Twitter: GeoffShac
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It doesn't seem as glamorous to me as the Crosby I used to watch on TV. A lot of the old movie stars and amateur regulars are no longer around. They've been replaced by briefcases, friends and neighbors of briefcases, and celebrities like Bumpy Weems, a popular comedian, who about as funny to me as a terrorist with a gun pointed at my head.
DAN JENKINS as Bobby Joe Grooves

 

    

Friday
Sep052008

"If you’ve been reading the blogs, you know that it has not just been heat. We’ve also been praised for being leaders."

It's interesting to note that as soon as a major sponsor like State Farm was on the record questioning the LPGA's speak-English-you-pesky-Koreans-or-its-안녕, they rescinded their proposed penalties. Before we get to some reaction and the major question here, consider these two interviews from the last couple of days.

Michael Bush of Ad Age talked to Libba Galloway who held firm even after the State Farm comments. That was yesterday.

Steve Eubanks, in a Yahoo interview with Commissioner Bivens dated Thursday at 12:14 p.m., gets some interesting responses considering Fridays rescintion.

Bivens: Well, I’ll start by saying that, if you’ve been reading the blogs, you know that it has not just been heat. We’ve also been praised for being leaders.
See all of you who supported the commissioner in previous posts here, you provided someone comfort.

Eubanks asked about why only Koreans were targeted:
We currently don’t have any Spanish-speaking players who don’t speak English. We don’t have any Swedish players who don’t speak English, and we didn’t have any Japanese players in the Portland event, which is where we talked.
A couple of times a year, when I meet with the Korean players, they ask that I meet with the parents and guardians or their agents. That’s a group that has a unique culture and unique needs, just as the Spanish speakers or others that we don’t happen to have right now.
And here's where you have to question why she gets paid the big bucks:
Question: Were you surprised by the negative reaction this has gotten?
Bivens: Sure, when the headline is that we’re mandating English only and we’re going to suspend players, people are going to react to that. That’s not the program. Ninety-five percent of the program is about education and focus; 5 percent deals with the penalty, and we don’t expect to ever have to apply it. We’re providing all of the resources. Based on the headline and misinformation, we shouldn’t have been surprised.

This was not an announcement. This was a work in progress, and it came third-hand from a private meeting.
And wouldn't you just expect that something so clearly controversial would get out?

In an ESPN.com piece, Ron Sirak says the LPGA should have seen this coming.
This entire mess, which is embarrassing for the LPGA at best and potentially damaging to its efforts to do business in Asia at worst, could have been avoided if that "valuable feedback" had been sought before the rule was unilaterally imposed at a meeting with the Korean players in Portland, Ore., in late August. The decision to rescind the penalty was the right one, but is it a large enough eraser to eliminate the memory of the original insult?
These are huge points I don't think has been mentioned anywhere else:
The tour's single biggest revenue stream is Korean TV money. What is to be gained by offending that community?
The ultimate silliness about this entire situation is the small number of players it really affected. A well-placed source within the LPGA hierarchy said there were "perhaps a dozen" Korean players on tour who did not possess the English skills the LPGA desired. A caddie who works for a Korean player placed the number at "about five to seven."
This all seems to go back to the same point: who at the LPGA Tour is thinking about the big picture and understanding how the world might react to new policies? Clearly not Bivens or anyone she has brought in. Consider what John Hawkins wrote before Friday's news:
Blog Nation has been serving up a ton of related opinions, many of which castigate commissioner Carolyn Bivens for her sloppy handling of the matter, as if anything this administration does is executed in tidy fashion or is universally well received.

You know what I like about Bivens? Neither do I. A vast majority of the story­lines coming out of women's golf in recent years have come with a built-in negative hook, and not because the media is guilty of piling on. The language-barrier issue is a classic head-vs.-heart argument: what's good for business as opposed to what's morally right. There are a bunch of reasons not to like the LPGA's demand that its players speak English and just one obvious reason to validate the cause—so a bunch of South Korean girls can chat in the pro-am with the guy who owns the local supermarket chain.
How does she keep her job?


