Will you be the idiot that ruins the PGA Tour's spectator cell phone allowance at the Frys.com Open?
The Frys.com Open has announced they will become a test tournament for the PGA Tour’s allowance of mobile devices for spectators. Part of the Fall Series, the event will be staged Oct. 11-17 at CordeValle Golf Club near Frys.com’s headquarters in San Jose.
“We understand that mobile devices have become a part of everyday life,” said Rick George, PGA TOUR chief of operations. “There is a balance we are looking to achieve between maintaining the integrity of the competition and allowing spectators to utilize their mobile devices in various capacities. We anticipate our fans will be respectful of the policy, and we thank the Frys.com Open for its willingness to help with the testing process.”
Allowing mobile internet for golf spectators is a necessary evil. A day at the golf course is longer than any football or basketball game - and few people want to be without their phone that long. I wish I could say I can play 18 holes without checking my iPhone, but even on a lazy Sunday round, I’m peaking at it during waits on the tee to check all kinds of things that could easily wait a couple hours.
Phone use will certainly make a golf tournament feel different. Personally, I like being able to watch golf on TV and not see any fans on their phone during heated competition. Is there anything worse than watching the 4th quarter of an L.A. Lakers playoff game and seeing some Ari Gold-looking guy sitting in a $2000 seat surfing the web behind Jack Nicholson?
But if there was ever a spectator sport that could become much more exciting with mobile internet, it’s golf. It will be much easier for those on the course to check live leaderboards and see which groups are on what hole. The PGA Tour could create a App suited to event spectators with course maps, and even post up-to-the-minute parking information, where to find the closest nacho stand, or where the best spots to watch the action currently are. You could watch live streaming action from the network feed, or of other holes during downtime from your location on the course.
Who knows, maybe the often technologically forward-thinking Masters Tournament will eventually have 4G service throughout Augusta National, and patrons will all sit watching action on their iPads as they wait for the next group to pass through.
But all it takes is one idiot to let their O.M.G. Usher ringer go off on full blast in a player’s backswing to ruin a bright future for everyone. Someone is going to do it at the Frys.com Open - will it be you?
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