. The Transom .

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Say what?

For a tour that is, in reality, struggling to compete for sponsors and ad revenue, the LPGA's latest announcement is quite a shock. As of next season, all players will be required to pass an oral English exam. Apparently, too many foreign players were winning events and sponsors didn't like handing out trophies by way of an interpreter.

It seems an odd move to me, given the fact that so many foreign players have done very well on tour. Both the PGA and LPGA tout how 'international' they are, thus the most dominant tours because 'this is where the best from around the world come to play.' If the players fail the test, they get suspended.

The last time I checked, hitting a golf ball from here to there in the fewest number of strokes doesn't require an English proficiency. What is going to be the rule for players who are deaf and have to use sign language? Will they get automatic suspensions?

This just reeks of an American tour being threatened by 'foreigners.' If the LPGA didn't want interpreters helping the golfers with interviews, maybe the American players should take some swing lessons from the Koreans and get in the winners circle more often.