• Welcome To ShotTalk.com!

    We are one of the oldest and largest Golf forums on the internet with golfers from around the world sharing tips, photos and planning golf outings.

    Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon!

LPGA to require players to speak English...

SCGolfer

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2007
760
0
The only thing I thought of was basically a professional golfer is it's own entity I suppose...you work essentially for yourself...so could the LPGA deny membership or the opportunity to work because you don't speak english?? I am guessing a company....even the company I work for....could not hire someone based on the fact they do not speak english. I don't know, you would think that most of these ladies are making an effort to learn english anyway since they will presumably be staying here to play golf for a long time.

Jason
 

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
Ugghh, I hate people who cross-posts across forums, but I had already posted this elsewhere when I saw the topic here, and I can't bring myself to re-write it. But I feel that the topic is deserving of discussion, so I will copy and paste. Sorry about that.

I guess Jan Stephens was right, eh?


Hmmm, I have mixed feelings.

In theory, I have real problems with the mandate. Demanding English from athletes simply participating on the Tour seems to go against the very foundation of U.S. principles of freedom and individuality. Why should a person be forced to learn English with a specified level of proficiency if it is not a central component of their job? And while TV interviews and the like are part of the job, they are only a small part. The players' main function is to play golf, and play it well.

In practice, it addresses very real problems that the LPGA must overcome in order to grow. Right now, the LPGA faces a PR crisis with the influx of foreign (mostly Korean) players - GOOD players who are already winning at the highest level, but still remain virtually unknown to the primary audience. And that disconnect is due in large part to the players' inability to communicate.

Foreign born players need to be able to entertain their Pro-Am partners, and they can't do that if they can't communicate with them. Pro-Ams typically funnel significant money to LPGA and event charities.

On a greater scale, all players need to be able to do a television interview. It ingratiates both the player and the LPGA to the viewer, thus growing the viewership.

And on a personal scale, it benefits the player because the player's fanbase will certainly grow if the player appears more personable to the viewing public - and that means being able to communicate well. Also, as the LPGA grows, so will the prize purses, and the benefits provided to the players by the LPGA (retirement, etc.)

In the end, as a personal rights advocate, I hate it.

But as an LPGA fan, I love it.

I guess I'm going to have to kick my own ass at the bike racks after school. Dammit, before the bus gets here after class, I wanted to go to 7-11 for a Banana-Cola Slurpee in a cup that is the size of a small car. Now I have to give myself the whooping of a lifetime and make myself regret that I was ever born.
 
OP
T

TheWOAT

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
535
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
No one really cares if the foreign born players speak English or not. Will people watch a tourney just because the post tourney interview wont require a translator? I think not. The LPGA seems to require the services of one Michelle Wie.
 

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
No one really cares if the foreign born players speak English or not.

Yes, they do.

If they didn't, this wouldn't be an issue, and the LPGA never would have imposed the rule.


Will people watch a tourney just because the post tourney interview wont require a translator? I think not.

Perhaps not, but the PGA and LPGA are much more than the tournament itself. There is the pro-am (which requires large contributions by the amateur players), there is marketing (e.g., "These Girls Rock"), there is sponsorship (title sponsors, presenting sponsors) and the sponsors expect a return on their investment, and there are the charities.

And while the hardcore fan (like me) may be willing to watch regardless of who is in the field, the vast majority of viewers want players they can identify with. And they can't identify with someone they can't communicate with. Communication = marketing = popularity. Popularity of players and the LPGA boosts money and grows the sport.

Disagree? Well then, look at the example of Tiger Woods. Viewership of PGA events has dropped off the table since he stopped competing. Why, because the average viewer knows him and indentifies with him. He is articulate and the PGA markets the hell out of him. Do you see that happening with the LPGA and Yani Tseng? Do you ever recall hering Yani Tseng speak? Any commercials for Gatorade?
 

Bakemono36

New Member
Aug 24, 2008
455
0
IMO, this will only hurt the LPGA. I could see a lot of international players choosing to simply not join the LPGA and not play in America because of this rule.
I understand the desire to make the international players more marketable to an American audience, but IMO this goes too far.
 

FATC1TY

Taylormade Ho' Magnet
May 29, 2008
2,878
0
Bring it on. You come here to compete regularly, and you want to make the money, and life here. Learn english atleast. Atleast learn enough to communicate effectively.

I think it's pretty simple to understand.
 
OP
T

TheWOAT

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
535
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
Yes, they do.

If they didn't, this wouldn't be an issue, and the LPGA never would have imposed the rule.

I think the fact they are foreigners is more important to the American audience than whether they speak English or not.

Perhaps not, but the PGA and LPGA are much more than the tournament itself. There is the pro-am (which requires large contributions by the amateur players), there is marketing (e.g., "These Girls Rock"), there is sponsorship (title sponsors, presenting sponsors) and the sponsors expect a return on their investment, and there are the charities.

And while the hardcore fan (like me) may be willing to watch regardless of who is in the field, the vast majority of viewers want players they can identify with. And they can't identify with someone they can't communicate with. Communication = marketing = popularity. Popularity of players and the LPGA boosts money and grows the sport.

