Tuesday, April 03, 2007

And take the cute ringtone with you ...

Among the many things the Masters gets right is its policy on cell phones.

No way. No how. No time.


If you’re important enough to need a cell phone at the Masters, you’re too important to be on the golf course.

Golf tournaments have tried to eliminate cell phones from going off in the pockets of fans but it hasn’t worked. Or, at best, it’s worked for most people but not all people.

The Masters has solved that by getting its message across – get caught with a cell phone and we’ll see you, your cell phone and your ticket later. Well, not exactly. More like never again, especially your ticket.

Gone. For good.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll get your phone back.

The only wiggle room is for media members (yeah, I know, the media always gets special treatment). We’re allowed to bring cell phones onto the property with the strict understanding that they will not be used outside the confines of the media center.

Entering the course for the first time this week, two different security officials reinforced the phone policy to me. The second stood directly in front of me and, in a polite tone, reminded me of the policy like he was reading me my rights.

I’m fine with it. In fact, I love it.

I only wish the Masters could do something about people driving and using cell phones.

• In answer to an e-mail question as to where we stay at the Masters, the Observer group (including Ron Green Sr. and Scott Fowler) shares a house with writers from the Raleigh News and Observer and the Greensboro News and Record. It’s a terrific set-up, allowing us to cook dinner at home in the evening instead of fighting the restaurant crowds. And, compared to the price of hotel rooms, which often require 7-night minimums, it’s reasonably priced.


Anonymous said...

I've heard very reliable tales of very important people (i.e., people whose names appear in the newspaper all the time) losing their memberships to Augusta National because they let friends of theirs use their passes to the Masters and then said friends smuggled a cellphone onto the course and got caught with it. It's not the friend who gets punished; it's the person who owns the pass.

That must make for a difficult conversation... "Uh, they told me to tell you you can never come back. Sorry."