English only, LPGA and the Giants

Pub date September 3, 2008
WriterTim Redmond
SectionSF Blog

By A. J. Hayes

Anyone who’s ever killed a Sunday afternoon by watching golf – personally, you would have to kill me first – or has taken out his or her frustrations out on the little white ball realizes just how much the game relies on communication skills.

After precision putting and booming drives, the key to this Scottish derived sport is the ability to concisely string together words – preferably in English.

After all, how else will be able to properly address the ball?

Actually, the proficient playing of golf requires almost zero verbal skills. As you undoubtedly seen in Caddyshack, the only talking allowed on the links is expressly to be expressly done by loud clothing.

Speaking is completely frowned upon. Players throw fits if a gallery member steps on a twig or happen to have an allergy attack during a back swing. Gotta sneeze? Hold it pal.

After all, supreme concentration and total silence are required to properly hit a stationary ball.

So it came as a bit of surprise when last week officials of the Ladies Professional Golfers Association announced that beginning in 2009 its members will be required to be “conversant” in English or face suspension from the tour.