Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's OK to Bring Your Cell Phone to Course; Phones Must Be Kept in Silent Mode, and No Video Allowed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

It's OK to Bring Your Cell Phone to Course; Phones Must Be Kept in Silent Mode, and No Video Allowed

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits

It was only two years ago that being seen with a cell phone during The Players Championship was grounds for confiscation of the device or even removal from the property.

Now, The Players and the PGA Tour are not only allowing cell phones on the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course during the tournament for the second year in a row, they're making it easier for fans to stay connected, with expanded wireless service and charging stations at three areas: the Benefactors hospitality tent, the Turn and the Stadium Village.

Just don't take live video of Tiger Woods on the 17th hole and post it to YouTube.

Players Championship executive director Matt Rapp said the relaxed cell phone policy is a continuation of The Players' tradition of being a fan-friendly event.

"This course was built with fans in mind, a stadium course where they can see the golf better," Rapp said. "It was the first golf course with electronic scoreboards. Allowing cell phones and making their use easier is the next leap in fan enhancement."

Fans were allowed to bring cell phones to The Players last year. One problem arose on the weekend when the capacity of the wireless towers was reached and service was sporadic.

The Players has partnered with Verizon to expand service, and free Wi-Fi is available in the Stadium Village. Verizon and JEA also teamed up to bring the charging stations to the three fan areas. In addition, the charging stations at the Stadium Village are solar-powered.

There are still some restrictions. Phones must be kept in the silent or vibrate mode at all times. Your hip-hop ring tone blasting while a player is putting on a nearby green will attract the attention of a marshal or security. Also, The Players is asking fans not to carry on phone conversations near areas of competition. …

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