The Background

During the 2006 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool there were numerous complaints made by players about the disturbance of spectators using mobile phones.

The Scene

Due to the volume of complaints made by players the R&A announced in January 2007 that mobiles would be banned at Carnoustie for the upcoming Open Championship.

The ban was eventually placed on all the other major championships and the Ryder Cup.

The Legacy

The ban wasn’t lifted until the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham St Annes where designated areas were setup to allow spectators to make phone calls during play.

The uplift in the ban also carried over to other tournaments like the Ryder Cup and other majors apart from the Masters as the use of mobile phones on the course during championship play is banned at Augusta National.

At the time R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: “There is no denying the attachment people feel to their mobile phones, allowing their use at the championship will enrich the Open experience.”

Recently, the European Tour adopted a policy where spectators were allowed to use their mobile phones on the course as long as they stayed on silent and didn’t disturb a player during play.