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“I was a receptionist in a hotel in

World University Champion in 2008, Marion Ricordeau35 years old today, has also imposed herself on the LETAS at Terre Blanche in 2012 or even at Grand Prix PGA Schweppes 2014 and 2015. The one who is still licensed at Ailette golf course (02) has however never won on the Ladies European Tour (LET). ” I have no regrets about that she breathes in her communicative good humor. The positive attitude. Always…

What have you been doing since you ended your professional career after the Lacoste Ladies Open de France 2018?
I had three jobs! First, to start, I became an amateur player again. To still be able to have that competitive spirit but without the pressure. When I stopped, I didn’t necessarily have a project but my companion (Editor’s note, Inigo Ceballos Ibanez), who was also my caddy and has since become my husband, was training to become a golf director. While he was completing his training during the winter of 2018-19, I worked as a temporary worker for a few months in a golf course near Compiègne (60)to Chateau d’Humieresand this until he finds a job at Etretat golf course from March 2019.

Did you find work right away at the Etretat golf course?
No. I found it interesting to do a job alongside what my husband was doing. So I was a receptionist in a hotel in Etretat, there too for a few months. At Domaine Saint-Clair. It was a very interesting experience. I discovered a profession that I did not know at all. It also allowed me to change my behavior as a customer in a hotel or a restaurant… When you’re a receptionist, you’re a bit of a whipping boy for customers when there’s something wrong. My approach to staff in the hotel industry has since changed completely. I respected them a lot before and even a little more today (laughs). It’s a very difficult job, with somewhat complicated schedules because I worked once a day, once at night… With golf, I never went to bed really late and all that upset me a bit. So I lasted a little less than a year, just before the first confinement. And a job became available at the Etretat golf course in July 2020.

I am an executive assistant. But basically, I take care of the reception, like everyone else in a golf course. We are all multi-taskers. Except for the manager.

What is your job today?
I am an executive assistant. But basically, I take care of the reception, like everyone else in a golf course. Except for the manager. We are all multi-taskers. And I specialized in everything related to tour operators, especially groups of golfers who come for a stay… We also have a large, well-stocked pro-shop, and I like this business a lot too. A priori, I’m doing quite well, so I’m happy (laughs). Most of our customers come from Benelux and Germany. We also have Americans, thanks to cruises that make stops at the port of Le Havre. So every Wednesday we have small groups of about ten people. It makes you travel. It’s nice.

What is your career plan today?
My husband sacrificed his life for eight years for me as a caddy. So when I stopped, I said to him: It’s your turn and I’m following you! Golf director, that’s his project. Not mine. But wherever he goes, I will follow him. It’s having a blast in Etretat but we’re a bit nomadic and staying in the same place too long seems complicated to us. So, one day, we will leave and it is he who will guide the rest of our projects. And I will adapt. I am very happy to accompany him and to work for him when he feels the need. I like this balance that we have together.

Could you have chosen to stay a little closer to the world of golf, as a coach for example?
I could have actually because we had bridges to become a teacher without it taking three years of training. The French Golf Federation (FFG) suggested it but that’s not what I want to do. From time to time, I accompany the pro of our club, Romain Lepage, with the children. Very occasionally with the team. I love making them discover lots of things, but doing it full time, no!

And marry a role of consultant on television, like Sophie Giquel-Bettan for example on Golf + ?
I have not been approached but I have been doing it for the FFG for two years as part of the Golfers’. I love that. But also because it is occasional. I’m having fun but I don’t know if I would have as much energy and passion to do it on a regular basis…

Do you continue to play golf in the Pro-Ams for example?
I play a few federal competitions. I have done a Grand Prix since the beginning of the year then the divisions a fortnight ago. I registered for the French Ladies Championship next month in Granville (50). I want to play, and from time to time I manage to hit the ball well. It’s quite nice… I train very little and competitions are my only training after all. I don’t take too much time. When you work in a golf course, and when you’ve finished your day’s work, you don’t necessarily want to do another three or four hours…

I’m glad I did what I did, even if the results weren’t what I had originally hoped for.