Disagree? Well then, look at the example of Tiger Woods. Viewership of PGA events has dropped off the table since he stopped competing. Why, because the average viewer knows him and indentifies with him. He is articulate and the PGA markets the hell out of him. Do you see that happening with the LPGA and Yani Tseng? Do you ever recall hering Yani Tseng speak? Any commercials for Gatorade?

Communication is one thing, but the fact that these women arent Americans is the overriding factor. In my opinion... right now, but it could change.
 

slickpitt

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2006
2,706
3
A bit surprising, but I agree with the move. In my opinion... these players are showmen(show-women?)... just like anyone else putting on a show, be it theater, golf, having an entertainer that can relate to the fans is key in being successful.

Look at John Daly... he's one of the most popular players STILL.. and it sure as hell isn't because of his golf game. If John Daly didn't speak English he would have been forgotten long, long ago. Imagine all the revenue the PGA Tour would have lost had he not been able to speak English and was long forgotten. I know his game isn't even a shadow of what it used to be... but he still draws fans and sponsorship dollars.

So in a nutshell I completely understand the LPGA's move in this and don't think it's too much to ask. Chances are most of the foreign players already speak English anyway.
 

David Hillman

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2008
836
0
Well then, look at the example of Tiger Woods. Viewership of
PGA events has dropped off the table since he stopped competing. Why,
because the average viewer knows him and indentifies with him.

That's not why Woods is popular, and probably not even correct anyway. Can you identify with him? On what grounds? I can identify a lot more with your average Tour player, who wasn't born and bred to be a golfer, than I can with Woods. I can identify a lot more with a guy struggling to get and keep his card than I can with a guy who could shoot 100 in every round for the rest of his life and still get a sponsors' exemption to every tournament.

No, the reason why Woods is popular is because, at the end of the day, sports fans want to be rooting for the team/guy who wins. It makes us feel somehow better about ourselves to have backed the right horse. This is why the Yankees have more fans than the rest of baseball combined. It's why, until recently, golf has sucked for typical sports fans. You never knew who might win a given tournament, and your odds of backing the right horse were incredibly slim ( compared to, effectively, 50% in any team sport game ). People just want to be on the winning side.
 

JEFF4i

She lives!
Supporting Member
Jul 3, 2006
13,531
84
That's not why Woods is popular, and probably not even correct anyway. Can you identify with him? On what grounds? I can identify a lot more with your average Tour player, who wasn't born and bred to be a golfer, than I can with Woods. I can identify a lot more with a guy struggling to get and keep his card than I can with a guy who could shoot 100 in every round for the rest of his life and still get a sponsors' exemption to every tournament.

No, the reason why Woods is popular is because, at the end of the day, sports fans want to be rooting for the team/guy who wins. It makes us feel somehow better about ourselves to have backed the right horse. This is why the Yankees have more fans than the rest of baseball combined. It's why, until recently, golf has sucked for typical sports fans. You never knew who might win a given tournament, and your odds of backing the right horse were incredibly slim ( compared to, effectively, 50% in any team sport game ). People just want to be on the winning side.

I disagree, without getting off-topic...

Why did most people hate the Patriots throughout the season if they were the ones who always won?
And you think that nearly any member on the PGA wasn't born and bred to golf? Go hit up some junior tournaments, tell me what you see. I feel bad that I only started golfing at 14. I digress the point though, since we are getting off-topic.

Anyway, I somewhat agree, since the LPGA is a strongly US Institution.
 

Bakemono36

New Member
Aug 24, 2008
455
0
Bring it on. You come here to compete regularly, and you want to make the money, and life here. Learn english atleast. Atleast learn enough to communicate effectively.

I think it's pretty simple to understand.
Last time I checked, English wasnt the, "official" language of the United States of America. In some ways, this new rule is discriminatory towards the international players.
Does this also mean that in LPGA events that are in other countries, that the American players are expected to learn the native language of that country? If not, I think its pretty unfair to expect the international players to learn how to speak English.
 

FATC1TY

Taylormade Ho' Magnet
May 29, 2008
2,878
0
You must be a liberal then, and have no problem with giving drivers licenses to illegals. :)

In any case-- the LPGA has the right to ask their players to do so. If you don't want to do it, you have a choice. The LPGA isn't a huge association that is widely followed. It's not the Olympics, where you expect to have a melting pot of competators.

However, since you mentioned LPGA events in other countries, should they all learn that language...

No.. because the LPGA is based in the USA, and is to be run so.

Thats like asking the Spains soccer leagues to learn english, just because they play an event in England, even though the majority of the events are in Spain and surrounding area.

If the players on the LPGA are just doing events here and there, and are LIVING outside the US, I don't think they need to be perfectly fluent. However, if you LIVE HERE, and CLAIM RESIDENCY, I believe in every right, LPGA should ask them to learn English.

If I move to Mexico, I expect to learn spanish, not rely on people to aid me day in and day out, and to have a translator every waking minute. Just because I go play and party in Mexico 3 times a year, doesn't mean I need to learn spanish, it just means it would be a good idea. :)
 

Most reactions

Latest posts

Top