Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's A New Day: Cell Phones Will Be Welcome At Wells Fargo Championship

   Spectators will be allowed to bring their cell phones to PGA Tour events, including the Wells Fargo Championship, starting at the Honda Classic later this month.

   The PGA Tour announced the new guidelines today after testing the policy at five events. There will still be restrictions-- the phones must be kept on silent; there will be designated talking areas; and the mobile devices can't be used for taking photos or video during tournament play -- but the change will be welcome news to most golf fans.

   It's a logical move by the tour. There's no doubt some fans have been reluctant to attend tournaments because they would not be allowed to have their cell phones with them.

      "Mobile devices are such a part of people's lives today and the tour understands that people don't want to be away from them for a long period of time," said Kym Hougham, executive director of the Wells Fargo Championship.

    "In fact, the mobile devices can help people at the course follow what's happening at the tournament and I'd expect to see the tour come up with an app that will fit every tournament."

    It's not as if fans hadn't been sneaking phones into tournaments before. Rather than work to keep phones off the course, tour and tournament officials will work to educate fans on when and how to use them on the course.

   "We'll still confiscate phones if they're taking pictures or video with them from Thursday through Sunday," Hougham said. "But it's a nice move by the tour."

   The new guidelines do not apply to the four major championships including the Masters. Those tournaments will set their own policies about cell phones.

15 comments:

George Hanson said...

Security at Quail Hollow is intrusive, oppressive, and absurdly over the top. The event should spend more time thinking about proper placement of hospitality tents so as to improve sight lines, and less on how to perform a cavity search of every patron. In addition, there are WAY TOO MANY carts running around the site as evidenced by the person getting run over and seriously injured a couple years ago.

For an event that seems to totally nail it on making it attractive for players, they miss it completely on the fan side of the equation.

Joe Mama said...

HORRIBLE idea. This will be recended by the PGA in no time. Kym, you should know better!

GK said...

I was at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro where they tested this new policy. I didn't notice any problems or negative impact from folks being allowed to bring them. Everyone was very respectful.

Anonymous said...

niiice!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It was nice getting away from work all day on the Thursday and Friday of the tourney. Now I have now excuse:(

Anonymous said...

All it's going to take is one Tiger Woods "ing Come On!" to have these cell phones taken back off the course. A nice try by the PGA, but it won't last.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for all the yuppies to blabber throughout the whole tournament with soccer moms not far behind. Terrible idea!

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah - about time!

Anonymous said...

Bad move.

Frankie said...

I've been to the tournament every year, and I've always had my phone with me. I usually make and receive a few text messages, and if I receive a voicemail, I would normally listen to it when I would use the restroom. If people will do it that way, there will be no problems.

George Hanson said...

@ 2.56

Sure you do, turn your phone off. Or even better, leave it at the office!!

P said...

We had cell phones at Quail Hollow, as did many others I'm sure. The PGA is just getting up with the times -- good for them. There are many ways for a spectator to disrupt play anyway -- but that doesn't happen. And if a cell phone does go off -- hey professional golfer, deal with it ... it ain't church out there.

Anonymous said...

I actually like the fact that you cant have phones at these events. It is nice to see people interact more with each other without distractions. It is sad to see such a good organization cave to the pressure from a few.....

Anonymous said...

how are they going to be able to tell if a person is checking an app or taking a video?

Larie said...

The site said phones with cameras are considered cameras recording devices and are prohibited. Don't most phones have cameras? How strictly is this enforced?