LPGA Takes A Mulligan On “English-Only” Policy

Remember the stink over the LPGA’s “English-Only” policy? With responding threats & anger from civil rights groups, politicians and their own sponsors, the golf organization has decided to back down.

Korean golfers

Instead, the LPGA is just “encouraging” their foreign players to learn to speak English. Commissioner Caroline Bivens issued a statement, and you can hear her back pedaling faster than Michelle Wie on a leaderboard after nine holes.


“We have decided to rescind those penalty provisions,” Bivens said in a statement. “After hearing the concerns, we believe there are other ways to achieve our shared objective of supporting and enhancing the business opportunities for every tour player.”

Presumably those “other ways” don’t involve sticking foreign players into forced Berlitz camps for the next three months, where they are beaten with bags of soap if they can’t correctly explain the present proper imperfect tense.

You can call the timing of this decision “curious”: a California state legislator had planned to get a legal ruling on it, and a host of civil rights groups and politicians were planning a press conference later today to demand that the rule was changed.

Worst of all, the sponsors weren’t happy, and the LPGA needs all the money it can get. Major sponsor State Farm told AD AGE that they were “flabbergasted” by the decision and were considering re-evaluating their continued sponsorship of the tour.

While the policy is being overhauled, the LPGA should open themselves up to alternative options for getting their players to be English fluent. Maybe bring Manny Ramirez in as Official LPGA Tour Translator. Apparently he was so powerful with Angel Berroa that he learned to speak English in less than one minute. Imagine what he could do with Lorena Ochoa with a whole off-season!