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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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