Is it okay to take phone calls on the course?
Steve Carroll: Remember Trigger Happy? That irritating ring tone and Dom Joly producing the biggest mobile you’ve ever seen? “HELLO”, he’d scream – sending bystanders scurrying for cover.
This is how I feel when I hear someone taking a phone call during a round.
I admit it. I don’t have the greatest powers of concentration. But is it right that when someone else is waiting to play that you should be sorting out your evening pub plans?
There’s no point saying that phones should be banned from clubs. That ship has sailed.
With free distance measuring apps available for every iPhone and Android, it’s stupid to think we won’t be checking our email and internet along with our yardage.
But, unless it’s an absolute emergency, should the course be a refuge from talking on the phone?
Can’t we just play a round without the din of the ring ring? Or should we just accept that it’s the 21st century and get on with it?
Dan Murphy: Sorry, I am on the golf course.
Getting my phone out of my bag mid-round is a sure sign that I have given up/lost interest/got bored. The only other time I check my phone is for sporting updates and it absolutely ruins my golf.
Craig Middleton: I think it depends on the situation but, overall, you shouldn’t be talking on the phone in the middle of a round.
If you are out there on your own practising, with nobody in front or behind you, then I don’t see a problem if you want to call someone for a bit of a chat. It can be a lonely old place, the golf course!
But when you are playing with people, whether that be socially for fun or in a competition, the phone should remain zipped away, turned off.
If, however, you are a phone geek and need it to check some emails or football scores, silent mode will suffice.
SC: Two shot penalty…
Tom Lenton: No to calls but texting and just generally doing bits is fine, isn’t it Mark?
SC: That’s not a call, so that’s all right. It’s the random chat that does my head in. If it’s golf related, I will allow it.
Mark Townsend: I must admit I did use my phone a fortnight ago (Steve was absolutely fuming) but that was because I didn’t have a boiler that worked so had to take a call and explain to a stranger that, no, I had no idea if I had an immersion heater.
I despise phones on the golf course.
Due to our incredible skills Tom Lenton (ccd) and I reached the semi-finals AND final of the two knockout comps at our club. So, every two weeks for about five months, we had to go through this charade of him looking at Tinder and me telling him off (after I’d had a quick look).
In the second semi-final we had to go to extra holes in the dark and all I could see, halfway down the fairway, was his phone flicking on and off. I banned him from even bringing his phone to the final as I got so irritated (we lost 4&3).
Will Shucksmith: I agree with TL. It’s the 21st century, they should probably allow them in competitions too, give you something to do instead of the monotony of trying to make polite conversation with some wannabe uninteresting pro type.
TL: Now you see I disagree with WS, being on your phone all the time rather than making any effort to speak to playing partners is rude.
Talk with them for a few holes and, if it’s unbearable, get a march on off the tee box and distance yourself so you just communicate with hand signals from the other side of the fairway as to who hits in first.
MT: Are you talking about yourself here Will?
WS: Yes and you. I would obviously give someone a few holes, after all it might take them a while to warm up. Obviously not you though Mark.
MT: So is the phone finally coming out proof that you find someone boring? Other than Tinder what do you youngsters actually look at?
I often think there is a parallel mobile universe that I’m missing out on – and then I look over someone’s shoulder and they’re also on Facebook/Twitter/checking Junk on emails…
TL: You two would unmatch rather quickly. Maybe even unmatch and report as spam.
James Savage: Tinder Brigade are getting a bit defensive.
It’s fine to check your phone at various points on a round but any calls should be done very discretely and preferably not while your playing partners are waiting for you to hit.
It can be a real distraction or a sign you’re not quite feeling it.
I played well for 7 holes the other day then nipped to the locker room to grab my portable phone charger before heading to the 8th tee.
I spent the rest of the round trying to charge my phone, resting it on my bag in a particular way before each shot so the lead didn’t come out.
It got up to 72 percent battery by the end of the round but I failed to double my score from the first 7 holes.
JS: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Bebo, MySpace. They’ll still be there after the round.
DM: But will Wednesday still be hanging on to that unlikely point at the Madejski?
James Broadhurst: Do Bebo and MySpace still exist? Thought they had perished long ago with MSN Messenger.
I do occasionally check my phone on the course to see if I have got any messages or missed calls (I never do!) or to see if Liverpool are winning (thanks to Jurgen, they most likely are).
But I see golf as a social sport. It’s three-and-a-half hours in the day when you can put the phone away and play 18 holes with friends.
I find it annoying and anti-social when a playing partner has their head buried in their phone and you are left to trudge along in silence.
Unless it’s an emergency, keep the phone use to a minimum.