sports.
Nikki Garrett (Australia), Camilla Lennarth (Sweden) and Sophie Walker (England) took surfing lessons from ASP Europe Junior Champion Ramzi Boukhiam (Morocco), World Junior Champion Maxime Huscanot (France) and Former European Champion Frederic Robin (France). The pros then swapped roles and the golfers gave the surfers their first golf lesson on the beach.
The relaxed surfers hit some decent shots out of the sand while the players caught some small waves which left both sides wanting more!
Sophie Walker said: “Next year I might come to the tournament a few days early or extend my stay and take part in a surf camp to improve my skills!”
Camilla Lennarth said: “I would probably never have tried surfing had it not been for this as I had not seen any surfing in Sweden but it was really fun – and pretty exhausting too! Watching the surfers play golf was crazy as they had never played before.”
The 2007 Spanish and Tenerife Open champion Nikki Garrett was initially a little nervous about surfing since she almost broke her back as a 15-year-old but was put totally at ease under the expert tutelage of Maxime Huscanot.
Meanwhile up-and-coming Moroccan surfer Ramzi Boukhiam, 20, who relegated current World No.3 Jordy Smith (ZAF) to the second round of competition, suggested that he might take a few golf lessons… so we might see him in a tournament Pro-Am in future!
Although these surfers were golf novices, several of the ASP Tour Pros are keen single handicap golfers and it has become more than just a hobby for World No.2 Kelly Slater.
According to Fox Sports, Slater is a five-handicap who has considered trying to make it onto the Champions Tour when he is aged 50. He brings his clubs to almost every tour stop and has been photographed playing at Golf de Biarritz Le Phare, the venue for the Biarritz Ladies Classic on the LET from 2001-2003.