The Biggest Distraction for Team USA at Presidents Cup? Cell Phones

October 8, 2015

At Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea during the Presidents Cup, the International team may not be the Americans’ biggest obstacle. It’s cell phones.

Mobile devices are causing a buzz, and not the good kind.

For more than 10 years the South Korean government has mandated that cell phone manufacturers do not allow phone cameras to operate silently. The law is in place to prevent unauthorized videotaping or photography and requires all cell phone cameras to make a shutter sound when in use. Tour pros are used to dealing with that kind of noise from professional photographers, but typically not until the ball is struck. With fans, there is less regulation. Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis reported that there are more people than cell phones in South Korea.

”Golf is huge in Asia, and the people just love photos,” said Jimmy Walker. “It really gets nuts out there sometimes. They all mean well. I know maybe the excitement gets too much for them but you just have to deal with it and carry on…If you’re mentally strong, you should be ably to step back and go through all the same processes again.”

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So far, the issue doesn’t seem to have bothered the Americans, who are out to a 4-1 lead after the first session. But keep an eye, and an ear, out for how the constant clicking might be a factor going forward.