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16 FEB

Honda Classic to Forge New Ground!

By Jeff Lichtenstein

The cell phone, now called the mobile device, has long been the bane of professional golfers. While the ordinary golf fan knows enough to be quiet during a golfer’s swing or while putting, there is nothing that can be done regarding incoming phone calls or text messages. Haven’t you heard a phone go off during church or synagogue or at an important meeting?

So the policy of the PGA Tour has been to prohibit them by checking bags on the way in. Of course, the game has always been sneaking your phone in anyway. In our always-connected, always-wired world, who could go a few hours without talking or texting?

Ringing phones were a big enough threat to disrupting a shot that might cost a player tens of thousands in prize money, but then there is the issue of pictures. Cameras were never allowed during the tournament, but now mobile devices have great cameras and take fine video, so the issue of unauthorized pictures was something else to deal with. With all of this going on, the Tour has capitulated.

When the PGA Tour stops in Palm Beach Gardens from Feb. 28 – Mar. 6, spectators will be allowed to carry mobile devices and use them in selected spots on the course.

Here’s a quote from Andy Pazder, Chief of Opertions.

“We understand that mobile devices are an important part of everyday life. We concluded after the five test tournaments that allowing mobile devices on-site at TOUR event was 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.”

I hope this goes well.  It’s nice to have your phone along, but I don’t want to be nearby when some outrageous ring-tone goes off as a player putts to win…and then misses.
Hole #1 at The Champ at PGA National, Site of the Honda Classic

Posted in Golf, golf community on February 16, 2011 at 5:59 am.

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