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LPGA to require players to speak English...

JEFF4i

She lives!
Supporting Member
Jul 3, 2006
13,531
84
Most Europeans don't have to travel too far to cross a border and run into a different language. We're just too darn big. The schools here start Spanish in kindergarten, but I'm not impressed by the absorbtion rate among the kids (other than those growing up in Spanish speaking households).

From the LPGA's perspective, it's all about money. Which really means it's all about the pro-ams and keeping the sponsors happy. I really would have preferred a more targeted approach: you need to be able to entertain the big money, and here's what you need to do: not just talking to them, but interacting, not treating it like a practice round, etc. etc. That covers a lot more than just speaking English.

And I could go on, but I won't. You're welcome.:)

You're the only one on besides me, y'know...who posts. Go for it!
 

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
I would like to say, at this juncture, that I am fundamentally opposed to meatloaf.

Meat in "loaf" form is just wrong. Bread comes in loaf form. Meat does not. Think about it - "a loaf of meat". It's just not right.
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
I would like to say, at this juncture, that I am fundamentally opposed to meatloaf.

Meat in "loaf" form is just wrong. Bread comes in loaf form. Meat does not. Think about it - "a loaf of meat". It's just not right.
I guess SPAM is pretty much off the menu, eh?
 

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
I guess SPAM is pretty much off the menu, eh?

:diespam:



Never on the menu. Canned meat. Ick.

But at least Spam serves a purpose. It's easy, cheap, and keeps forever. But people make an effort create meatloaf. They work at it.

It's.a.loaf.of.meat.people! It's not natural!

I mean, can you imagine the outcry if restaurants started serving "bread chops"? Or the Colonel's "fried bread" with 7 herbs and spices? Or "bread dogs"? How about "BBQ baguettes"? No. Wouldn't happen.

There are certain culinary lines that should not be crossed, and somehow "loaf of meat" snuck over the border when no one was looking.

I say, deport the bastard right now!
 

JEFF4i

She lives!
Supporting Member
Jul 3, 2006
13,531
84
Harry...you're an idiot.

At least my soapboxing is about clark's sexual preferences.
 

ClairefromClare

Like my balls?
Jul 23, 2008
2,056
4
Well, the LPGA is putting the best spin on it possible; nothing we haven't collectively said for them: LPGA.com

It was still handled badly. Bivens is tone deaf.
 

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
A link to this article was posted by a member on another site.
Critics should take a mulligan in assessing LPGA policy - USATODAY.com

Critics should take a mulligan in assessing LPGA policy
By Christine Brennan, USA TODAY

A tempest in a tee box flared this past week over the news that the LPGA Tour was requiring all of its international players, many of whom are from South Korea, to be able to speak "functional English" in post-round interviews, victory ceremonies and five- to six-hour rounds of golf with the businessmen and women who sponsor tour events — or face suspension after 2009.

Reaction was swift, furious, and sometimes even wrong, as was the case with reports that indicated the Tour was implementing an "English-only" policy.

"Reprehensible … unsportsmanlike … un-American," screamed the normally even-tempered golf pundits, the very fellows who know best that the LPGA is as much in the hospitality business as it is in the golf business and, as such, is in the midst of challenging financial times, having lost two U.S. tournaments this summer due to sponsors' economic decisions.

Lawyers weighed in. PGA Tour players, who rarely if ever give the LPGA the time of day, added their two cents. It can safely be said that nearly everyone was aghast.

If only all those people had taken a moment to think — had stepped away from their shot, to use a golf analogy — they might have decided to go after this news with their pitching wedge rather than a sledgehammer.

If they had done that, it would have been noted that the LPGA and the PGA Tour have almost nothing in common, except for the word golf. While the PGA Tour is swimming in cash, most LPGA events live and die by selling the opportunity to play with the pros in weekly pro-ams. It's an experience unique to golf, akin to an NBA star having to play a basketball game every week with sponsors in different cities or a major league baseball player having to spend hours helping the owner learn the basics of playing shortstop.

This is not an idle exercise for an LPGA player. She is expected to interact, offer advice and tell stories with her foursome, which is filled with sponsors or their customers paying anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000 per person for the experience. If those sponsors can't converse with the player (65% of LPGA events are in the USA), the tournament often hears about it. And if the tournament doesn't do something about it, the sponsor might decide not to come back next year, especially in these tough economic times.

This might sound a bit unusual, but it's the way the LPGA stays in business.

"A pro-am is largely responsible for making LPGA events possible," Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said in a phone interview Wednesday. "It is the single largest source of revenue for a tournament. There are no domestic TV rights fees. This is our oxygen. It's that important. As recently as the past two weeks, I've had tournament directors tell me they are getting complaints (about international players who cannot speak enough English to talk to their pro-am partners). We have to be aware of that, because we've had sponsors who say they have had a bad time and might pull out because of it. That's our reality."


