The Niggle: Should mobile phones be allowed on the course?

Golf Equipment

England Golf have appealed to clubs across the UK to relax their rules about mobile phone use on the golf course. Should this be the case?

With technology creeping into every area of our professional and personal lives, it’s no shock to see mobile usage in almost every single aspect of your day-to-day life.

Many clubs still maintain a ban on the devices on the course and in the clubhouse.

But with many relying on smartphones for personal and professional reasons, is it right in 2015 that we still have strict bans on them?

Our team debates the issue.

JT – Surely this should be welcomed as a positive thing if we want to bring the game into the 21st century and make it appeal to younger audiences?

JS – Nowadays, it seems people are constantly glued to their mobile phones during their work and personal life. The golf course should be a retreat, a chance to getaway from emails, text messages and social media notifications. They should be left in the locker room.

JE – I don’t see a problem at all with using mobile phones on the course as long as it doesn’t affect the social aspects of the game. 

Although that being said, I don’t appreciate it when you are on the golf course and have a quick look at your mobile and get evil glares from some playing partners/members as if you have just talked on their backswing. 

JT – I think as long as you establish some basic ground rules then there shouldn’t be a problem. There is so much technology out there now that phones are so much more than just phones. Recently I was playing a round with a friend (albeit one who is a PGA pro…) and I just couldn’t get anything going. We got to the 5th tee and I asked him to film my swing to see if we could see anything wrong. Two holes and a minor adjustment later and I felt happier with the way I was hitting the ball. I accept that mobiles on the course won’t be for everyone, and if you have a problem then leave yours in the locker room. Just don’t stop me from using mine. 

DW – It’s nice to have a mobile in an emergency, although mine tend to be of the golfing variety – luckily! But I agree with JS that it’s nice to get away from emails, text messages and social media for just a few hours.

It’s another facet of the game that makes it appear archaic and out of touch with modern society JS – If you relax the rules, it will become difficult for clubs to decide where to draw the line. I’ve seen people using urinals with their phone wedged against their ear, driving at 80mph on the motorway while texting. “Hang on, I’m just going to put you on speaker phone because I’ve got a tricky eight foot putt.” – It will happen.

DW – Maybe we could draw up a set of rules regarding mobile phone use. For example, no phones on loudspeaker, no use when your playing partner is taking a shot, no use in competitions etc. When you are playing casually, or on your own, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to connect to the outside world. It’s another facet of the game that makes it appear archaic and out of touch with modern society. 

JS – I just don’t see the need to have mobiles on the golf course other than for a genuine emergency. Give people the option and they will more than likely take up the offer. Checking the phone has become a habit. People will constantly take their phones out of their pockets to check for texts and missed calls. It’s very anti-social in my opinion. We should try and enjoy the company of the people we are playing with and check the phone when the round is finished.

MT – Do what you want but keep it on silent during the round.

More annoying than a small bleep midway through your backswing is being kept up to speed with the day’s football results when you’ve got no interest, usually after a seemingly  never-ending awkward silence while the page loads.

Or your playing partner working his way through Tinder while you whistle one into the trees.

Either play golf and try and get away, for just a few hours, from your phone being stuck to your  hand, or go and scroll through Twitter and bore the arse off someone else.

DW – That’s basically the point of a mobile isn’t it? For emergencies – so surely that is reason enough to allow them? But what if we have an Instagram emergency? Snapchat scenario?

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? SHOULD WE BE MORE LENIENT WITH MOBILE PHONE USAGE? HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.

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