LPGA Players Must All Speak English From 2009

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by Feña14, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    5,423
    Location:
    England

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/golf/7583558.stm


    The LPGA has announced that from 2009 all tour players will be required to speak English.

    Under new regulations, all golfers who have been on the tour for two years must pass an oral exam or face having their membership suspended.
    There are 121 international players currently on the tour, including 45 from South Korea.


    Libby Galloway from the LPGA said: "This should be a priority in their professional development."


    She added the move was not meant to discourage foreign players from joining the LPGA, but to try to help the golfers and the game succeed.
    "We just wanted to be clear about our expectations," she said.


    "What we would do is work with them on where they fell short, provide them the resources they need, the tutoring. And when we feel like they need to be evaluated again, we would evaluate."


    It seems at least some of the players agree with the policy.
    Five-time major winner Se Ri Pak told www.golfweek.com: "We agree we should speak some English.


    "We play so good overall. When you win, you should give your speech in English.


    "Mostly what comes out is nerves. It's a totally different language in front of the camera. You're excited and not thinking in English."

    _____________________________________________________

    What do you think about this?

    Having your membership to the tour taken away from you because you can't speak a certain language seems pretty crazy.

    Can you imagine if Nadal got booted of the tour a few years ago when his English wasn't very good?

    Seems a strange move if you ask me.
     
    #1
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,270
    Location:
    A not so parallel universe...
    No... it doesn't seem like a crazy idea.

    It is definitely a crazy idea.

    Sounds like a wrongly-timed April Fool's joke to me.
     
    #2
  3. crazytennis

    crazytennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Oh my god...what the hell is going on ?
     
    #3
  4. crazytennis

    crazytennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Oh wait, LPGA is an American organization. Are American players not winning, so that they have to do this ? (this is a real question, i have no idea what goes on in LPGA)
     
    #4
  5. counter_puncher

    counter_puncher Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    859
    Stupidity.
     
    #5
  6. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    ****, I'm Korean and this is ****ing ********. Seriously. Why don't they figure out a way to beat the Korean women at the game? Does one need to know how to speak English in order to swing the club? What are translators for? How did Japan become one of the world's biggest economies while speaking no English? They TRANSLATED the scientific and technological literature... Geez.
     
    #6
  7. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Havre de Grace, MD
    It comes down to money. The golfers make money because the sponsors pony up the cash by endorsments or into the actual purse of the tournament. The sponsors by these monies because they feel people will purchase thier goods/services because of thir support.

    Currently sponsors are dropping out of LPGA and attendance is dropping as well. Feedback has been that with so many non-english speakers winning the oppurtunity is not presenting itself for interviews and extra exposure for the tournament or the company.

    Being a golfer puts you in the public eye, and your living as a golfer and the entire LPGA relies solely upon pubic interest. The LPGA feels that interest is being compromised because these players cannont relate to potential patrons because of the language barrier.
     
    #7
  8. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Havre de Grace, MD
    Ramses,

    You are a korean who obviously knows enough english to type it. Were you born in an english speaking country or did you move later and had to learn it? If you didnt grow up speaking the language then why did you learn to speak english?
     
    #8
  9. Serve em Up

    Serve em Up Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
    281
    It is all about dwindling audience and sponsors. Most of the sponsors are marketing to american consumers. It;s important that the players become popular and develop a good fan base.

    Hard to relate to a player that can't speak your language.

    This is necessary for the Tour to succeed.

    Once again, the liberals can't figure out that the key to succeeding in the business world and propospering in the United States is mastery of the English language.

    This silly penchant for political correctness in tolerating a fully multi cultural, and multi lingual United States wiull be out downfall. There needs to be a common American culture, with English as a common language. Every immigrant group coming here until the most recent wave of illegal immigration came here and learned English. I welcome immigrants, but it's a bit arrogant to come as a foreigner and expectr the population to change their language to suit you.

    FWIW, One of the top Korean players is fully on board with this policy. She obviously gets it, I don't know why you all don't.
     
    #9
  10. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I am really sure that most of them already speak some level of english and a oral exam is not as hard as a written exam. However I can see why some people think that this is a measure taken to affect a particular group of players within the tour. I do not like it.
     
