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Could Golf Photo Free-For-All Revolutionise Fan Experience?

A sea of mobile phones is a regular sight at professional golf tournaments.
Mobile phone-toting golf fans can be a nightmare for players and all those officials holding 'Quiet Please' signs, but the European Tour is breaking new ground this week and easing its stance on snap-happy spectators.

For the first time ever at a European Tour event, a pilot scheme is being trialled which will allow fans to take photos with their mobile phones at this week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club.

Some of you probably think, 'So what?', and that this won't spark any change whatsoever in fan behaviour since seemingly every young or middle-aged spectator nowadays wants to capture ever waking moment while walking outside the ropes.

But it marks a recognition from Europe's premier tour that it needs to move with the times.

However, the Irish Open's tournament host and defending champion, Rory McIlroy, is reminding anyone who takes photos with a flash or doesn't have their phone on silent, that they will do so at their peril.

The European Tour has become arguably the most innovative of all major pro tours and perhaps this policy will give the PGA Tour of Australasia something to think about, as 2015 Australian Masters runner-up Andrew Evans suggested on Twitter.

Australia's regular weekend golfers who hop between public golf courses generally have free reign with their mobile phones while at those venues.

And how about Australia's strictest private golf clubs? Will they consider easing restrictions on the use of mobile phones on their courses and in their clubhouses? We can probably keep dreaming on that one!

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