Sometimes a round of mockery and derision works wonders: after blistering criticism from normally placid golf fans, the Ryder Cup’s organizers have swiftly, and wisely, changed their minds and decided to allow fans to share pictures and video from the event pitting Europe and America’s best golfers against each other, scheduled to take place from September 23-28 in Gleneagles, Scotland.
The announcement on the Ryder Cup Web site maintained by the American PGA and PGA European Tour reads, in part: “Social media interaction, photography and the sharing of content are all going to be encouraged at The 2014 Ryder Cup. Ryder Cup Europe has moved to reassure spectators that they will be allowed to take photos and video on their mobile phones during the event, and will be encouraged to share their experiences on social networks.”
The aforementioned mockery and derision were sparked by the Ryder Cup’s previously stated policy, to the effect that “No audio or video capture is permitted at all during the six-day event as the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and the PGA European Tour want to make sure their image is intact, and players are not distracted.”
Of course there are still some (far more reasonable) restrictions on recording activity, according to the most recent announcement: “The use of cameras will be prohibited at each hole during play in order to avoid disrupting players and to enable a clear line of sight for all spectators, many of whom will be standing or sitting around the course rather than in a raised position in a grandstand.”
Edward Kitson, Match Director of The 2014 Ryder Cup, stated: “We want people to share their stories online and feel part of The Ryder Cup. We have put in place a range of fantastic activities in the tented village and around the course that use technology to improve the visitor experience, and these are integrated with social networks. Selfies are positively encouraged and I expect to see plenty of them during the event.”
That’s good news considering that Rory McIlroy, currently the world’s number one golfer, is famous for taking selfies on and off the course.