Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ask Linda #1532-Use of cell phone during round

If your opponent has a partner who answers the phone on a hole during a match play tournament, do both lose the hole or is only the person who answers the phone out of the hole?
Lou from Bangalore, India

Dear Lou,

Use of a cell phone is an etiquette issue. The Rules of Golf do not prohibit the use of a cell phone. What they say is: “Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players” [Etiquette: Consideration for Other Players].

While the Committee may prohibit cell phone use as a Condition of the Competition, it may not adopt a Local Rule that assesses a loss-of-hole penalty (or a one- or two-stroke penalty in stroke play) for a violation of that Condition [Decision 33-8/6].

If a player’s use of a cell phone distracts his opponent, he should be warned against further use. If the Committee decides that there has been a serious breach of etiquette, it has the option to disqualify the player under Rule 33-7. I would hope that this problem could be resolved more amicably.

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