On Wednesday afternoon, the chairman of Augusta National, Fred Ridley, said that he doesn’t anticipate the club’s ‘no phones’ policy changing any time soon.
Less than 24 hours later, Jack Nicklaus contradicted that.
Meeting the press for his customary pre-tournament press conference, Ridley remarked that the ban on mobile devices on the golf course “is part of the ambiance of The Masters”.
“I don’t believe that it's a policy anybody should expect to change in the future, if ever,” he added. I think that’s something we’ve got right."
Nicklaus doesn’t agree.
“I think they will probably change that shortly, I would think,” said the six-time Masters champion after getting the tournament underway this morning. “Maybe I'm speaking out of turn but the cell phone has become fairly common with every tournament.
“I think you should ask Jay [Monahan] and ask the guys at the PGA Tour if the cell phone has become a problem, or has it become something that's so much of everyday life, that people have learned how to respect it and use it properly.”
Nicklaus added that he knows of a lot of people who have had their Masters privileges taken away from them because of their phones. However, he says that, because times and technology have changed, Augusta National perhaps ought to follow suit.
“You used to take a picture with a cell phone and made a click, right?” he added. “Doesn't make any noise anymore.
“I understand, somebody going up and saying, 'Oh, hey, Joe, how's it going? Oh, excuse me, you go ahead and putt, I don't want to bother you.' I understand that. I think that's bad.
“But the actual use of the cell phone within something now, it's part of everyday life. I understand exactly what's going on here and I respect that but I think that times have changed.”