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Spieth tells fans to put phones away: “Sometimes it’s cool to actually watch”

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Jordan Spieth appeared in a don’t text while driving PSA for AT&T a couple of years ago, if you recall. The spot was titled “It Can Wait.”

It seems the young maestro is of a similar mind with respect to a crowd full of cell-phone waving fans recording his every move (on one occasion, at least).

Spieth went long and left at the par-3 eighth hole yesterday and needed to take relief from a cart path.

He then turned to the swarm around him and said.

“If everybody could do me a huge favor and not video this shot…Thank you. Sometimes it’s cool to actually watch. Please, no phones. Can’t have any going off in this shot.”

Now, to be fair, we shouldn’t generalize that Spieth is anti-fans with phones in general based on this one remark, but you could reasonably surmise his frustration extended beyond merely the events of the eighth hole.

Here’s the video, c/o Paul Plumb.

Fans have been permitted to take pictures and video during tournament rounds since the Northern Trust last year.

Look for “It Can Wait: Part II,” in which Spieth advocates for fans to wait until the next group comes through to pull out their phones and hit record.

But really, what do you think about this, golf fans? Beyond Spieth’s remarks (and it is no doubt annoying to be surrounded by a mob of picture takers…especially after a bad shot), what do you think about the prevalence of phones on Tour?

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Bob Booey

    Jun 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

    We need something to do during their 5 1/2 hour rounds play in 2 somes. How about a compromise? You speed up and we’ll put our phones away.

  2. BCC

    Jun 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    I think opposite… It’s fans’ choice to enjoy through camera more than look with their eyes. If it’s not good for them, they will not take it out but if they do, then they already decided what best for them. Some may do, some may dont.

    As a player, the best thing is to adapt with cultural change; otherwise, you will keep frustrated.

  3. Hagen

    Jun 4, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Put the phones on silent and all will be happy. Not that hard to use just a little bit of common sense.

  4. TeeBone

    Jun 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

    People…put the SnapFace down and experience life a bit.

  5. ZMoney

    Jun 2, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    It’s far beyond just golf tournaments. Nothing is worse that being at a concert and no one is actually watching it because they are concerned about their photography. I can tell you that the bands hate it as much as the PGA pro’s and it has nothing to do with how much money they make. It’s annoying.

    • Mark

      Jun 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Dead on target here ZMoney. People are more concerned with posting pics or video to show off to their friends online when they go to events than actually experiencing what they should be watching.

      And anybody at a golf tournament who’s phone is not on silent is an idiot … Period

  6. Justin

    Jun 2, 2018 at 11:50 am

    I refuse to suffer stupid people who want to waste my time showing me what all they have recorded on their smart phones, so I don’t see the point in it all. I guess somebody is watching, it just isn’t me.

  7. Phil

    Jun 2, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Im confused… Ive owned many phones in my lifetime, and I thought the MUTE button was invented so that its silent during operation… What phones are making noises during video? I just dont get the “Go Off” scenario, like the old days of shutter cameras.

  8. James T

    Jun 1, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    I remember driving 100’s of miles, years ago, to observe a total eclipse of the sun along the majestic Columbia River. It lasted about 2.5 minutes during which most of my time was spent looking through the viewfinder of a camera. The 20 seconds I actually saw the eclipse with my eyes (yes, you can look at it directly during totality) were magical.I have some great photos but I’ve always regretted not having more face time with the sun and the moon.

  9. Bob Jones

    Jun 1, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Ban cell phones photography at golf tournaments. Period.

  10. dan mccor

    Jun 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    I hate the yellers and the phone phreaks but more than anything I hate multimillionaires complaining about the very people who pay the money they win from enjoying themselves or recording a shot they spent hundreds of dollars to watch.

    Did not of these people ever play hockey, baseball, basketball or football. Could Speith not make a free throw because there was noise or distractions.

    Its time golfers grow a pair.

    • Jason Hutty

      Jun 2, 2018 at 5:27 am

      It’s not a case of growing a pair, it’s a case of having redneck fans having to be told how to behave because they’re incapable of doing it themselves. Many of us (including the players) just want people to understand the environment and behave accordingly, it’s not too much to ask, even from paying punters.

  11. dat

    Jun 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    He is completely correct. There should be a tour policy.