Sadly, for the LPGA Tour, she's a blogger's dream.That should tell the LPGA board everything it needs to know.

Friday
Sep052008

LPGA Backs Down: "관심사를 들어서 후에, 우리는 각 투어 선수를 위한 사업 기회 지원하고 강화하는의 우리의 공동 목적을 달성하는 다른 방법이 다는 것을 믿는다."

According to the AP story, the death of the penalty provisions for not passing an English exam came two hours before a press conference and a day after a California lawmaker started raising serious questions.

Here's the statement from the Commish:

Statement credited to LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens regarding the LPGA's policy on effective communication in English

The LPGA has received valuable feedback from a variety of constituents regarding the recently announced penalties attached to our effective communications policy. We have decided to rescind those penalty provisions.
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. In that spirit, we will continue communicating with our diverse Tour players to develop a better alternative. The LPGA will announce a revised approach, absent playing penalties, by the end of 2008.
During that time we will continue to provide support under the three-year-old Kolon-LPGA Cross Cultural Program. This popular program provides all LPGA members with the best cross-cultural training in the form of tutors, translators, Rosetta Stone®, the official language-learning system of the LPGA, as well as assistance from LPGA staff and consultants.

And for our Korean-speaking readers...

계산서는 LPGA 감독관에게 Carolyn F. 신용했다. 영어로 효과적인 커뮤니케이션에 LPGA의 정책에 대하여 Bivens는

 우리의 효과적인 커뮤니케이션 정책에 붙어 있던 최근에 알려진 형벌에 대하여 다양한 성분에서 LPGA 귀중한 의견을 받았다. 우리는 그 형벌 지급을 폐지하는 것을 결정했다.

관심사를 들어서 후에, 우리는 각 투어 선수를 위한 사업 기회 지원하고 강화하는의 우리의 공동 목적을 달성하는 다른 방법이 다는 것을 믿는다. 저 정신에서는, 우리는 우리의 다양한 투어 선수에 더 나은 대안을 개발하기 위하여 교통 계속되. LPGA는 2008년 말까지 수정한 접근, 결석한 노는 형벌을, 알릴 것이다.

그동안 우리는 Kolon-LPGA 3 년 오래된 교차하는 문화적인 프로그램의 밑에 지원을 제공하는 것을 계속할 것이다. 이 보급 프로그램은 LPGA 직원과 고문에게서 원조 뿐만 아니라 가정교사, 통역, Rosetta Stone® 의 LPGA의 공식적인 언어 배우는 체계의 모양으로 제일 cross-cultural 훈련을 모든 LPGA 일원에게, 제공한다.

Thursday
Sep042008

"The stroke that followed will go down as the greatest final-hole putt in the history of major-championship golf."

This passage from Jaime Diaz's definitive account of the Tiger Woods knee saga would generate some fun debate, and since the news has been so dark lately...

The stroke that followed will go down as the greatest final-hole putt in the history of major-championship golf. There are plenty of candidates: grinding mid-rangers by Bobby Jones at Winged Foot, Payne Stewart at Pinehurst, Gary Player, Mark O'Meara and Phil Mickelson at Augusta, Seve Ballesteros at St. Andrews; no-brainer bombs by Jerry Barber at Olympia Fields, Hale Irwin at Medinah and Costantino Rocca at St. Andrews. But none of them surpassed Woods for the blend of setting, situation and reaction. And only Jones, arguably, had as much disappointment to face by missing. Never in golf has such a dramatically set stage had such a fulfilling resolution. As a final validation of a true stroke at the moment of truth, a close-up, slow-motion replay revealed that the alignment line on Woods' ball never wiggled until it fell into the hole.
I'm biased because I was standing there and thought the whole thing was pretty swell, but does Jaime have it right? Greatest final hole putt?
Thursday
Sep042008

" I don't know how you measure that, but that's good stuff."

Remarkably, Tim Finchem was peppered with questions yesterday in St. Louis and not one scribbler asked--for the entertainment of the fans next door--if the PGA Tour was considering an English speaking exam for its foreign players.

