The Korean golf money train

The LPGA's Korean golfers might not speak the best English, but broadcast rights to televise their exploits are a gold mine

Published September 8, 2008 1:58PM (EDT)

One last note about the now-rescinded learn-English-or-else order from the LPGA to Korean golfers.

In my generally uninformed comments about the contretemps, I focused on the supposed threat posed by uncommunicative Korean golfers to some crucial LPGA revenue streams -- such as the pro-am tournaments that are a staple of the Tour.

But Ron Sirak, the executive editor of Golf World Magazine, who has been covering this story better than anyone else, points out a startling fact in an excellent column published Friday: Korean TV money is the single largest source of revenue for the LPGA.

That fact, Sirak suggests, might explain why the LPGA was so quick to renounce its speak-English marching orders.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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