  12. Hamachijohn

    Jun 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    I tend to lean towards a “no phone/camera” policy. However, just stay focused and take the shot for crying out loud… looks like he got unraveled mentally. WWTD (What Would Tiger Do)?

  13. Milo

    Jun 1, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Oh I’m sorry! I thought this was America!

    • Tom B

      Jun 1, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      So only fans have rights in America? The golfers don’t have the right to ask people to put away their phones?

    • Joey5Picks

      Jun 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      It is. And people are missing experiencing things live because they’re too busy watching it on their screen as they record it.

    • DougE

      Jun 2, 2018 at 8:51 am

      This is America, where there are still rules/law which need to be followed. A professional golf tournament is open to the public to attend. But, once you enter through the gates, it is a private event, subject to the rules of the event, which include rules of etiquette. Read the back of any ticket. There are rules. That is how a civil society works. Asking for a little respect, whether it’s Jordan Speith or any other civilized, sane, responsible human being, is not asking too much IMO.

  14. K Ayers

    Jun 1, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    The phone situation is not significantly different that the clowns yelling “in the hole” for every shot. Rather than enjoy the game they want to be able to show others what they saw. Or… didn’t see but recorded. Pathetic.

    • Joey5Picks

      Jun 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      *LIKE*

    • kevin

      Jun 1, 2018 at 4:16 pm

      ever went on vacation and took a picture?

      • Travis

        Jun 4, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        Nope, these people must not have a single photo of anything in their life. They’ve experienced everything first hand with zero recording of anything to remember it by.

  15. Charlie

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I agree with Speith. Record vids at home from TV. MUCH better pics and vids from TV.

  16. Elliot mcdongle

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Put the freaking phones away! Can’t stand being behind someone at a concert or show and have to stare at their phone above their head the whole time. Enjoy the moment. It’s not nearly as cool watching it later on your phone.

  17. Brian

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Couldnt agree with the above two comments more, the phone craze drives me NUTS! Enjoy the moment, stop worrying about letting everyone know you’re there, most of us dont even care!

  18. Kevin Arnold

    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Couldn’t agree more….watch the tournament, look at the shots, and throw the phones away. The 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, man those were good times.

  19. Corey

    Jun 1, 2018 at 9:59 am

    This is a Spieth diva moment that I support 100%. Golf tournaments, concerts, etc are perfect summations of our society today. More worried about getting social media likes rather than living in and enjoying the moment.

    • Tom

      Jun 1, 2018 at 10:58 am

      I’m torn. While I do agree it’s nice to live in the moment, it’s also nice to have a record of it. I don’t have social media so I can’t comment on the likes, but I do like having pictures and videos of moments I’ve enjoyed.

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19th Hole

Baba Booey for Life! Does this GolfWRX member have a point?

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Oh boy, here’s a heater. On the subject of Baba Booey-ing at golf tournaments, WRX member Stickner started a thread, writing

“For those that think nois.e while a player hits shouldn’t be allowed, you must also believe that fans should NEVER make noise.

“A player with a large gallery jars a 70 footer for eagle to take the lead. The crowd erupts! This should not be allowed.

“Why you ask? There are other golfers well within earshot of the noise. This could disrupt their game. Why does the nearby player you can see deserve the “courtesy of quiet” but the one 400 yards away that you can’t see doesn’t?

“We have all seen players back off because the crowd erupted on another hole. What happens when that eruption happens in the backswing right before the player is about to transition to the downswing? Those boisterous hooligans need to keep their traps shut as this is a gentleman’s game right?

“Being quiet while someone plays golf is silly. My guess is that the elitist snobs that played this game a century ago needed a scapegoat when hitting a bad shot and noise became their scapegoat.”

He wraps his rant in, well, the most appropriate way possible: “BABA BOOEY FOR LIFE B&^%HES!”

Now, this flies in the face of the “isolated noise during the golf swing is extremely distracting” argument that is popularly leveled in defense of silence. But let’s see what GolfWRX members think about Stickner’s comments.

MtlJeff says

“While i am not in favor of intentionally yelling during a swing, your point is an interesting one. I hadn’t really thought of it like that, the loud roars often get overlooked when it comes to the “distracting noise” narrative.”

Eagle1997 says

“Planned vs. Spontaneous. Jabroni Factor only applies to one.”

