The PGA Tour mobile phone policy has been updated to make it more fan friendly, not only allowing fans to bring mobile phones to golf tournaments but also using them in a way that most people are accustomed to practically anywhere other than a pro golf event.
The updated PGA Tour mobile phone rules allow fans to take pictures and video of tournament action during a round, and fans can upload that footage to social media for sharing. Under the previous phone policy, PGA Tour fans could only take photos and videos during the practice rounds. Live streaming and shot-by-shot coverage on social media remain prohibited. Also, under the phone policy, PGA Tour fans must keep their phones on silent (not vibrate) at all times, and they cannot use flash for their cameras.
Fans are allowed to text, use apps and email while watching tournament action near the rope line. However, fans must take and make phone calls in designated areas on the golf course.
Fans violating the policy could have their ticket revoked or their phone confiscated until they leave the tournament grounds.
The European Tour, which updated its mobile phone policy the same week as the PGA Tour, was a bit of a pioneer on this front, experimenting at several tournaments with a more relaxed mobile phone policy to gauge fan response and potential abuse. Pleased with the results, the European Tour made their new policy permanent with the start of the 2017 Made in Denmark.
Each of the four major championships, conducted by organizations separate from the PGA Tour, have their own mobile device policies.
The Masters mobile device policy is pretty simple. Don't bring your mobile phone to the Masters. Leave it in your car. If you bring it, somehow sneak it in and then get caught, you'll be ejected.
The US Open mobile device policy is more open than the Masters but more restrictive than the PGA Tour's policy:
Fans may carry mobile devices smaller than 7" in length and/ or height, including cellphones and smartphones. All device volume controls must be set to “silent” or “vibrate” at all times. Phone calls must be received or placed only in designated Phone Zones located around the golf course (see map). Phone calls must not be received or placed in any area that may disrupt play, including grandstands. Use of approved devices for photographs is subject to the camera/photography policy. Video and audio recording are not permitted at any time with any device. Texting and email are permissible throughout all areas of the golf course, but should not disrupt players.
The PGA Championship mobile device policy is further open still.
Mobile devices must be set to silent or vibrate, and fans can take or make calls at least 100 yards from competition. You can text, email, use data or other app anywhere on the grounds so long as players are not about to play their shots near where you're standing. You can take pictures and video anywhere during practice rounds but on championship rounds only 100 yards from competition.