Sadly, the Commish was on his MBAspeak medicine, so we only gone one fun line ("programming inhibitions"). Even worse, I liked what he said about the FedEx Cup points volatility and Padraig Harrington's virtual elimination after two missed cuts:

I do think that the Padraig Harrington thing actually stirs up debate about this, and debate is good and healthy, and some level of controversy gets people talking about it. People around the country are having a lot more discussion on talk radio this year than last year, so I don't know how you measure that, but that's good stuff. So we'll see what happens.

Thursday
Sep042008

"This is our oxygen. It's that important."

I finally get the whole LPGA's learn-to-speak-English-or-you're-outta-here mess. The writing was on the wall and I missed it.

Carolyn Bivens is using it to distract us from the fact that anywhere from 6-9 events are in serious trouble or doomed. Check out what she told Christine Brennan of the USA Today, who supports the LPGA's policy plans:

"A pro-am is largely responsible for making LPGA events possible," Commissioner Carolyn Bivens said in a phone interview Wednesday. "It is the single largest source of revenue for a tournament. There are no domestic TV rights fees. This is our oxygen. It's that important. As recently as the past two weeks, I've had tournament directors tell me they are getting complaints (about international players who cannot speak enough English to talk to their pro-am partners). We have to be aware of that, because we've had sponsors who say they have had a bad time and might pull out because of it. That's our reality."

So the sponsors are fleeing not because the economy is in the toilet or because it's too expensive for them to support an event or they don't like their new date on the tour. They are fleeing because their pro-am experience isn't what they thought it would be.

Sure.

Wednesday
Sep032008

The Worst Seat In The House?

The spectator friendly press room at the BMW Championship does have a San Quentin feel, no? Kind of a leftover set piece from The Green Mile? I was wrong, this makes watching golf at Bellerive look exciting.

Wednesday
Sep032008

"Visually, it looks like the death-row gallery where members of the public watch executions"

Steve Elling gets it all wrong in describing the PGA Tour's idea to offer a one-way mirror for BMW Championship fans to watch slouching scribblers lobbing questions to the few remaining players willing to visit the media center. Granted it does sound like an execution chamber setup, but have you been out on the golf course yet, Steve? I doubt it, because had you studied the gem known as Bellerive, you would know that fans might just better enjoy themselves watching tepid exchanges between players and media!

Life in a fishbowl pretty closely describes the working conditions for media this week at the BMW Championship, where the PGA Tour alarmingly signed off on a plan in which fans who bought tickets to the tournament can watch the press interview players from behind the anonymity of one-way mirrors.
Here's the sneakiest and most unethical part -- tour stars and media were not informed that fans were being directed to the area while the interview sessions were being conducted in advance of the tournament, which begins Thursday.
Consider this before making a snap decision: Would you want spectators lining up at your office to watch you toil through one-way mirrors, especially if you didn't know they were there, or if you hadn’t given advanced consent?
That's exactly the scenario at Bellerive Country Club, where the tour caved to the deep-pocketed title sponsor's wish to let fans get closer to the players by selling out the media on hand to cover the event.
Personally, I think they've missed out on introducing one of the most exciting innovations in PGA Tour history. I would have set up a one-way mirror to allow fans the chance to watch the media eat. I see some great will-Spaulding-eat-his-boogers wagers as a writer finishes up his lunch and debates whether to pick up a second lemon bar before heading back to his work station to check out the latest posts on SportsJournalists.com.

Now that's entertainment.

Elling also reports that Mother Nature has issued her verdict on watching golf at Bellerive by sending the remnants of Gustav toward Missouri:

The ugly remnants from Hurricane Gustav are washing over the BMW Championship, flash-flood warnings have been issued throughout the state and if anybody plays Thursday, when the forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of rain as heavy as 10 inches, it'll be a shocking surprise.
Wednesday
Sep032008

"Allowing both parties to leverage their brand identity through various media channels and platforms..."

Reader Rod spotted this beauty of a press release from the Asian Tour.

The Asian Tour, widely regarded as the world’s fastest growing golf tour, has signed an exclusive corporate partnership with TIME and FORTUNE, allowing both parties to leverage their brand identity through various media channels and platforms that both parties have to offer.

