The golf course has long been a unique arena for sports fans. After all, attending a professional golf event is about as far away from a football stadium as you can get. But as the times change, so changes the culture at big events. One change that the PGA embraced was cell phones. Now that fans are permitted to use cell phones in a certain capacity at golf events, some golfers have taken issue. One such golfer is Phil Mickelson, who reportedly sent a text message to the PGA commissioner regarding the issue. Apparently, Mickelson is not happy with the way fans are using their phones. While I understand his argument, the truth is that golfers have to get used to this. There is no sense complaining about something that isn't going to change.
According to rules, golf fans are allowed to use cell phones as long as they don't take pictures during a competition. There are also designated areas for fans to make calls, something that should neutralize the noise. Assuming these rules are followed, there is really no reason for golfers to complain. In reality though, fans are going to sneak in pictures. In the world of smartphones, it's almost impossible to enforce the rules all the time. Instead of complaining, golfers should simply learn to let it go.
I understand the issue of noise distracting golfers. I also think there is something to be said about fans putting down their phones for a few hours to enjoy a sporting event. But in this day and age, people are going to use phones to check out information. Think about a professional golf event. Fans can only see so much action, so they are going to want to track their favorite players throughout the day. I think most people out there would use their phones to check out something like that. For that reason, the PGA isn't going to ban the use of cell phones on the golf course.
In addition, golfers are paid a great deal of money. With the way golf is covered on TV today, many golfers are celebrities. They should expect their pictures to be taken much like movie stars do. Part of the drawback of being a star athlete is that you sacrifice a certain level of privacy. Fans are going to sneak pictures any chance they get. This is going to be just another distraction that golfers will have to manage.
Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played the game since high school.