“There is no denying the attachment people feel for their mobile phones. Allowing their use at the Championship will enrich the Open experience.”
Attachment? That’s the understatement of the century. For most it is more or less a vital body part. Cut it off and cue wild hysteria, screams of agony, and general wailing and gnashing of teeth. Multiple bone fractures have been met with less physical and emotional anguish.
So it will come as the highest possible relief to the multitude of golf fans that their complaints have been answered with the Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson has lifted the six-year ban on use of mobile phones at the Open Championship – albeit with a major caveat on exactly where and when you can use this most precious of devices on the famous links courses.
However, let us be careful what we wish for. In relaxing these regulations, the R&A has actually robbed the golf-loving public of one of the classic fan brags of recent times. Having attended more than a few Open Championships in recent years, I can tell you that there is no greater rush of adrenalin than a meticulously planned method for sneaking your phone past security.
It is true test of creativity and sleight of hand. I won’t go into the detail on the best ones – just in case the ban is reinforced and I need to cling on to trade secrets – but suffice to say one such route involved an intimate body piercing and the hollowed out lining of a panama hat.
So, before we revel in a victory for the little guy over the draconian sporting hierarchy, let’s think a little on exactly what we’ve lost. This would never happen at Augusta.