That’s the summary given by Golf Digest about who and what the greatest golfer of the moment, Jon Rahm, is. For the producers of the “Local Knowledge” podcast, it’s essential to understand the “Basqueness” of the athlete in order to understand how he plays and his stamina, even in the most complicated situations, to understand how he “never gives up.”
But before we continue, Golf Digest obviously covers the world of golf, and its numbers are staggering: its website gets 8 million unique hits a month, its journal has 3.5 million subscribers, its social media have 3.3 million followers, and its paper magazine has 3.6 million readers.
And it is on the website where we can find a link to the twice-monthly podcast “Local Knowledge,” whose May 15th episode is dedicated to the Basque golfer. And the title says it all: Jon Rahm’s Basque heritage: A story going back millennia.
But neither the title nor the discussion in the podcast, are coincidence, nor are they things the author is making up. They come from something that is stated within the tale:
“His pride at being Basque is evident whenever he’s asked, and his resilience as a competitor can be traced to his heritage, and his connection with a remarkably enduring people.”
So it’s curious to find, as they point out at the beginning of the podcast, how if you do an internet “search for ‘Jon Rahm Basque,’ and you’ll get a few hits, but nothing very substantial beyond a story about the Basque population of Boise, ID celebrating his Masters win.”
Today, thanks to this article, all that has changed. This Local Knowledge entry is already among the first hits for that search, and the readers of this important journal can thus learn all about the links between this Basque athlete and his country. And, by the same token, they can learn something about our country.
Rahm’s determination to make clear where he is from and what he feels he belongs to helps the whole world to learn more (or in many cases anything at all) about who we are.
But there’s an argument to be made that the Basque people are one of the most unique groups in the history of the world, and certainly in Europe. The one remarkable fact about them, as Mark Kurlansky noted in his book The Basque History of the World, is that they’ve survived at all; alone among the tribes and confederacies and kingdoms that existed before the Indo-European migration swept across Europe, the Basques managed to avoid being annihilated or assimilated; they’re the only people left from before the “Europeans” that exist today, and from whom so many Americans are descended. That makes them the oldest people in Europe, with the oldest language.
Listening has somehow reminded us of the two documentaries Orson Welles filmed about the Basques for the BBC under the title “The Land of the Basques.”
We know it’s not the same, but in both cases, we can see people who have “discovered” the Basques, and what they’ve found has fascinated them.
We’ll leave you with the 45-minute long podcast about Jon Rahm, which is also a tale about the Basques. We hope to offer you a transcript of it soon, too.
We’ll also leave you with the article that accompanies the podcast.
The podcast transcript
Local Knowledge – 15/5/2023 – USA
Jon Rahm’s Basque heritage: A story going back millennia
Do a Google search for “Jon Rahm Basque,” and you’ll get a few hits, but nothing very substantial beyond a story about the Basque population of Boise, ID celebrating his Masters win. The situation would be better if you spoke Spanish, but still, there’s a dearth of information on the cultural heritage of the No. 1 golfer in the world.
Last Updated on Dec 3, 2023 by About Basque Country