Under this newly-inked deal announced today, the Asian Tour will be able to further enhance its profile and visibility in Asia through advertising opportunities in TIME and FORTUNE magazines, which are both part of Time Inc., the world’s leading magazine publisher.

As part of this strategic partnership, TIME and FORTUNE will now be able to maximise the on-site branding, distribution channels and pro-am playing opportunities that the Asian Tour has to offer at their events.

Wow, you buy some ads and they get some pro-am tee times. I guess that's not very sexy sounding.

Wednesday
Sep032008

“Where do you get the happy medium?”

Doug Ferguson considers the state of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup points volatility and includes this item which is precisely why I think the new points system is working (if a "playoff" is what they are after):

The biggest headache in all this is Padraig Harrington. You remember him as the British Open and PGA champion, a feat accomplished only by Tiger Woods the last half-century. Then he missed two cuts in a row and won’t get to East Lake unless he finishes fifth in St. Louis.

“Do you want a two-time major winner not in the Tour Championship?” Furyk asked.

It’s a fair question, but it’s missing the broader point.

The Tour Championship is no longer a reward for a great season. It’s a reward for a great month. That’s what the PGA Tour Playoffs are all about this year because of the volatility. And volatility is what the players wanted last year.

At least some of them.

“It’s a fight between the haves and have-nots a little bit, like in everything else,” Furyk said. “All the guys in the top 40 are complaining it’s too volatile, all the guys at the end are saying it’s great. Last year, everyone in the top 40 said, ‘This is great,’ all the guys at the other end said, ‘This (stinks).

“Where do you get the happy medium?”

Wednesday
Sep032008

"All he said was, 'Roc, I didn't pick you,' He didn't give a reason"

Some nice Ryder Cup reporting today, starting with Mike Dudurich talking to Rocco about not getting selected.

"All he said was, 'Roc, I didn't pick you,' He didn't give a reason," Mediate said. "I'm extremely sad and extremely disappointed."
Barker Davis takes exception with the J.B. Holmes selection, offering this:
Still, it's difficult to see Holmes' popularity in the Bluegrass State outweighing his lack thereof in the team room. If a random sampling of PGA players named the three least-liked guys on tour, Holmes might finish second to Rory Sabbatini. Why? Because the 26-year-old has no social skills. His boorish behavior and poor personal hygiene are running jokes on the PGA Tour. Given that Azinger was supposed to be a more connected captain than recent out-of-touch U.S. skippers Hal Sutton and Tom Lehman, the selection of Holmes seems almost comically misinformed.

"Personality matters," Azinger said at Tuesday's news conference. "If you have guys that are not getting along or whatever, it makes a difference."
Jill Painter isn't too wild about Hunter Mahan's selection after his critical comments in Golf Magazine.
The selection of Mahan would have been like Barack Obama making Hillary Clinton his running mate. She ripped him during her campaign, which makes it challenging to turn around and join his team. She supports Obama now, we get that. He won the Democratic nomination. Mahan can support the U.S. Ryder Cup, too. He just didn't need to be part of the team.

"I think we have all moved on from those comments," Mahan said on Tuesday's Cup conference call. "I'm just looking forward to the Ryder Cup. I'm going to enjoy every second of it."

How's he going to enjoy it if he feels like a slave?

On the Euro side, Larry Dorman notes this about Ian Poulter's selection:

Poulter will be under more pressure to perform at the Ryder Cup than any player in the recent history of the event. Everything he does will be scrutinized in light of his friendship with Faldo and the suspicion, vehemently denied by both, that Poulter had been assured of a berth on the team even before he decided to pass up the Johnnie Walker Championship last week at Gleneagles, Scotland, to play at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, where he missed the cut.
Patrick Kidd talks to Sam Torrance, who explains (with examples) why Captain Faldo is making a huge mistake only carrying one vice-captain.
"I was a wee bit surprised that he has only gone with himself and Olly [Jose Maria Olazabal, the only named vice-captain]," Torrance, the 2002 Europe captain, said. "He wants to gain all the information himself about the players but he can't do that, he won't have the time.
In an unbylined Sporting Life piece, Darren Clarke tries to absolve Ian Poulter of blame but makes sure to note that Nick Faldo changed his selection criteria.
Elaborating on his belief that Faldo did not hold true to his initial plans for his captain's picks, Clarke added: "Earlier in the year, Nick had stated that he wanted his players to be on form, he wasn't going to pay particular attention to the rankings.
"I thought I was on good form, my record this year has been a couple of good wins and lots of top 10s, but unfortunately he changed his mind, and you know, I've got to bank with that.
Tuesday
Sep022008

