Michel is what might be termed a man of the world. Born of French parents in Madagascar, he started to play golf at the age of seven in Santiago, Chile, on a course which was custom-made for children. His family moved to France, and then Germany where Michel graduated to Strasbourg College to study law. After his military service as an army golf instructor, he went for coaching in the US, played in some mini-tour events in Florida, and turned professional in 1985. He then won the 1988 French Professional title, the 1990 Vittel Open, the 1991 Ivory Coast Open and the 1992 Challenge AGF des Caraibes on the European Challenge Tour. A place on The European Tour was his via a top ten Order of Merit finish on the Challenge Tour.