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LPGA to require players to speak English...

Discussion in 'General Golf Talk' started by TheWOAT, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Harry Longshanks

    Harry Longshanks bow-chicka-bow-wow

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    Actually, I think it's an alternative to blocking them. If the Korean ladies keep winning and the viewers don't ever get to "know" them, the LPGA will lose it's appeal to Western fans. The LPGA must do something to market the Korean players to the North American fan base. And that means making them more endearing and easier to relate to.

    Without Googling, who won the women's majors in 2008? Now, who won them in 2007? I know, without even thinking, I can get 3 out of 4 for 2007, but only 1 for 2008 (I actually do know 1 more, but only because I looked it up earlier today). And I'm an avid viewer - someone who watches the LPGA on my DVR before the PGA.

    But that doesn't mean that I don't have issues with the policy - I do. Big ones. But Bivens' job is to protect the health of the LPGA. And from that standpoint, I can understand what she is doing.

    From the foreign players' view, I think they are probably a little annoyed and worried - but I also think they know where their paycheck is coming from. And I think that is why they aren't complaining. They know, from a business perspective, that it benefits them as much as the LPGA.

    I, for one, want to get to know the Korean and Japanese players better. From everything I have seen, they are (on the whole) more kind, polite, caring, and appreciative than many of their Western counterparts. (Can you think of any American players who donated their entire winnings check to the relief effort for a city they had never visited, didn't know anyone, and wasn't even in their own home country?) I think they recognize the opportunity that the LPGA has given them - one they (i.e., women) would not have in their home countries.
     
  2. xamilo

    xamilo Right Curving Driver.... Supporting Member

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    I'd look at Natalie Gulbis for hours without expecting her to even nod for a question...

    The LPGA is having problems with sponsorship spectators, etc, and now they might take out some of the best female golfers. That's going to work SO GOOD...

    Its curious when you think the best golfers in LPGA history are Mexican and Swedish I think...
     
  3. Harry Longshanks

    Harry Longshanks bow-chicka-bow-wow

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    Now, be honest xamilo. Natalie could be giving a lecture on Einstein's theory of relativity while juggling flaming golf balls using only her earlobes and, as long as the camera angle showed her from head to toe, you wouldn't even notice she was talking. . . :D

    First, the reason the LPGA is having some (but not all) of the problems is because of leaderboards filled with names of players the viewers either don't know, or can't identify with.

    Second, they won't "take out" anyone. The policy is flexible enough to work with any player. I think JJ is correct when she says that the players can speak English, they are just afraid to do so on national TV (I would be too! And I speak English as my first language!) or to strangers in a pro-am. This should be just a nudge to get them going.

    I wouldn't put Lorena Ochoa in the category of "best golfers in LPGA history" just yet. She's had a couple of very good years, but nothing like Annika, Babe Zaharias, Kathy Whitworth, Mickey Wright, Nancy Lopez, Betsy King, Patty Berg, JoAnn Carner, etc.
     
  4. xamilo

    xamilo Right Curving Driver.... Supporting Member

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    Hey! I like Quantum Physics!:laugh:
     
  5. RickinMA

    RickinMA Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    a lot of the posts here seem to be focused on players needing to do interviews in English to help market the LPGA to the American television audience to further the game and the LPGA. Step back for a second.... who cares about the American television audience? The golf market here is saturated. The industry is seeing the # of rounds drop at courses all over the US (especially the further you get from metro areas).

    If you're looking at it from a $ perspective (I'm an accountant) there's much more potential to grow the game and the LPGA outside of the US. If a Japanese player does an interview in Japanese - I'm sure someone in Japan will buy something (not sure what, but that's not important) and maybe a young Japanese girl watching will take an interest and pick up a club for the first time. If you get her hooked, she'll be buying new clubs, bags, matching shoes, etc in a few years. There's plenty of money for golf overseas.

    In the US, many of our courses are being foreclosed on right now. In other parts of the world, it's just taking off. If you look at the current LPGA schedule, they already play tournaments in Mexico, Canada, France, China, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, and the UK. - Looking at the list, I think they'd get around just fine without speaking English in some of those places.

    Another thing about capitalism here in the US - if a Korean player goes out and wins tournaments she can use her winnings to hire an interpretor - it's good for the economy, and, she might as well spend her dollars here because they aren't worth much anywhere else in the world anymore. We don't have issues with Tiger hiring a pilot or a captain for his boat, why should we care if an asian player can't speak english.

    This country wasn't great because we forced people to play by our rules - it was great because people were hard working and innovative. If the LPGA makes it too much of a hassle for the great players to play, they'll go somewhere else. In a few years, when you see Tiger sized purses at ladies golf events throughout Asia that the LPGA has no affiliation with, don't be surprised if you see some of the great American players over there, with interpretors, following the money.
     
