PARIS

Life in lockdown in the 'City of Love' with our own trick shot artist Arnaud Serie

By Arnaud Serie

Editor’s Note: Arnaud Serie is one of the world’s best trick shot artists and features every week on Golf Digest.ie. He is 31 years old, a content creator for a bank by trade and lives in Paris. He has over 80,000 followers on his social media channels and was recently recognised as one of the world’s top digital influences.

I am of course a proud Parisian, born and bred and if you have been to the ‘City of Love’ or the ‘City of Lights’, as it’s often referred to, you will know of the wonder of Paris.

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Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and if you have been you will have seen the Eiffel Tower, the beautiful cobblestones streets, the Seine and you will have experienced our beautiful French cuisine. Michelin-star restaurants stand next to historic cafés and first-class museums are just a brisk walk away from well-stocked flea markets.

You’ll never be short of things to see and do while living in the French capital. In Paris, there is this magic that you don’t find anywhere else.

I’m used to the Parisian life and there is so much to say about the richness of Parisian life. Living in Paris means having the opportunity to go out and discover new things every day. It never ends.

All this changed with Covid-19, when we along with all other European counties went into lockdown back in March. It was a very strange time. No more golf, no more social gatherings, no more travel. We were living in a box and it was hard, very hard for some people.

Then the summer came and the restrictions ended. The golf bug hit people in France like it did in Ireland. People who played once a month were now playing once a week and people who played once a week now played two and three times a week. I played more golf than ever and couldn’t wait to get back out on a course and do some trick shots.

Then in October, President Emmanuel Macron made his announcement that France would go back into lockdown at midnight on Friday, October 30.

Across the city, Parisians took the afternoon off and dashed around, running errands at dry cleaners and art supply shops. People terrace-hopped from one restaurant to the next, showing support to their favourite establishments, while saying goodbye to friends who lived outside the limit of the permitted one-kilometre confinement radius.

Our pre-dinner ritual of drinks and light bites, transformed into a three-hour feast as we tried to soak up as much time before rushing off to our respective houses before the 9 p.m. curfew. We didn’t know what the new confinement would bring—but at least this time around, we had a better idea of how to handle it. Although there was a novelty factor and good weather during the first the lockdown, this second lockdown is much harder.

In the weeks since the new lockdown started, the city still has a slight buzz; police stroll through weekend markets ensuring everyone is wearing a mask, but at least there are markets. There’s less foot traffic than Paris pre-COVID, but with children going to school and people commuting to work, it feels more like a sleepy November day than the scary ghost town it was last spring. 

Over the last four weeks, I have been working from home in my apartment in the centre of Paris. I like my job but I love my golf and as I walk around my apartment, I dream of the beautiful green fairways of my local golf club, PGA France Le Vaudreuil Golf Course. It is considered one of the most beautiful courses in France and about 50 minutes from my apartment on a good day. 

Measuring 6,229 meters off the white markings, it is a great test and a wonderful experience for all golfers at all levels. It is also where I do most of my trick shots and the members love watching them on my social media platforms. A happy place, which I miss a lot.

I started golf when I was 20 and was introduced to it by my best friend Benoit Hamel, who’s a golf coach. Benoit taught me and I just loved it! Now I’m better than him (haha), I'm a total golf addict, especially when it comes to trick-shots and creating online content.

I think trick shots have never been more important. People need to smile more now than ever and as I walk around my apartment I think, can I hit a ball into that or can I bounce a ball of that, my mind is always thinking a new trick shot for my 80,000 social media followers

Over the last number of years, trick shot artists have come to the fore. In the US, Hole in One Trickshot, Dude Perfect, Coach Rusty and Tania Tare are literally household names, all with a massive following on social media, which makes them very relevant. They all amaze, they all have fun, they all entertain and through them, the next generation are taking up the game.

A new generation who now see golf as a fun sport and one they would like to try and I want to help grow the game of golf in France, in Ireland and around the world.

Clearly, golf, trick shots, social media and fun are a marriage made in heaven.

I try to create and make short videos in order to catch people's attention, golfers or non-golfers and growing the game my way. However, I stay authentic on my page and what you see is what I am.

In France, golf is not really popular and kind of old school, I want to make it as fun as possible and encourage people of all ages to play golf! I want to promote my sport around the world in order to attract the next generation of golfers.

Moreover, I really enjoy working in the field because the sport has given me so much in the past, and it's my way of enjoying and sharing my love for the sport.

Lockdown is a perfect time to try some trick shots at home, in the house or in the garden. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun. All you need is a plastic ball, your favourite wedge, a creative mind and a little bit of practise.

Try and thnk of one to do in each room in your house and don't overcomplicate it. Simple trick shots are the best. If you are in the kitchen, think pots and pans, think cooker, think fridge. If you are in the bathroom think bath, think sink, think shower. If you are in the living room think tv, think table, think chairs. There are so many trick shots that can be done at home and it so much fun, especially when it works! (haha).

It is very important to stay mentally healthy for you and for those around you, so good luck! 

We will all be back playing golf in December and believe me, that’s all this Parisian wants for Christmas!

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