Effective at the end of 2009, LPGA Tour golfers on the tour for two years were required to pass an English oral evaluation exam or face suspension(1).

Looking at the current Women's World Golf Rankings, ten of the top 25 originate from Korea. Does the presence/prevalence of golfers from countries where English is not the native language a factor in this requirement?

What is the motivation behind requiring LPGA Tour members to speak English?

  • The LPGA softened their stance considerably less than two weeks after the initial announcement. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Jul 2 '14 at 5:18
  • The most likely reason is that the players need to understand the course officials during a match, and the officials probably only speak English. – Oldcat Jul 3 '14 at 21:18
  • I have given the "official reason" in my answer below, but the "real reason" will only be guess work. – Prem Apr 19 '15 at 11:16

Official statement,

Why now? Athletes now have more responsibilities and we want to help their professional development," deputy commissioner Libba Galloway told The Associated Press. "There are more fans, more media and more sponsors. We want to help our athletes as best we can succeed off the golf course as well as on it."

via ESPN.

Another official statement :

LPGA Deputy Commissioner Libba Galloway, a graduate of Duke Law and a practicing attorney before joining the LPGA, disagrees: "We are not discouraging players from speaking other languages. They can talk to their caddie in whatever language they choose. They can speak to other players on the driving range in whatever language they choose. If they're Brazilian and a reporter asks them a question in Portuguese, by all means, answer it in Portuguese. And we're not demanding that the players be perfectly fluent in English. What we're saying is that the ability to speak to your pro-am partners and to the media, and for the winner to give their victory speech in English, will be one of our tournament regulations."

via Golf.com.

Of course, the rule has since being revoked, which was mentioned in the comments.

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