By Jeff Skinner
I know the good old boys at the USGA are busy right now. They are putting on a little show at Bethpage Black this week. But they need to address a change in The Rules of Golf. Currently there are only thirty four rules of golf. They need to add one and make it thirty five. I have a proposal that needs to be considered as soon as possible. It is critical that the USGA take action to stop a growing trend that threatens to ruin this game. Rule Thirty Five should read as follows: Thou Shall Not Have Cell Phones On The Golf Course. It’s simple; you are there to play golf not talk on your cell phone.
I was lucky enough to get paired up with “Cell Phone Guy” yesterday. Play was moving very slowly and on the third tee he answers his cell phone. My playing partner and I both hit our tee shots and look towards him, waiting for him to hit. He waves us on and rides up to the green without hitting and continues to talk on the phone. My partner and I knew we had been paired with the worst kind of golfer, the one that has no respect for the game or his playing partners. He continued this “I’m talking, not playing” routine for another hole. It was pathetic, disgraceful, annoying and just plain disappointing. Fortunately, Cell Phone Guy found the pace of play too slow and high tailed it out of there. We were grateful and thought we were free of any further cell phone intrusions. It was not to be. On the very next hole we were confronted with a pair of golfers that had hit their shots wide of their fairway and into the rough that bordered our hole. No problem, guys need to find their shots, but one of these guys is walking around with a cell phone stuck to his ear. You have to be kidding me! You have to talk on that thing while you are looking for a ball in another golfer’s fairway? It was my worst day of golf this year and cell phones were the reason.
There is no place on the golf course for cell phones. While many may think there are acceptable excuses to use a cell phone on the course I say there are none. The days of putting the phone on vibrate or checking messages at the turn seem to have disappeared. The USGA has no choice. To protect the integrity of the game, they must add another rule of golf. Thou Shall Not Have Cell Phones On the Golf Course. Please!
I’m packing my rain gear and heading to the Open this week. It looks like a wet one.