Pew Research made some interesting findings – many people find it a bit more reprehensible using a phone in church than doing the same while walking down the street.
However, we can agree, almost unanimously, that phones need to be kept away in situations that demand your attention.
Consequently, Is It Rude to Use Your Phone On the Golf Course?
In one word – “yes.” Golf courses are some of the most closely regulated sports establishments out there. The conduct of fans and players in these premises is normally dictated by a set of rules – sometimes an unwritten etiquette – that tell you what you can and can’t do, from how to speak with others to interacting with communication devices like phones.
Shut Down the Phone or Put It On Silent Mode
Most golf courses require you to put your phone in silent mode or shut it down while on their premises.
A ringtone blasting from the device, no matter how trendy or melodious it might be, could irritate a fellow golfer if he botched the swing.
As you already know, golf isn’t a sport for just anyone, so many clubs would want to maintain certain standards that put the sport above other regular sports.
Phone-related etiquette is part of those standards.
For example, it is hard to imagine talking loudly on your phone on the glamorous golf course when everyone should be focused on the game.
In Absence Of Rules, Adhere To Golfing Etiquette
For golf courses with no clear rules regarding the use of phones, the general golf etiquette applies, and it’s straightforward – put the damn phone away!
Here are the top 5 scenarios when your phone shouldn’t be in your hands:
1. First Tee
At this time, you are most likely to be figuring out who the participant teams are and trying to come up with the right game.
Don’t think your partners are too eager to know more about the notifications beeping on your phone.
But if they do, they are probably upset with your poor concentration.
2. On The Green
Read your putt and stop checking Twitter.
You are almost guaranteed to miss your putt if you don’t read it.
Also, you would hate to be that person with the furthest ball on the field.
But what do you expect when you are constantly on your phone?
Texting on some courses, more so private ones is highly frowned upon especially in these situations.
3. When you are driving the cart
You should not drive the cart while on your phone.
There are numerous videos on the internet showing reckless golfers driving their carts into ponds and similar hazards.
This is so serious yet commonplace that no golf course worth its salt would leave it out on their list of rules.
You are discouraged from texting and driving on the course for the same reason you’re discouraged from using your phone while driving – your attention should be on the steering wheel.
Besides texting, don’t take phone calls while driving the cart.
You should only receive calls or send a text in life or death situations, like when an alligator leaps out of the pond!
Talking in another person’s backswing is considered to be bad etiquette as well.
4. When It’s Your Shot
Perhaps the least favorite side of golf for many people is slow play, but that doesn’t mean you should switch to Candy Crush or Fortnite when you should be preparing for your shot.
Forgetting your shot (maybe because you were on your phone) will make the play even slower.
Also, don’t read messages on the phone shortly before your turn – it’s bad etiquette.
This is rude across all sports, not just golf.
Playing a round or two of golf with another person is one of the most treasured ways to link up and socialize with pals and business partners in a setting you’re both comfortable in.
It would be highly inappropriate to keep removing your phone now and then to update your status on a social network or reply to a text when you should be talking to your partners.
So, unless you’re using your device for a scorecard or golf GPS, put it in your bag and focus on the events occurring on the course.
A Business Professional May HAVE TO, However
Many business professionals and business owners like to play a few rounds of golf during business hours.
They need to stay abreast of activities occurring on various platforms elsewhere and even reply to important texts.
While they may put their phones on silent, it’s not uncommon for them to breach a few rules and all these normally go unnoticed because – you guessed right – they are VIPs.
However, taking a call during a swing or when another person is teeing off can be a privilege taken too far even for the most respected business person on the course.
They are often encouraged to text back instead of taking the call.
If you are one of these important members of society, you might be allowed to flaunt the etiquette to a certain degree, perhaps only in public golf courses.
Private golf courses like to interpret their rules to the letter and will fine you with the slightest breach of their codes.
Here is how to not get into trouble on the golf course and even register more wins – use common sense!
If you must carry your phone around and know you might want to use it while on the course, have a word with the management about it.
What Are Players Saying About Phones On Golf Courses?
Golf Digest asked their 233,000 followers on Twitter a few questions regarding phones on the golf course.
The followers, most of whom are golfers as I’d assume, were asked an array of questions regarding their experience on their local golf courses regarding phones.
Here is what they found:
#1. Describe the attitude of your local course towards smartphones.
- Liberal: we’re allowed to use phones and even post selfies from the first tee – 46 percent
- Restrictions are in a place and people do follow them – 30 percent
- Transitioning: compared to the past, the rules have relaxed – 21 percent.
- Shunned: don’t even think about it! The management is super strict – 3 percent
#2. I am more likely to glance at the phone at the golf course to…
- Check a social media post or email – 36 percent
- Watch a few instruction videos or track stats – 29 percent
- Monitor sports scores or weather – 25 percent
- Take a selfie or film my swing – 10 percent
#3. How often do you use the phone or check an update during a round?
- Once every few holes – 44 percent
- After the round or once at a turn – 22 percent
- Never – 17 percent
- Between most shots – 17 percent
Is it rude to use your phone on the golf course?
In one word – “yes.” Golf courses are some of the most closely regulated sports establishments out there.
The conduct of fans and players in these premises is normally dictated by a set of rules – sometimes an unwritten etiquette – that tell you what you can and can’t do, from how to speak with others to interacting with communication devices like phones.
Chapter Three: Attitudes towards cell phones
Chapter 3: When it is acceptable — or not — to use cellphones in public spaces
Am I allowed to use my mobile phone on the golf course?
Mobile Phone Etiquette on the Golf Course
Golf Etiquette: Put That Phone Away On The Links