    #10
  11. random guy

    random guy Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,461
    It's very rude, verging on discriminatory. I'll be more polite to non-english speaking countries. For all I know, in a hundred years we all will be speaking chinese and spanish.
     
    #11
  12. random guy

    random guy Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,461
    The thing is that language is also a living thing. Its changes doesn't have to be with "political correctness" or not (not saying that state policies doesn't affect them). And when you have some vast minorities (and they are "the population" too) that speaks in another language is impossible that this isn't gonna affect the whole in the long term.
     
    #12
  13. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Havre de Grace, MD
    Then if I play a sport that my pay is entirely based on Chinese sponsors that want me to speak chinese to relate to thier customer base I will learn to speak Chinese.

    I dont see how sellign a product to predominately english speaking customer base is rude. That customer base and sponsors are leaving, which means these golfers will make less and less money and the LPGA will eventually fold as a commercial entity. These women will no longer be full time golfers they will have to get full time jobs. The LPGA is trying to survive and feels this is one way to get its name out there from a PR stand point, and have a better chance at keeping and attracting sponsors.
     
    #13
  14. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    To Hollywood: I've been living in an English speaking country for 8 years. But for these over 100 international and 45 Korean players, things are different. They barely have enough time and energy to focus on their game, and now they have to get tutored to speak English. Of course if they fail the test, they are automatically unemployed, which is worse than the LPGA losing some sponsors and the players making less money.

    I can see what some of you are saying about an English speaking sponsor base. I don't understand this for two reasons. First, I don't know too much about the golf tour and how the LPGA operates, but no-where in their website does it say "we are an American organization whose sole goal is to promote golf within the United States." In fact, it says it's a "premier women's sports organization in the world." Second, do only American people buy Rolex watches, Teitlist golf gear, Blue Diamond almonds, and DriGrip sunscreen? No, these are international companies who market their products to customers WORLDWIDE. Then do only American people watch golf? No, if Korean players are winning, American viewers will watch less golf, but Korean players will watch more.

    Sure, on the outside they can say that it's because the audience cannot relate to the winning players' interviews because their English is bad, and that sponsors are leaving. But here's what's REALLY happening. They just don't like that golf is becoming less popular in the UNITED STATES. They couldn't care less about the international state of the game. What they should really do is make a national league and promote that. I'm sure the quality of play will suffer a little.
     
    #14
  15. MIGHTY MANFRED THE WONDER

    MIGHTY MANFRED THE WONDER Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Messages:
    688
    Simply put.
    Playing on the LPGA is not a "right" it is a privilege. While they can't enforce any requirements concerning sexual preferences, by God, they can enforce enough english ability to go to the bank and cash that three foot check.
     
    #15
  16. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,047
    Location:
    Scotland ;-)
    Shocking descision. Doesn't that violate rights of any variety?
     
    #16
  17. burosky

    burosky Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,035
    Location:
    CA
    Keep in mind the LPGA doesn't run this organization out of the goodness of their hearts. This is a commercial entity. As such, they will do what they feel is best. I think marketing has a lot to do with this decision. I hate to say it but if you think about it, the golfers are the main product the LPGA is selling. They have to make their product as appealing as possible to as many people as possible.

    If you were to make a choice between two similar products both are packaged nicely but has no pictures for reference only text to describe the contents, which one would you choose? The one with text that you understand or the one with text that you don't?

    I know it isn't quite the same but the idea is close.
     
    #17
  18. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Valhalla
    this was smart for a few reasons.

    1. people are talking about the LPGA. when was the last time anyone was talking about the LPGA. good or bad it gets people talking.
    2. it hurts there american television when they cant even have there players give interviews without a translator. something i dont care about but some do.
    3. sponsors can use these girls in the US. that is there main concern. if you cant speak the language then sponsors in america cant use you.

    one more thing if all these tennis players can learn at least some english they i dont see golfers having a hard time.
     
    #18
  19. Dr. Acula

    Dr. Acula New User

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    32
    WHO CARES. The LPGA isn't a gov't organization they can do whatever they want. If it's dumb go make another golf tour that will probably be way better and you can make everyone learn to speak esperanto.
     
    #19
  20. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    #20
  21. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,877
    Location:
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    I don't think so. And they probably checked with their attorneys before announcing this policy (just to make sure). The LPGA has apparently decided that it's not enough for the tour players to just show up and play, collect a paycheck and then just go on home, without nary a smile or a "Thank you".

    At first glance this policy seems discriminatory and America-centric, but as others have pointed out, the LPGA is a business. It's primary product is to market the players to its primary target audiences, which are in English-speaking markets. Therefore, the players are expected to "give something back" to the game (i.e. to the sponsors that keep the tour running) by being paraded in front of the public. That's professional sports. I absolutely HATE the direction that pro sports has taken in the past 25 years, but I understand the reasoning behind decisions like this. Business is not gentle. It is business.
     
    #21
  22. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    603
    Location:
    Havre de Grace, MD
    I bet all the players are for this. If they cant speak english they got no chance to get that Michelle Wie money. Aint no golfer gonna turn down millions of endorsements. Most are learning anyway, this just makes them speed it up a little.
     
    #22
  23. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    Just because an organization in nonprofit it does not mean that they are interested in making money. All it means is their profits are not distributed to shareholders or individuals. They get tax advantages and their CEOs and others can make huge salaries still. Examples of this are non profit hospitals.

    The money is put back into the company. Corporate sponsors are huge for LPGA. I think the idea is good. The most famous Korean female golfer Si Ri Pak has supported the policy. I think the implentation should not be "pass this test or get kicked out". It should have been mandatory english classes for nonnative speakers unless you can pass a oral test.
     
    #23
  24. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    Just because Pak agrees with it doesn't mean she's right. She already speaks excellent English, so she has nothing to worry about, other than losing alot of competition.

    goober:
    That's exactly the part of this that I'm opposed to. In the OP it says if you don't pass the test, your play can be suspended. Do I really think that every one of those 45 Korean players will pass this test? Hmmmmm.
     
    #24
  25. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Valhalla
    guess what there are jobs of all kinds that require you to learn a certain language. this is there job. it might be a very fun job that most of us would want but its still there job. and the lpga and there sponsors are your employer so if they want you to speak english then you need to go along with there rules or get out.
     
    #25
  26. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    THEIR. THEIR!!!!! *shivers*

    Ok now here is the rebuttal. So the LPGA has complete control over who plays and who doesn't? Imagine the ATP enforced the same thing. Yeah, I guess it's their right. Now imagine Nadal failed the test and now has to stop playing tennis. Not so much their right anymore huh? That's exactly what's going to happen. Some of the best women golfers are Korean, and other than about 10 of them, they don't speak much English. Alot of talent will be lost.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
    #26
  27. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    5,423
    Location:
    England
    What about the players who are rarely in contention and have to scrap to keep their tour card? It's not like they ever get interviewed anyway. Surely there's a chance they would be kicked off the tour for something that would make no difference to them.

    I can understand the top players needing English, as much for themselves and the sponsorship opportunities it could bring them in America and other benefits, but your average lower ranked player wouldn't get a whole lot out of it I wouldn't of thought.
     
    #27
  28. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,073
    Location:
    king size donut bed
    Didn't interpreters got invented like 5 years ago at least? I am sure LPGA can hire some...
     
    #28
  29. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    6,832
    Location:
    New York City
    They're just one step short of requiring that all players be attractive.
     
    #29
  30. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Valhalla
    its not the same. the LPGA is based in the united states where most people speak english. they are trying to market a product that is not very popular. the ATP tour is international. these players are playing tournaments in many countries where english isnt the primary language. your comparing two different things. the most international thing the LPGA does is go to canada or mexico.
     
    #30
  31. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    Not true. For the women's tour, The British Open has been a major since 2001. Now, let's talk about the similarities between the LPGA and the ATP, and more fundamental ones at that. They're both tours of sports that are played all around the world, featuring pros that come from various countries. Former champions of the British Open for example come from Korea, Mexico, England, Sweden, Australia, Japan, Spain, and South Africa. Both tours are also watched by fans all around the world. Did I mention both sports are played all around the world?