"We've got the best product with a world presence, but we can make it better instead of waiting for it to be fixed."

Jim McCabe offers this from Deutsche Bank CEO Seth Waugh:

Waugh's assessment of what the economic climate means for the PGA Tour and the FedEx Cup in particular: "The good news is, the deals for four- to six-years are signed. I'm a little more optimistic that we'll get through this, but if the contracts were not signed and were up, you'd lose a lot of folks. We've got the best product with a world presence, but we can make it better instead of waiting for it to be fixed."

Considering he's a student of the game and a shrewd guy, wouldn't you love to know what exactly he'd like to see fixed?

Tuesday
Sep022008

"It's something we are dumfounded by"

It was only a matter of time before some of the LPGA Tour event sponsors either (A) distanced themselves from the English proficiency mess or (B) used the opportunity to suggest Carolyn Bivens needs to go. As reported by Michael Bush of AdAge, it appears the folks at State Farm took both options.

Saying it was "flabbergasted" by the Ladies Professional Golf Association's new policy requiring "effective communication in English on the part of all of our Tour members," State Farm is urging the group to reconsider -- or insurer may reconsider its sponsorship.
"It's something we are dumfounded by," said Kip Biggs, media-relations specialist at the insurer, which is a general sponsor of the league as well as of the State Farm Classic Tournament in Springfield, Ill. "We don't understand this and don't know why they have done it, and we have strongly encouraged them to take another look at this."
And considering that Bivens is suggesting that the rule is something required to survive in the modern business world, this would seem to suggest that she never actually gave those people a voice in determining whether penalties were really necessary:
Ann Wool, senior VP-director at Ketchum Sports network, said it was a mistake for the LPGA not to talk to its sponsors before announcing the policy. "When making a major policy decision it's always wise to notify your sponsors," Ms. Wool said. "I can only speculate that [the LPGA] didn't think this was going to be such a controversial issue, otherwise they probably would have. It was probably a bad move not to notify their sponsors."
I'll say. Let's see how many more sponsors distance themselves from the policy, or even better, how many come forward to support it.

Tuesday
Sep022008

Old Macdonald Update

Matty G takes time out from his ambushing bloated losers with sleeves of logoed balls to file a productive piece on the status of Bandon's Old Macdonald, and even includes a few photos of their "Hell" bunker.

Tuesday
Sep022008

"He has played six matches in his two appearances and won once."

Even picking Chad Campbell over Rocco or Woody could not excite the scribblers. They clearly are feeling sorry for Captain Azinger, and you can't blame him for being "subdued" as Bob Harig noted in running through the choices and considering the Captain's options.

Gary Van Sickle writes, "you didn't think Paul Azinger was going to let Nick Faldo one-up him when it came to making surprising wild-card picks, did you?" Then Van Sickle goes on to say Azinger pretty much had no choice but to pick the four he selected.

Tim Rosaforte sums up the misery best:

While Nick Faldo had five obvious contenders for his two picks, the general consensus coming in over the weekend was that Zinger had no players for four picks, with even rookie Kevin Streelman jumping into the late mix.
Steve Elling says there was one bright spot to the funeral:
...in the moments before Azinger announced his four captain's picks, officials scrambled to replace a press release that listed the veterans who had already qualified for the team as having compiled a combined career record of 18-334-15 in the matches. No question, after losing five of the last six cups, the American anchor men have failed, but not quite to that spectacular degree.
John Hopkins wasn't quite so kind about the Campbell selection, point out that he has "a dire Ryder Cup record. He has played six matches in his two appearances and won once."

