Next month’s Wyndham Championship will serve as the “guinea pig tournament” for fans to bring their cell phones on the course.
Reader L sent in a tip, saying that at a volunteer meeting they were told that the PGA Tour is letting the Wyndham be the pilot tournament for allowing the gallery to have cell phones, and if this works well, the Tour will consider expanding this policy for other tournaments. The Tour did not respond immediately to an email.
Here’s the policy verbatim from the volunteer handbook:
- Please silence your mobile device.
- Calls permitted in designated areas only.
- NO photographs or video permitted after Wednesday
- Violations will result in confiscation of your mobile device or removal from the Tournament*
- Be respectful of play
*Neither the Tournament nor the PGA TOUR shall be responsible for any damage to, or the loss of, any confiscated devices.
And here’s more detail from Reader L:
Signs with the information above will be placed all around the course. Also, every person attending the tournament will receive a hard copy of the policy. During the volunteer training, they told us that if someone was using their cell phone in a non-designated area, that we were to ask them to stop using the device or go to a designated area. The designated areas will be where the concession stands are located. We are to keep an eye on the people with cell phones and after one warning, on the second violation we are to request the cell phone. If they do not give up the cell phone, we are to call security to escort the person off the property. If they surrender the cell phone, we are to place the phone in a clear plastic baggy with an information card with their name, address, etc. The person whose cell phone is confiscated will be able to pick it up at “will call.”
It’s worth a shot, right? I know some clever spectators who are also golfers have bypassed security and brought in their phones. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as they make sure their ringers are on silent and they use judgment. You know, like don’t start talking loudly when standing next to the tee box as a golfer is about to hit — but that’s forbidden, anyway. Most people just want the convenience of their phones for texting purposes, like if you get separated from your friend or you’re trying to meet up with someone. (Believe me, it’s a pain to deal with.) And for iPhone users, they can check stats, player information and leaderboard updates on the PGA Tour app.
Sounds like if all goes well, fans won’t have to worry for much longer about shoving their phones into their shoes to sneak them onto tournament grounds.