Tuesday, November 30

Will Allowing Cell Phones Increase Tour Attendance?

INEVITABLE. THAT SEEMS TO be the word when it comes to cell phones being allowed at PGA Tour events, perhaps as soon as the 2011 season. Cell phones were welcomed at the Wyndham Championship in August as part of a test run. From what I’ve read, the experiment was successful. No cell phone mishaps were reported.

Golf Channel has reported that there will be two more trials, one at this week’s Chevron World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, California. The other test venue will be the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in early 2011.

The reasoning, according to Golf Channel:
... the PGA Tour has been discussing the cell phone policy for several months and feels that, in today’s world, fans can become disconnected for long periods of time while on the golf course. Their hope is that allowing people to carry a cell phone while at a tournament will help grow attendance.
Cell phones, of course, must be silenced or set on vibrate. And a new policy allowing cell phones at PGA Tour events wouldn’t apply to the majors, which are governed by other bodies.

But would new cell phone guidelines add fans at tour events?

I’m not so sure about that. It will certainly remove an annoyance for current spectators and a potential obstacle to others who might wander out for an event. But a sudden uptick in attendance seems doubtful.

There are bound to be occasional cell phone incidents, and tour pros—especially those with rabbit ears—will likely claim to hear them go off, vibrate, etc. They’ll have to live with it because cell phones are here to stay. Keeping them off the golf course just isn’t realistic.

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: KB35/Flickr)


Average Golfer said...

I must be the last person on the planet without a cell phone. Or close.

The Armchair Golfer said...

AG: That means yours won't go off at a tournament. I guess it's still possible to live without one, eh?

Front9Back9 said...

I put the over/under at 7... That is the number of times Tiger throws a temper-tantrum in 2011 when someone snaps a cell phone photo or some loud ring tone goes off in his back swing.

Dutch said...

Cell phones at Golf tournaments ?.....please,can someone stop this madness please.