But Brian Hewitt finds a bright spot, if there was one:
American Ryder Cup players occupy seven of the first 11 and nine of the first 14 spots in the point standings. Those numbers speak directly to the importance of current form especially in light of the criticism that not one of the six 12 members on the American squad with Ryder Cup experience have winning career records in the event.
Tuesday
Sep022008

"LPGA 투어 일원은 세계적인 기업의 고위급 행정관과 한 쌍이 되었다. 어느 쪽도 아니에는 그들의 첫번째 언어로 영어가 없었다. 그들은 동일한 국가에서 이지 않았다."

The great branding never stops when it comes to the LPGA Tour's desire to penalize Korean players who can't tell their pro-am partners the difference between a Pro V1x and Platinum One, with Lorena Ochoa calling the new policy "a little drastic.”

Evan Rothman at Golfweek.com offers an excellent day-by-day primer on the key phrases Korean players will want to learn. Here's his Wednesday pro-am round list:

Wednesday: Pro-am round(to male pro-am partners)

“You’re in the [insert partner’s profession here] business? How fascinating.”“Nice drive. . . . Does your husband play golf?”

"Hit it, Alice.”

"You got all of that one!”

“A swing tip? You’re standing too close to the ball . . . after your shot.”

“Yes, Lorena really is as nice as everyone says. . . . No, I haven’t met Tiger Woods.”

“Another tip? Take two weeks off, then quit.”

“I don’t understand why Michelle Wie isn’t playing out here, either. I guess you’d have to ask her.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll get it back on the next hole.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. You’re a tremendous slouch.”

(at round’s end)            
“Hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort?”

“Sorry, I don’t give out my phone number.”
And finally, because I always feel the need to give back, I offer this Korean translation for the SAT like-example provided by the Commissioner for learning English. To refresh your memory, here's the brilliance in English and Korean:
An LPGA Tour member was paired with a senior level executive of a global corporation. Neither had English as their first language. They were not from the same country. However, English was their common language, their common bond. They were able to effectively communicate in English throughout the entire 18-hole round, and to this day they are in discussions for a sponsorship opportunity. This would not have been possible if they could not effectively communicate in English. The player was equipped to harness this potential earnings opportunity. This is what the LPGA wants for its members. To be as prepared as possible to succeed both on and off the course.

LPGA 투어 일원은 세계적인 기업의 고위급 행정관과 한 쌍이 되었다. 어느 쪽도 아니에는 그들의 첫번째 언어로 영어가 없었다. 그들은 동일한 국가에서 이지 않았다. 그러나, 영어는 그들의 공통 언어, 그들의 일반적인 유대이었다. 그들은 효과적으로 둥근 전체 18 구멍을 통하여 영어로 교통할 수 있고, 후원 기회를 위한 면담에 현재까지 있다. 이것은 그들이 영어로 효과적으로 교통할 수 없던 경우에 가능하지 않ㄹ을. 선수는 이 잠재적인 수입 기회를 마구를 채우기 위하여 갖춰졌다. 이것은 LPGA가 그것의 일원을 위해 원하는 무슨이다. 둘 다 이따금 성공하게 가능한 한 준비되는 이기 위하여 과정.

See how easy it is to deal with the two languages.

Tuesday
Sep022008

Tommy Bolt, R.I.P.

Golfweek reports the passing of the golfing great.

For the best of Bolt, check out his Golf Digest My Shot from six years ago.


Tuesday
Sep022008

Brand Lady Memo: "We do not view this as punitive but rather as underscoring the importance of a core value on which the LPGA was founded: engaging and entertaining our customers and fans."

Thanks to the reader who passed this along, and do make sure you hit the link for the "background" on the policy.

To:         LPGA Constituents
From:    LPGA Commissioner Carolyn F. Bivens
Date:     Sept. 2, 2008
Subj:     LPGA overview regarding the effective communication in English policy

A great deal has been written this past week about the LPGA’s initiative to help members attain minimal English language skills. For those of you who want more details and background, please go to http://www.lpga.com/content_1.aspx?pid=17137&mid=4 where you will find an extensive overview. Please feel free to respond and offer comments.

