In Marion Ricordeau’s rookie season she has handled the demands of playing in her first season on Tour while starting a new business. In January, Ricordeau and business partner, Katia Euzen started Planet Drive, a company that combines exploring the Champagne country of France with playing golf.
Ricordeau and Euzen have known each other for more than ten years and have been involved with organizing golf competitions that help people learn the game and aid in routing and setting up excursions in the rich local “hills, houses and cellars of Champagne,” which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Both Ricordeau and Euzen each have a different specialty; Euzen brings her knowledge of the region and local partners, while Ricordeau brings a high level of golf knowledge to the partnership. The two plan everything for the outings when onsite including a gourmet breakfast, champagne tasting, cultural visits, golf or other sports and accommodation in a friendly and high-quality atmosphere.
“We decided with our knowledge and experience that we could create our own brand and no longer work for others. I am more involved in entertaining the golfers (clinics, etc.) and she is more involved in organizing and creating links with clients,” explained Ricordeau.
They have created customized programs for individual clients and small groups that combine sport and culture and with all their region has to offer it’s sure to be a success. Just around Reims, there are four golf courses, all very different. One is located in Chateau Thierry, the city of poet Jean de la Fontaine. Another is near the Reims in l’Ailette called "Chemin des Dames," mythical place of World War I, and the third is located in the city of Reims, near the largest champagne houses and their impressive cellars.
While Ricordeau’s main focus in playing on the LPGA Tour she continues to work as much as she can for the company as she plays a full schedule this season. When traveling and playing each week, she uses that opportunity to meet potential clients or find events to organize when appropriate.
“I realized that it is hard to play many tournaments in a short period, but I mostly learned about myself; I have to make choices and not just run and play as much as I can. I have to be more strategic about my season, way more patient and enjoy what I am doing, and I will make sure I won't make the same mistakes next year,” Ricordeau said on the challenges of being a rookie.
“But I also learned that I could work much more than expected being surrounded by a lot of passionate golfers on LPGA and I loved it. That's why I'm going to give my best to stay on the LPGA as long as I can.”
While Ricordeau tees it up this week Canada, Planet Drive, will be hosting their first event.
“I won't see how good it works, but I'm sure it's going to be a success. It is one of the events she (Euzen) was organizing the last ten years.”