Editors' Blog
September 10, 2008

LPGA English Policy: One more word

Gene Balfour of Woodburn, Oregon, writes to defend Commissioner Carolyn Bivens and her now-reversed policy to impose penalties on players who do not achieve a rudimentary level of English. He takes exception to comments by Golf World's John Hawkins (the Angry Golfer) criticizing the Commissioner:

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I would just once like to read one of of golf mag would say something about a subject without tearing down the people in it. John Hawkins thinks we should just let everybody come to america make tons of money, don't worry about our culture, our way of life, other than making more money in our country than they will see in a lifetime in their home country. Then some hard-hearted woman wants these people to learn the language of the host so that the communication between all parties is much easier. Mr. Hawkins think this is so stupid. Well Mr. Hawkins, the only stupid one is the writer of the piece. If this is a cold way for people to pay back for the huge amount of money our Asian friends make, as the date of my letter, 11 million plus. Gee, Mr Hawkins, for 11 million I would try to learn every language I could .

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Thanks, Gene. It's pretty clear the Commissioner's intent in all of this was pure--to help sponsors and players alike in marketing the "product" that is LPGA golf. What surprises is the association's failure to anticipate the reaction of media and public alike.

--Bob Carney