by Kay Hare
One Eagle is the only golf shop in Monte Carlo. Poised on one of the main streets leading into the golden square of Monaco, it has a great position to park and to find. I met the owner and founder Jean Francois Noaro at the shop for their first-year Anniversary party.
Golf is Noaro’s passion and although I have never played golf, I can see why. It is a great sport for staying fit, being with like-minded people and of course, it demands a high level of concentration and a certain state of mind.
Jean Francois is from a very old Monegasque family. His grandfather set up the plumbing business in Monaco, over one hundred years ago but the family originated from Dolce Aqua. It is now in its fourth generation soon to be fifth, and still a family-run business, known as Noaro Frères. The business is unique in operating a 24-hour, seven-day a week service.
Jean Francois does not stop there, he also owns and manages an environmentally friendly business called Nu Flow which specialises in re-fitting drains without causing breakage or involving digging them up. The business received an award and trophy in 2014 for an eco-innovative prize in Monaco for outstanding ecological services.
Noaro is also the Consul for Seychelles. I wondered with a good handicap of 16 and thriving businesses, what is his secret to running a business, having a family and finding time to play sport and relax?
What inspired you to set up One Eagle Golf shop?
I am passionate about golf and I have been playing since I was 25 years old. As I became more involved in the sport I grew frustrated at not being able to find the right equipment and accessories. There were no golf shops in Monaco and I was travelling all over the world at one stage to find premium quality brands. I was not interested in high-end fashion labels. I wanted brands that offered reliability, engineering, innovation and style.
Do you only sell golfing clothes and equipment?
In winter we stock skiing clothes and equipment. We have the same philosophy as for the golfing brands, where we focus on professional brands that are recommended.
How far is the golf club from Monte Carlo?
It is only 20 mins by car, or you could enjoy a very scenic walk there from Monaco in about one and a half hours.
Is it possible to play golf in July and August when the weather becomes so hot?
Yes, it is still comfortable to play in the peak of summer as the Monte Carlo Golf Club is set 860 metres above Monaco, relatively high in the hills. There is usually a pleasant breeze as well as some humidity and we store rainwater to water the greens and this contributes to maintaining the course’s reputation as a premium club.
Is there an active social scene at the Monte Carlo Golf Club?
Yes, for example, we have three new events in April, May and June at the golf club in association with One Eagle. Every Sunday throughout any year, there is a members’ competition.
Are you involved in the Monaco-US Celebrity Ryder Cup?
Yes, this event is in partnership with Susan Feaster and will take place at the Monaco Yacht Club between 15-18th June.
You mentioned you are offering unique golfing services from the shop? Can you tell us more about this?
We have two services in the shop, one of them being the Master Fitter in the studio. This is a tailored in-boutique service calculating a player’s swing with About Golf radar system, and also a Trackman 4 system for analyzing outdoors which clubs are best suited to the individual player.
The second service is the One Eagle Experience. A bespoke VIP service, all-inclusive for the experienced golf player and the amateur. This consists of one, two or three days playing golf in the premium clubs on the French Riviera with a Golf Pro. There is a Helicopter service with a panoramic flight, VIP service and clothes and equipment provided.
We hold an After-Golf evening once a month, each Saturday for casual aperitifs between 6-8pm at the One Eagle boutique.
How many golf clubs are on the French Riviera?
There are five excellent clubs, one is the Monte Carlo Golf Club in Peille, this is a spectacular course and boasts the best scenic and panoramic view and of course local to Monte Carlo. The Country Club of Cannes-Mougins and Royal Mougins Golf Club are also beautiful courses. Then there is the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort located at Tourrettes sur Var. Terre Blanche is a relatively new club which offers an excellent quality course and lasts but not least the 18-hole course of Château de Taulane. All of the clubs have good golfing shops, offering professional to amateur products. One Eagle can advise on all the courses suggesting and offering services best suited to your ability and requirements.
What are the future plans for One Eagle as a shop and unique service?
We have many ideas, but we would like to expand the One Eagle brand name and create clothing. Currently, we are starting a campaign for our towels and we hope to start a collection of cashmere golf sweaters.
What is the secret to running many successful businesses and still having time to play and enjoy golf?
It’s not really a secret, first, you need to be in good health and enjoy working. You need to take time at the weekend to share your passion with your friends and family – that way, everybody wins.
To be able to find time at the weekend, you need to have a good team. Each member of the One Eagle team works well together and has created the right atmosphere to support our customers.
I can count on them when I’m not there. Every day I say to my team: « You are lucky to be working in Golf!