The Professional Golf Association has given in to pressure from players and fans, who all cried out in one voice — let the people Tweet.
It’s a piece of golf news fans are celebrating. Smartphones and social media are no longer verboten on the links this summer. And if you’re attending the Ladies Professional Golf Championship this June, you can even spot the players’ Twitter handles on their caddies’ bibs.
Golf club social events and tournaments have long been posh get-togethers, but the game is finally changing with the times. Initially, golf players and course marshals (the ones with those “Quiet Please!” signs) were concerned that spectators constantly using their cellphones or snapping selfies would distract the talent. As the rules change, golfers will have to hope they don’t need to watch out for texting fans while they’re trying to hit golf course greens.
And not all players are happy about the changes.
“For me, it’s nice when I play golf, I don’t have to touch [my phone],” said LPGA Champion Suzann Pettersen. “It kind of gives you a four-hour or five-hour break from the telephone, which I think has become a really bad habit for everyone.”
However, she stressed that there’s a definite upside for players, too.
“I think social media, for us as players, is a great way of communicating with the fans..And it’s a great way for the fans to show their support. Golf crowds in general are fairly knowledgeable. You’ll always have one or two in the crowd who will pull it out at the wrong time, but it’s not usually a problem.”
Spectators should check a tournament’s website for official rules regarding cell phones before whipping out their device on the course. Despite the embrace of digital devices, players are still prohibited from tweeting during play.
But with more pro golfers embracing Twitter as a way to connect with fans, they’re really putting the social media into traditional golf club social events.