Let's start with a key point of clarity: we are not suggesting, nor will we implement, an “English only” policy. The LPGA does not, nor will we ever, require English fluency, or even proficiency, from our international players.

As a U.S.-based tour, more than 65% of our events are held in our home country. For those events, we need our members to attain a level of communication in English so they can:

A.     deliver an enjoyable experience in the pro-am events at tournaments,
         which are the lifeblood of the LPGA business model;
B.     conduct their post-round interviews in English for the media; and

Sounds like English-only to me!

C.     deliver a short acceptance speech after winning an event.

None of this is new. The LPGA has had a program for more than three years whereby we dedicate substantial resources for the transition and education of our international members. This program includes an on-line learning program, tutors and translators with the expressed goal being a functional ability to communicate in English within two years after an international member has joined the LPGA.

The aspect which is new and received the vast majority of coverage last week is the penalty, which would be assessed after two years if a player didn’t achieve the minimal ability to communicate in English. We do not view this as punitive but rather as underscoring the importance of a core value on which the LPGA was founded: engaging and entertaining our customers and fans.
And here I thought it was to allow women to display their incredible golfing skills! What was I thinking!
Without this most basic ability to entertain our customers, we will not maintain the current levels of events much less grow. Nor will our international members have the skills necessary to maximize their individual earnings potential by being able to communicate with prospective sponsors.

I’d like to offer a brief word about our events outside the United States.
Here's the part where we let it be known that Paula Creamer had better learn to say vachchuneta!
As part of our Board-approved strategic plan, we are producing cultural briefings for each tournament beginning this fall. Among items shared with members will be key phrases for communicating in the native language of the country in which the event is held. Additionally, we have a number of members already using our on-line language services to learn other languages.

I believe, as do the majority of our domestic and international members, the program we have implemented will benefit the LPGA and every Tour member individually.

Please feel free to send us your thoughts and comments.

 Best regards,

Carolyn F. Bivens

Tuesday
Sep022008

Elin Pregnant; Media Jubilant Over Opportunity To Ask Tiger More Inane Questions About Fatherhood

Finally, a reason to wish Tiger would take more time off: the relentlessly redundant fatherhood questions will be returning...so soon. They'll make questions about the knee seem fun!

Tiger, how does it feel to be a father for the second time? 

Tiger, now that you are a father for the second time, does this allow you to relate to your father, who had two children himself, one of whom was you?

Tiger, do you see yourself cutting back your design work from two projects at a time to one now that you have two children and one bum knee?

Tiger, does this your change your perspective towards life in any way that I can write about so I don't have to write about your knee for the third time this month?

Tiger, have you reached out to anyone like Phil Mickelson or Michael Jordan or Barack Obama about the ways having a second child might impact your schedule?

Tiger, now that Elin has provided you with another child, does this make Steve Williams any less of a jerk?

Tuesday
Sep022008

Riding Wave Of Deutsche Bank T7, Campbell Named To Ryder Cup Team

Doug Ferguson reports...

Chad Campbell made one last impression on U.S. captain Paul Azinger and was rewarded Tuesday with a spot on the Ryder Cup team, joining Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and J.B. Holmes as captain's picks.

Thoughts?

Monday
Sep012008

"Nobody's heard from him"

Doug Ferguson considers all of the selection candidates for Paul Azinger and says he could pick four rookies. I'm looking for Stricker, Mediate, Mahan and Holmes to get picked.

How anyone could possibly know is hard to say since Azinger isn't talking as Steve Elling notes:

Four of the players on Azinger's supposed short list said they haven't spoken with the captain in weeks -- if at all.

"I don't even know if he has my phone number," American veteran Scott Verplank said.

The buzz all week at the Deutsche Bank Championship has been about the final formation of the two teams -- it's the first time the U.S. team hasn't been set at the PGA Championship -- but the phones have certainly not been buzzing.

"Nobody's heard from him," said Steve Stricker, who is 10th in the world rankings and considered the closest thing to a lock to make the team. "I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing."