The LPGA is requiring golfers to achieve a basic level of competence in conversational English in order to continue to play on tour. This has, as you might expect, caused a firestorm of reaction. For a balanced, nuanced view, Ron Sirak looks at reaction from players and agents.
Interestingly, an article the title of which suggests tennis doesn’t think language is a problem really comes out saying the athletes all realize the importance of speaking English, so the ITF hasn’t needed to create a policy to encourage behavior the players are already exhibiting. So the ITF would think it were a problem if the players hadn’t all (but one, apparently) caught on that speaking English was in their own best interests.
David Whitley of The Orlando Sentinel writes in favor of the LPGA rule, but uses an unfortunate Wendy’s illustration (we’re not talking minimum-wage workers, here). While The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Bob Ford comes down opposed.
Jason Sobel, at the end of a notes column, provides Padraig Harrington’s take on the issue.
Finally, although Jim McCabe in the Boston Globe is possibly the most heated opponent, his arguments also made the most sense to me.
In any case, the LPGA has come off as rather ham fisted in the public relations department, and wasn’t that the area this rule was supposed to boost?