BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A new English proficiency policy at the U.S. Ladies Professional Golf Association has shaken at least one key tour sponsor, company officials said.
Insurance giant State Farm has asked the LPGA to reconsider the policy, which requires "effective communication in English on the part of all our Tour members," Advertising Age reported Wednesday.
"It's something we are dumbfounded by," State Farm media relations specialist Kip Biggs said. The insurer has "strongly encouraged them to take another look at this," Biggs said, adding, "it's something we'll take into account when we look at either re-upping or walking away," from the LPGA.
The LPGA released a statement Tuesday saying "it is imperative for future success of the LPGA … that our members effectively communicate in English at tournaments inside the United States."
But some questioned the policy as possibly racist, Advertising Age reported. The LPGA currently includes 478 tour members, including 121 international players from 26 countries, the report said.
A second sponsor, Choice Hotels International, also said they would "closely monitor LPGA news and announcements" as the LPGA moves to ratify the new policy, spokesman David Peikin said.