PGA Fans No Longer Have Reason to be Teed Off About Cell Phone Use
Tweeting near the 18th tee? Yep. PGA fans soon will be on the ball when it comes to modern-day communication.
Following a test at five professional golf events in 2010 and 2011, the PGA Tour has decided to let fans carry cell phones and use them in specified areas at certain tournaments. The Wyndham Championship, held in August 2010 in Greensboro, N.C., was “the guinea pig” for lifting the cell phone ban.
PGA spectators now can use cell phones on golf courses, as long as the volume is set on silent. Phone calls can be made or received in designated areas throughout a course, such as concession stands. Fans also can receive and send messages, check data and access PGATour.com on the golf course, but only away from play.
“We understand that mobile devices are an important part of everyday life,” said Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour’s chief of operations.
Pazder said permitting the use of mobile devices is “a tremendous fan enhancement, allowing them to stay connected to business and family. We anticipate our fans will be respectful of the policy and, as a result, the integrity of our competitions will not be compromised.”
Under the new policy, the first tournament where fans will be able to use cell phones is The Honda Classic, set for Feb. 28-March 6 at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
The Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship are not co-sponsored by the PGA Tour and have their own policies regarding on-course use of cell phones.
The Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla., scheduled for March 8-13, will be the second PGA tournament to permit use of mobile devices by fans. At this event, fans will be able to participate in several promotions on Facebook and Twitter, including “Social Media Happy Hours.” Fans also will be able to check in through Foursquare.
“Social media outlets give professional athletes, our tournament, media and all facets of sports a new and exciting way to reach and interact with the fans,” said Eddie Carbone, executive director of the Cadillac Championship.