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No Cell Phones? It's No Problem at Augusta National

The Winners and Losers of the 2015 Masters
Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose...who makes our list of winners and losers? Shane O'Donoghue, Jeff Ritter and Eamon Lynch discuss during a live recap show from Augusta.

As with many things, the Masters folks are completely irrational when it comes to cellphones.

Their prevailing philosophy is that they simply don’t exist. I understand cracking down on the fans—no one wants the club’s carefully cultivated artificial reality to be sullied by selfies in Amen Corner. But for reporters, our phones are the link to our readers and, less importantly, our editors. To be completely cut off for hours on end sets our lives back by decades.

Or does it?

This week I had a strange sensation during my many strolls around Augusta National: I was immersed in the golf. Yes, I saw many things I would have liked to tweet on the spot, but unable to do so I simply enjoyed the moment for what it was.

Instead of having to respond to texts from home about the latest softball crisis, or obsess over my next move in Words With Friends, or endure a long-lost high school pal’s kvetching on Facebook, I simply watched golf. It was wonderful. I felt relaxed and, to use a word favored by yogis everywhere, present.

The Masters edict that hampers my job still bothers me on principle, but, after so many lovely walks around Augusta National, I’d like to thank the committee for being so strident.

This article appeared in the most recent issue of SI Golf+ Digital, our weekly e-magazine. Click here to read this week's issue and sign up for a free subscription.

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In all his years of playing and covering golf, Jeff Ritter had never witnessed a hole-in-one. That is, until Jack Nicklaus teed off in the Par-3 contest at the 2015 Masters.


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