9 commandments for managing your phone on the golf course

Hey, Siri!

What’s the deal with cell phones on the golf course?

When and how and where is it cool to use them?

What are the no-no’s?

Pertinent questions, my humanoid companion. My algorithmic research has found these results.

1. No one wants to see you yip, and no one wants to hear you yap

The first rule of the cell phone is you don’t talk on the cell phone. Switch the thing to silent. Only make or take a call if it’s an emergency. And is it, really? You can buy high and sell low on your own time.

2. Abide by local rules

We’ll take your word for it. The fate of the universe hangs in the balance, and you absolutely, positively have to make a call. It still pays to take a minute to ask about club policy. Some places allow for cell phone yakking in the parking lot or clubhouse. Others are even open to calls on the course. Keep the conversations as brief and quiet as possible. You don’t want to be THAT guy or gal.

Dustin Johnson talks on the phone on the golf course.

Make it quick, Dustin!

3. Keep it within reach

Truth is, Linus, you could probably survive the round without your security blanket. But now that you’ve brought it, stash it somewhere safe but accessible, so you don’t waste time fumbling for it if and when you need your fix. The top pouch of your golf bag is a good option. The cupholder or glove compartment of your golf cart? Not so much, as small objects have tendency to become projectiles when a cart takes a sharp turn at top speed. Whatever you do, never, EVER do a Donald Trump and leave your cell phone behind in a buggy. Imagine what might happen if the Russians intercepted your fantasy football team.

4. The fine print on texts and emails

Just because they’re less disruptive than phone calls doesn’t mean you’re free to send them flagrantly. Wait until you’re in the woods, irrigating an oak tree, or standing in a backup on a tee box. Speaking of backups, make sure that you don’t cause one. E-communiques should be used like your foot-wedge: discreetly and lickety-split.

5. Instagram? Make it a Latergram

Hate to break it to you, but your 47 followers don’t need at-this-moment updates on your every step and shank. Unless you’ve got live footage of a hole-in-one or a giant gator eating your opponent, the post can wait till after your round

6. Show selfie self-restraint

It’s your first round at Pebble, so you’re allowed some seaside beauty shots. Just not enough of them to fill a coffee-table book. Click a few pictures, and make it snappy. Eighteen holes already takes long enough.

Kelly Slater takes a selfie on the Swilken Bridge at St. Andrews.

Kelly Slater is allowed to take a selfie on the Swilken Bridge at St. Andrews, but hurry it up!

7. Limit your sneak-peeks

A lot of cell phone use is compulsive and distracting, like the way that you’ve been checking yours on every tee. Even apps that give you yardages are acceptable, as long as you keep moving. Keep those sneak-peeks to a minimum. You won’t just save on data. You’ll probably shave a few strokes along the way.

8. Turn down the tunes

For centuries, golf was enjoyed by multitudes in relative silence. Through the wonders of technology, you can now stream live music. Just don’t blast it at rock concert volume. Or play Justin Bieber at any decibel.

9. