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LPGA Decides to Ditch Ban on Non-English Speaking Golfers

The triumph of non-native English speakers, who won three LPGA majors this year, indicates that speaking English is not a required skill on the golf course. Even so, the international women's pro-golf association announced a policy recently that would suspend players who do not speak English. After much outrage, the plan has been rejected.

The LPGA Tour commissioner explained:

After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every tour player.

The original plan did not require players to be fluent, only "effective." The LPGA explained that it wanted players to interact effectively with pro-am partners, do media interviews, and give a winner's acceptance speech in English. The LPGA offers online language training, and also has a cross-culture program.

Considering that players have an incentive to improve their language skills if they want to further their careers off the course, it's probably not necessary for the LPGA to ban players with poor English from playing golf, a sport that doesn't require much speaking. We all have heard stories of white-only golf courses — why do you think the sport has a tendency to back away from diversity?


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g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
They should at least allow them a chance for a translator. I'm not a golf fan, but I am definitely not a fan of trying to communicate with someone who doesn't know English. I put myself in their place though.. like I've always wanted to visit France for example... I'd be a total wreck over there.
knightime knightime 8 years
I def. agree that English is the dominant language. I just thought it was funny that we didn't declare an official language.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I know that, but waht is the dominant language spoken here? I always thought the founders didn't declare an "official language" because it seemed so obvious, it was unnecessary.
knightime knightime 8 years
Did you know that the US doesn't even (officially) declare English as their official language? (We actually don't have an official language).
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Since the dominant culture in this land is English, I have no problem asking that anyone wishing to live in America speak that language. It shows a desire to become a part of the "melting pot". If you only want to speak the language of rhte country you are from, then stay in that country.
stiletta stiletta 8 years
Pop, that's an excellent point. I myself would never even consider sign language as a language. Thank you.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Would they have banned a deaf golfer because she could only speak sign language? I think overturning the ban is a good idea.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
As long as Paolo, my Uruguayan caddy is allowed on the green, I could care less. :coffee:
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
"the adoption of English as the official national language." What?
seabee seabee 8 years
One of the most un-American moments in recent memory -- apart from the suspension of Habeas Corpus -- is the adoption of English as the official national language. This is the U. S. of A., and we are the melting pot, and we speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Portuguese, French, and much, much more. Besides, I would like to be able to boast creating more jobs for translators.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I understand the need for the LPGA to mandate that the players be functional in english, so that they can communicate with the American course officials. I don't think there should be a ban, and I'm glad to hear they are getting rid of it.
Vespa Vespa 8 years
Janneth, seriously! Golf is such an expensive sport!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i can understand why the LPGA would want to have the ban, but i think that it was a good decision to reverse the decision. if we see that some of the top players aren't fluent, then by not allowing them to play would take away some of the competition, and then it wouldn't be the same playing field. it's like taking tiger out of the mix - and then you see that others have a chance to win...but if there are several non-english speakers, it would be like taking out a handful of the top players and it's just not as compelling to watch. i think that as long as there are efforts made for these women to learn english - then everyone should be happy. it's not just helpful for the players for media and communicating with the players and fans, but it makes them one step above...they will be bi-or multi lingual.
janneth janneth 8 years
You can't play golf in the street in poor neighborhoods like you can with some sports. (Although Vijay Singh played with coconuts in Fiji when he was little) This historical country club-iness is the problem. I though Tiger had changed that.
stephley stephley 8 years
From the NY Times 8/26/08 "In fairness, comparisons between the L.P.G.A., an independent organization not affiliated with the PGA Tour, and other sports bodies are imprecise. The L.P.G.A., much like the PGA Tour, is a group of individual players from diverse backgrounds whose success as an organization depends on its ability to attract sponsorships from companies looking to use the tour for corporate entertainment and advertisement." While I agree golf has had its diversity issues, this sounds like more of a sales issue - if the big players can't entertain the sponsors with jokes and speeches, their value to the tour is less.
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