In which division does the Etretat team play?
I don’t play for Etretat (laughs). I continue to play for my club, the Ailette golf course (02). I’m still licensed and a member there. In ladies, we are in the third division. And in mid-amateur that I play at the end of June, we are in the second division. We went up last year. The level will be higher…

Was the decision to stop the top level easy to take?
It had been bothering me for a while. It was decided on a whim the French Open 2018 (at the golf course of Medoc). I had a good tournament because I found myself second after 54 holes (Editor’s note, one point from the lead before taking 15th place). The last lap, on the other hand, was more complicated. I got off to a bad start, but there were a lot of people on the golf course, people got excited about me. They were sorry that I played badly at the beginning and I felt an incredible amount of emotion there. I said to Iñigo at the end of the game: I don’t think I will ever feel like this again, so I have to stop now! I was really happy and that was the end.

When you look back on your career, what is the biggest regret that drives you?
I don’t really have any regrets. I think if I had better understood how I worked, maybe I would have done something differently. I’m glad I did what I did, even if the results weren’t what I had originally hoped for. Looking back, I tell myself that it was not so bad. I did what I could with my weapons. I got to know myself a little better when I quit. It helps me a lot more for my life today. As a result, I make decisions more easily…

The American dream is great, evolving on the LPGA, it’s extraordinary, but vegetating on the second US division, especially for a European, I would not recommend it.

What do you remember most from this period, in particular your experience in the United States, both on the Symetra Tour (now Epson Tour) and on the LPGA Tour?
I don’t have too many bad memories anymore. Over time, the brain is strong enough to sort it out. He only kept the good times and the little anecdotes (laughs). I wouldn’t encourage young players to make a living on the Symetra… The American dream is great, to evolve on the LPGA, it’s extraordinary, but to vegetate on the second US division, all the more so for a European, I would not recommend it not. For the Americans, who have been there for eight years, they are at home. It’s easy. For a European, being average on the Symetra is too hard. Emotionally and physically. We are far from everything. Unless you move there and stay there, it’s complicated. The LPGA is worth it because we play crazy courses every week, the organization is crazy and, in addition, we are confronted with the best players in the world. We are constantly pulled up.

You won on the LETAS but not on the LET, is that a big disappointment for you?
It does not matter. I did the best I could. I finished second once, in China (Editor’s note, Xiamen International Ladies Open), and the first was an amateur, so I took the winner’s check. I never won but it’s not something that I missed somewhere. Winning makes you change your status and I think you have to experience it. I finished second on the Symetra, second on the LET. I don’t know if I’m a kind of Poulidor but I have no regrets about that.

Which player impressed you the most?
There is a girl who has definitely given my career a boost. She’s the South Korean So Yeon Ryu. I was with her at the British in Liverpool (in 2012). She was at the time 4th in the world and I had finished 27th in the LET. The first thirty of the European circuit were qualified. I was one of the worst players in the field and ended up with her for the first two rounds. With the a priori that we have in France on Korean women, we say to ourselves: ” It’s not going to be funny, this, that… On the contrary, she was incredibly kind, she asked me a lot of questions, when she was younger than me. And obviously, she had an incredible level of golf. I’ve never seen that. And when I saw him play, I said to myself: I want to be like her when I grow up! She blew me away. I spent two days watching it during the two rounds of stroke. I didn’t make the cut, not by much but still… (laughs). And then the next two days, I went to see her train. It’s thanks or because of her, I don’t know, that I decided to go and play in the United States. So it had a huge impact on my life and game choices.

And if we had to do it again ?
I will go back to the United States. I would have liked to know myself better when I left there… But in the end, if I had to do it again, I would do it the same way. In any case, I do not regret having done so.

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