Why Bivens is explaining the issue now, rather than a week ago, is a mystery. The LPGA did itself no favors by not anticipating the political firestorm a "functional English" policy would cause in our 21st-century culture.

But the LPGA is correct to want its players to be conversant in the language where its tournaments are being held. That's not jingoism. That's smart business, and the same should apply to English-speaking players at overseas tournaments.

As is often the case in a news media feeding frenzy, a larger point has been lost. "If we don't do this," Bivens said, "if they don't learn functional English, we are cutting out all endorsement opportunities in the United States for these women. How is that helping them? For a women's sport to have a group of athletes who cannot show their personality, what a terrible missed opportunity that is."
 

Harry Longshanks

bow-chicka-bow-wow
Jul 20, 2008
718
0
Like I said, the woman is tone deaf. Why didn't she lead with that?

I'm guessing that the new policy was leaked after the meetings with the South Korean players, but before an official statement was prepared.

That, and the LPGA probably didn't want to admit how shaky their financial structure is. I mean, they are basically pimping out their players to keep the tour afloat. But the backlash forced them to disclose the information.

Bivens comes from a (successful) corporate background into a "company" with a ridiculous business model. She is making some major changes in attempt to convert the LPGA into a business that functions like the PGA. Except she also has to build the fan base, whereas the PGA has a built in fan base. Bivens wasn't brought in to be popular. She was brought in to turn around the administration of the LPGA, no?

Sponsors and torunaments were pissed with her first round of changes (because they suddenly had to pay their fair share), and now it's (some of) the player's turn to make some sacrifices. Sooner or later, I'm sure the American players will also have something to get upset about. I don't know whether Bivens will ultimately be successful, but I think what she is doing had to be done.

I'm also not sure the management of the LPGA is populated with the kind of "minds" Bivens is used to working with. I get the feeling that, in addition to fighting outside forces, she also has to deal with a significant amount of incompetency from within.

Anyway (and I don't know why), but I think she has the LPGA headed in the right direction. I just don't know if their are too many hurdles to overcome.
 

ClairefromClare

Like my balls?
Jul 23, 2008
2,056
4
I'm guessing that the new policy was leaked after the meetings with the South Korean players, but before an official statement was prepared.

That, and the LPGA probably didn't want to admit how shaky their financial structure is. I mean, they are basically pimping out their players to keep the tour afloat. But the backlash forced them to disclose the information.

Bivens comes from a (successful) corporate background into a "company" with a ridiculous business model. She is making some major changes in attempt to convert the LPGA into a business that functions like the PGA. Except she also has to build the fan base, whereas the PGA has a built in fan base. Bivens wasn't brought in to be popular. She was brought in to turn around the administration of the LPGA, no?

Sponsors and torunaments were pissed with her first round of changes (because they suddenly had to pay their fair share), and now it's (some of) the player's turn to make some sacrifices. Sooner or later, I'm sure the American players will also have something to get upset about. I don't know whether Bivens will ultimately be successful, but I think what she is doing had to be done.

I'm also not sure the management of the LPGA is populated with the kind of "minds" Bivens is used to working with. I get the feeling that, in addition to fighting outside forces, she also has to deal with a significant amount of incompetency from within.

Anyway (and I don't know why), but I think she has the LPGA headed in the right direction. I just don't know if their are too many hurdles to overcome.

Good points, but they ought to have anticipated that word would leak out. That, and I'm an excellent corporate housecleaner. Hire me as COO and her job is done. :thumbs up:
 

soxngolf

The Chick
Jul 26, 2008
66
0
Late to this party, but thought I would still chime in. Of course, by now I am sure you have heard that they are no longer going to suspend the players, too much outside pressure.

I understand both sides, but believe that the players learning English is important to the survival of the LPGA. The tour makes NO MONEY, NONE, ZIP. So if we want to continue to watch the LPGA they need to work on making more money. One of their major incomes is sponsor during the Pro-Ams. They aren't going to want to pay to play with someone they can't talk to.
Plus, the LPGA makes a huge effort to help the players learn English. It isn't as if they just leave them to do it on their own. And they are only requiring a minor amount of conversational English, players don't have to be fluent. Wouldn't learning English be beneficial for these players anyway, since most of the tournaments are here in the US?
 

ClairefromClare

Like my balls?
Jul 23, 2008
2,056
4
A couple of things I've read/heard lately added an interesting twist. The penalty thing apparently wasn't aimed at the young non-English speaking golfers so much as at their parents/handlers. Suggests--rightly or wrongly--where the organization thinks their obstacles lie.
 

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