  6. TheWOAT

    TheWOAT Well-Known Member

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    COSIGN 100%

    I doubt they will require US born players to speak anything but English... jerks
     
  7. Adam Pettman

    Adam Pettman Well-Known Member

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    Strengths the European tour. Silly move if you ask me.
     
  8. Eracer

    Eracer No more triple bogies!!

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    Law of Attraction, eh?
     
  9. SCGolfer

    SCGolfer Well-Known Member

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    ok my first post was directed more towards what this looks like legally. Obviously they are a private organization that can do whatever they want. As far is the guys that say this will send the best players elsewhere. Not gonna happen...some of the best young players.....yani tseng, in-bee park have been in the US playing as amateurs for years. You would think they would have picked up enough english to survive. I still am not exactly sure what the LPGA is getting at. I don't remember the last time I saw an interview where the lady could not at all speak some english. Most of the good Korean or any other player for that matter have been in the US long enough they can do an interview after winning. I can understand what some guys said about the pro-ams and marketing stuff. But for gods sake even if I played in one...what do I have in common with an 18 year old girl from Korea that can outdrive me by 20 yards?? She wouldn't have to talk.


    Jason
     
  10. eclark53520

    eclark53520 DB Member Extraordinaire Supporting Member

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    yeah, laughter is the uneversal language! :D
     
  11. SCGolfer

    SCGolfer Well-Known Member

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  12. JEFF4i

    JEFF4i She lives! Supporting Member

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    This is just bottom line bs. Legal question?

    The LPGA is a private business, for all intents and purposes. This isn't national discrimination, it is saying you speak our language and communicate with your root members, or you don't play.
     
  13. SCGolfer

    SCGolfer Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree Jeff...but I think we will see this rule put to the test in court.

    Jason
     
  14. JEFF4i

    JEFF4i She lives! Supporting Member

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    I'm wondering if the LPGA will let it get that far.

    If they do they have more balls than the PGA.
     
  15. Eracer

    Eracer No more triple bogies!!

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    It's interesting that the author of the article mentions that courts have upheld company mandated english fluency, but only for two reasons:

    1. Safety (air traffic control)
    2. Efficiency (telphone customer service)

    Then goes on to flatly state that safety would be a non-issue in the LPGA. I suppose it's a fine line, but if a player can't yell "fore!" there could be a safety issue. Sure, other people (like her caddie) could yell it, but isn't it the player's responsibility?
     
  16. David Hillman

    David Hillman Well-Known Member

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    Then an enormous number of companies are wide-open for huge lawsuits. Requiring "excellent written and verbal communication skills" is pretty much a standard operating procedure. How exactly is a person who cannot speak English going to accomplish their job functions at any white collar, and most blue collar, jobs in this country? And if they don't speak Spanish, either? Who will hire you, I'm honestly curious?
     
  17. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Taylormade Ho' Magnet

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    My point exactly. Don't look at the LPGA like it's something we do on the weekends. Sure, we all golf, and do tourneys and such, but golf for all/most of us.. IS NOT OUR JOB.

    You don't swing a driver to make your mortgage payment. You don't chip in for birdies to pay for your new car payment.

    These women golf for money. It's their job. An employer has a right to ask for certain qualifications.

    Should I sue the PGA tour? I mean, isn't that discriminating because I can't shoot par that, they won't let me qualify to play?

    I can't and shouldn't. Because it's in the rules and guidelines. Speaking english is now in the rules and guidelines.

    The way I see it.. Move on if you don't want to follow the rules. I think the rule sucks in a way, but I can see where they are coming from, and with that, I respect their decision to do so.
     
  18. Eracer

    Eracer No more triple bogies!!

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    All professional golfers are independent contractors. The LPGA doesn't hire them as employees. But they do control who is allowed to play in their tournaments. I don't know what the requirements are, but I bet they include age, handicap, and in the case of open tournaments, qualifying scores. The LPGA believes it has the right to create another qualifying requirement. It has nothing to do with the legality of the employer-employee relationship.
     
  19. Adam Pettman

    Adam Pettman Well-Known Member

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    An amazing player from asia comes along that can't speak english but draws huge attention because of her immense talent, LPGA drop the rule because they need the best talent playing on their tour. What if a woman that lost her mouth in a car accident wanted to play, then what????
     
  20. West Coast Duffer

    West Coast Duffer Orange County California

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    That's exactly what I'm thinking. The LPGA is being dominated by other countries and their trying to find an excuse to bring more americans into the mix. All the top players like Lorena, Annika and some Koreans. Some do speak english but definitely unfair, the LPGA has the right to do whatever they want but their hurting bigtime for sponsor and money and this is a bad time to be pulling this crap. I watch the LPGA all the time to see the best players not to hear the post round interviews, even at that the translators work fine. The LPGA would be nothing without foreign players.
     

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