According to a Golfweek article, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) will require all of its members to be proficient in English by the end of 2009 or risk losing their tour card. At a time when international membership is growing and sponsorship deals are declining, tour officials are touting English learning as a chance to increase the profile of the players and marketing opportunities for the game.
Tour officials have said that they will assist non-English speakers with language learning, if necessary. “Hopefully what we’re talking about is something that will not happen,” said Libba Galloway, the tour’s deputy commissioner, of the possible suspensions. “If it does, we wouldn’t just say, ‘Come back next year.’ What we would do is work with them on where they fell short, provide them the resources they need, the tutoring . . . and when we feel like they need to be evaluated again, we would evaluate.”
Seon-Hwa Lee, a South Korean who has won twice on the LPGA tour in 2008, works with an English tutor and plans to do more studying before the evaluations begin next year. Lee believes that everyone can “do a simple interview” in English and admits, “The economy is bad, and we are losing sponsors.”
The complete article can be found here.