In 2008, the Ladies Professional Golf Association proposed penalties for players who were unable or unwilling to speak English on tour. The proposal was not well-received, to put it mildly, and the resulting furor eventually led Commissioner Carolyn Bivens to resign.
The idea came about largely because players from South Korea were so reluctant to speak English. As it turns out, they were simply embarrassed and self-conscious about their English skills, especially after one of the South Korean women was called out in a Canadian newspaper for calling Sponge Bob Squarepants “Spongie Bob.”
Now, according to the New York Times, the LPGA has taken a different approach, offering players the option of gaining foreign language skills via a partnership with a company called Language Training Center. Company representatives accompany the players on tour and offer one-on-one coaching. Read more