Blackngold_blood says

“I am fine with cheering for a great shot or groaning for a bad one. My problem with…bababooey and mashed potatoes is the fact that it has nothing to do with GOLF! All the person is doing is screaming “Look at me, I need attention!” Or how about the even less classy “How’s your ankle” that was shouted at Finau after he hit his last approach to 18. I get the point that these are professional athletes and golf is becoming more mainstream but the immature comments need to stop.”

Naptime says

“Background noises and distant noises can be perceived as while noise. If you play next to a highway you adapt and become less aware of it. But if a trucker blasts a horn in your swing it would startle and at least for me would probably result in a hot grounder to third base. Yelling Baba Booey or any other lame comment after a swing doesn’t startle the swinger, just make the shouter sound like a doofus who can’t hold his alcohol.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does Stickner have a point? Should the rules of the wider sports world apply to golf, or does golf fandom require a particular understanding of when to be quiet and when to cheer?

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19th Hole

Both Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth laughed at Phil Mickelson’s 13th hole antics

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The image of 48-year-old Phil Mickelson jogging after his golf ball on the 13th green at Shinnecock, Saturday, was bizarrely comedic. Even if you condemn Mickelson in the strongest of terms, taken on its face, the scene is a silly one.

That said, it’s interesting that two of the biggest names in the game had the same response: laughter.

Speaking before the Travelers Championship, Rory McIlroy said

“I saw what happened…and honestly, I laughed. I felt there was a massive overreaction to it. Knowing Phil, he knew what he was doing, and as a player who has been in that head space before in a tournament, I can see it happening.”

Jordan Spieth voiced similar sentiments earlier in the week

“I laughed, I thought it was really funny…Phil knows the rules…There was a chance it was going to go back behind the bunker and he’s got to chip back, or he was going to play off the green anyways, so he was potentially saving himself a shot. So if that was the intent, then what’s the harm in that? He’s playing the best score he can.”

There are a couple of widely different perspectives (and plenty in-between) here.

One: Thank goodness Spieth and McIlroy aren’t uptight dogmatists when it comes to the rules, and they appreciate the humor in an absurd situation.

Two: Spieth and McIlroy, as significant figures in the game, ought to stand up for the integrity of the rules of golf, condemning Mickelson’s behavior…and perhaps question whether disqualification was in order (as Jason Day and other pros have done).

Which camp you find yourself in likely aligns with how you view the Mickelson incident: A humorous and well-deserved middle finger to the USGA or a reprehensible act for which Mickelson was not sufficiently punished?

Beneath Mickelson’s behavior and the responses of McIlroy and Spieth is the ever-growing rift between the USGA and PGA Tour players–as well as a level of annoyance with/disdain for the organization’s Rules of Golf.

Remembering how Mickelson spearheaded the overhaul of the PGA of America-run U.S. Ryder Cup team and its procedures when he called out captain Tom Watson in 2014, it was the same sort of situation: “Is this calculated, or has he lost his mind?” everyone seemed to be asking.

In the wake of those remarks, players rallied behind the veteran, and he assumed a leadership position in the reform effort. Whether we see something similar with respect to the pros and the USGA/U.S. Open, it certainly looks like the political will for change is there among Tour players, as McIlroy and Spieth’s remarks suggest.

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19th Hole

In other Phil Mickelson news…robot-delivered food

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Not an Onion story; real thing that is actually happening here. Phil Mickelson and his manager/business partner, Steve Loy have signed a deal with Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, Inc. and its flagship subsidiary, Reis & Irvy’s, to open 30 yogurt locations in San Diego.

We’ll just quote directly from the press release, because, who can paraphrase language like this?

“Reis & Irvy’s-branded signature robot characters of the same name can dispense servings of frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelatos and sorbet topped with a selection of six delicious toppings in under 60 seconds. With self-checkout touch screen ordering and payment options, video animation, music and delicious frozen dessert provided exclusively by Dannon, robot vendors meet consumer demand for convenience, entertainment and a superior quality product.”

Mickelson and Loy are reportedly keen to challenge the status quo in food retail.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of such transformative industry change,” says Mickelson. “I’ve pushed boundaries my whole career and that mindset carries over into the business world. The energy and passion from the Generation NEXT team to both deliver a quality product and disrupt food retail is exciting.”

Reis & Irvy’s has awarded $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts since its launch in 2016.

Dress shirts on course. Robo froyo. What will Phil do next, indeed.

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