Wednesday, 27 August 2008

LPGA players to take English test

On Monday, it was reported that the LPGA has taken some rather drastic measures towards some of their international members. The LPGA has 121 international members from 26 countries, 45 of which hail from South Korea. Most of the South Koreans speak little or no English, which is not very user friendly for the sponsors, media, or fans that wish to interact with the stars of the LPGA. “The LPGA will require players to speak English starting in 2009, with players who have been LPGA members for two years facing suspension if they can't pass an oral evaluation of English skills.”

Yes, I said stars, as the South Koreans, along with many others have started to dominate the LPGA Tour. When the winners of golf tournaments are not able to give interviews, interact with the title sponsors and their invited guests, and participate in media days as defending champions for upcoming events, it puts a strain on the LPGA in regards to cultivating current or future sponsors in this difficult economy.

I have seen something of this nature coming for a while now, and while it has caused a huge uproar this week in the United States, I am surprised more people did not see this more as inevitable, than a surprise. I can see lawsuits on the horizon, and I am not aware of the LPGA bylaws, but you can bet, with the amount of money at stake for the non-English speaking members, this will not go untested.

While admittedly harsh, I believe the LPGA is looking at this with the future in mind. If they have any hope of holding onto the sponsors they currently have, or more difficult yet, growing the tour in a down economy, they will have to be seen as user friendly.

by Jay Townsend

Friday, 15 August 2008

Thieving Bastards

Meeting with our Michael, our CTO has had to be cancelled. Some thieving bastard nicked his bicycle! So meeting postponed until tomorrow, when I'm going to Arsenal v West Brom with him. He's a Geordie, so this will be a bit of a step up in class. Not that I'm a Gooner either - but my sister is away and I've got access to two season tickets. Not going to turn them down when we are pre-revenue!

Working away on getting ready to unleash to a largely unsuspecting world. Want to get a tee booking system in place before we go live as that is so part of the future. I'd love to get an email every monday giving me good deals on local courses for the coming week. Heaver Castle for £16. Yes please. Works for me!

Right better get on with that and a couple of hundred other things.


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Show Me The Content Delivery Network

Theres a blogosphere debate about content delivery versus content creation based on a New York Times interview with the top dog at Warner; is it the content or is it the delivery? As the techie at showmethegolf its a debate I've also had with our top dog.

For the record we firmly believe that content is King. All of our effort including that of the tech team, is in ensuring we deliver our viewers the best possible content. Whilst bad delivery will detract from the content, good delivery will never add to it. Thats why I'm glad we have a great CDN partner in place in level3 as it removes a lot of my worries.

So we salute you Jeffrey L. Bewkes and wish you all the best at the head of Warner. If you want a great golf tv show for the Turner network, you know where we are!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Welsh Wales

Just back from a busman's holiday in Wales - well, an attempt anyway as it chose to rain all week.

Managed to get in a couple of rounds - one at Aberdovy one at Borth. Both great links courses.

Borth is only 5,700 yards, but it is so much fun to play. The second is its hell hole - sea on the left and main road on the right, which cuts right through the course. Lost one to the sea - thought I'd make my slice work for me for once, but it was not to be. Played the first 8 by myself and then was invite to join a group of three members for the rest of the round. Great company. It's one of the things I most love about golf. Meeting quality people who treat you as their guest. I've invited them to check out - ok, so it's not the fastest way of building an audience, but you've got to start somewhere!

Had a crack at Aberdovy as well. Played with another visitor, and again had a great time. He was off 13, and a complete golf junkie. Didn't let the side down too badly and gave him a game.

And what's more after both games, everyone was up for a pint. Hats off!


Friday, 1 August 2008

What's Next

After the frantic week that was The Open it has been good to calm down for a moment and draw breath for a few minutes. We got a great reception from everyone we talked to, and there seems to be a real appetite for what we are trying to do. Now we are going through a debugging phase in preparation for a beta launch around The Ryder Cup. In the meantime I'm heading off for a couple of days break in Wales. Hoping to play Aberdovey, Borth and Harlech. I've played Borth and Aberdovey before and love them, but Harlech will be a new challenge. Not that I find easy at either Borth or Aberdovey, especially if the wind blows.

As I am writing this I'm also trying to listen to the Test Match and watch the British Ladies Open. We're Melissa Reid fans here, but she had a tough day yesterday. We're hoping she can pull something out of the bag today. Bugger Vaughn out for 17, and we're still 44 behind. Just watching Karen Stubbles coming through at 18 - she had to get up 4.15am to get ready for her round.

Next week we're also setting a bunch of lab rats onto the site to have a look under the bonnet and see what, if anything, we are missing. This beta thing is a fascinating process, but at the same time you do actually want to know that you've got something in the can and finished.

Now throwing it down at Sunningdale. OK, so not Open weather, but I'll stick with the TV today. We were planning an assault on Sunningdale this afternoon, but there's still too much to get sorted before I can disappear to deepest Wales with my sticks.

Alliss jamming on pelmets and monsoons. 'You youngsters won't know what a pelmet is." Thanks Peter.