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Course is phone-free zone at U.S. Open

Posted June 15
Updated June 25

— Officials with the United States Golf Association want the focus on the course for the men's and women's U.S. Opens at Pinehurst Resort.

The sight of marshals with arms upraised to signal a gallery willed to silence is a familiar one, even to golf fans who only watch on TV. But some who lined up to pass through security at Pinehurst No. 2 got a disappointing surprise: There are no cellphones allowed.

"We tried to get through and couldn't go through with cellphones," said Megan Alexander.

There are several reasons for the phone ban. First and foremost is to reduce distractions for the golfers, who hit with precision under great pressure.

Organizers also want to preserve precious bandwidth for legitimate uses – so that the hundreds of media can communicate stories, video and photos to the world and so that, in the case of emergency, safety crews can talk to each other.

But for fans looking to record the moment, the phone ban is a bummer.

"It's like you've lost an appendage because you're so dependent on it," said Debbie Jenkins.

Suzanne Reynolds said she had hoped to get a photo of golfer Adam Scott. "I don't know what we're going to do, because I'm kind of addicted to mine," she said.

Shane Brewer said he'll miss posting photos to Instagram. "We wont even get to brag," he said.

There are public phones available for those who must make a call, assuming they can remember the number.

"I know my girlfriends number that's about it," said Adam Lenertz.

Fan Frank Czutrynski cast his phone-less state in a positive light.

"You're enjoying this wonderful atmosphere here in Pinehurst, watching these professionals, you don't need to communicate with anybody," he said. "Enjoy the moment."

In the event of emergency, Greg Baker, of the state Department of Public Safety, pointed out that every hole is staffed. Through three days of competition, crews dealt with dehydration, heart attacks and reunited lost children with their parents.  

8 Comments

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  • chuckbiscuits Jun 15, 2:29 p.m.

    So, this is just an action of a police state.

    Actually, this is just an action of Pinehurst Resort. If you don't like their rules, you don't have to go to the US Open. You can watch it with your face in your phone from the comfort of your couch.

  • mfarmer1 Jun 15, 1:06 p.m.

    Why don't they just buy a camera if they want a picture, they do still make them.

  • 45ACP Jun 15, 12:03 p.m.

    Media only with phones............Well, the supreme court ruled that media is not just a company that broadcasts. Media is all citizens. So, this is just an action of a police state.

  • Hammerhead Jun 15, 11:25 a.m.

    These phone owners need psychiatric help.

    — Posted by beaupeep

    You are right about that! Addiction is addiction.

    — Posted by aqualung

    Anti-social media. It cracks me up. When I'm off by myself, I do it for a reason.

  • aqualung Jun 15, 10:34 a.m.

    These phone owners need psychiatric help.

    — Posted by beaupeep

    You are right about that! Addiction is addiction.

  • MichaelOps Jun 15, 10:31 a.m.

    The same people who can't figure out how to stop their car horn from beeping when they lock their doors are the same folks who can't figure out how to turn off ringers and alerts. It's all about taking the time to learn the settings.

  • beaupeep Jun 15, 9:54 a.m.

    These phone owners need psychiatric help.

  • wavealot2013 Jun 15, 9:31 a.m.

    If you have full shoes on and can get your phone in your shoe you can get it in........just turn your ringer off.......I worked the 99 and 05 and saw plenty of phones.

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