    On another thought, Nadal doesn't speak much English, yet he is very popular in English-speaking countries. Why? Hmmm, maybe it has something to do with the GAME ITSELF, which will suffer if the top players are BANNED because of this TEST.
     
    #31
  32. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,274
    Location:
    1.d4
    This was a very bad business decision. They should require all players to learn Mandarin by September 1, pick up all Chinese sponsors, and roll to victory! What can they be thinking? Women's golf is moribund in the USA. Try Saturn, or CHINA!

    :)

    I oppose the idea. I like having translators, in fact. It gives the whole tour a more international flavor and robustness. Are we going to require Olympic athletes to speak English next? Maybe we should require all the Chinese to speak English as a condition of doing business with America? And, what about Americans, who it is widely rumored don't speak a lick of "English"? Where would folks from Alabama fit in? ;)

    -Robert
     
    #32
  33. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Valhalla
    i agree that golf is played world wide but the LPGA is based out of the US and plays almost the entire season in the US where english is spoken. you use the british open as an example of an international tournament but they speak english there as well. so everyone should speak whatever language they want no matter where they are? like it or not the LPGA can do whatever they want with there product. even if its dying here in the US they can demand whatever they want from there players.
     
    #33
  34. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    See, that's exactly the part that I disagree with. Can you think of a better situation to say corporate responsibility? Ok fine, let's forget the whole "played all around the world" thing, and let's say the LPGA only has responsibility to American people. Ok, now let's say you are an American person watching the ATP, and let's assume and imagine for a moment the ATP is just like the LPGA, based and operating primarily in the USA like you say. They enforce this same thing, and several players are banned as a result. I don't know which players don't speak enough English to pass this test they're going to make but for the sake of the argument let's say Nadal was banned. Is that really okay? Are you really going to sit there and say "well, they can do WHATEVER they want"? Being a business does not give you the right to do whatever you want. Laws and ethics apply to businesses just like they apply to individuals.
     
    #34
  35. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    LPGA is not like the ATP at all. LPGA is primarily an American Tour and for the most part based in America. Golf is played around the world but the professional set up is completely different.

    There are mulitple competing tours that women can compete in.

    Ladies can choose to play on the:

    LGAT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour)

    ALPG (Australian Ladies Professional Golf),

    LPGA of Japan

    Evian tour (Euro equivalent of LPGA)

    Korean LPGA.

    Would you be throwing a hissy fit if the LPGA of Japan required all its members to be able to speak conversational Japanese in 2 years?
     
    #35
  36. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,073
    Location:
    king size donut bed
    Shouldn't they change the name to ELPGA? English speaking Ladies Professional Golf Association?

    Or ES1LLPGA? English as a First Language Ladies Professional Golf Association?

    Or maybe we will have a ESLLPGA to complement LPGA. English as a Second Language Ladies Professional Golf Association.

    Seriously, where the heck are these kind of ideas come from?? Did they hear of globalization before?
     
    #36
  37. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,073
    Location:
    king size donut bed
    http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200808/200808290014.html

     
    #37
  38. crazytennis

    crazytennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
    #38
  39. dragonrice

    dragonrice New User

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    18
    How come actors are not required to speak English and golfer s do?
     
    #39
  40. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    "Does that mean if you’re mute you can’t play golf on the LPGA tour?"

    wow. That has to be the most brilliant thing I've heard all day.
     
    #40
  41. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Valhalla

    this guy gets it.
     
    #41
  42. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,076
    Oh, yeah. This was such a great idea. Which is why LPGA backed out:

    http://www.lpga.com/content_1.aspx?pid=17168&mid=4

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/golf/7583558.stm

    Apparently they don't think it's such a great idea anymore. Might have something to do with the well-reasoned opposition from tour players and also their own American media.

    Oh and apparently some of the sponsors were opposed for obvious reasons. Weren't sponsors the whole reason for this thing?

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/sports/2008/09/136_30655.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
    #42

Share This Page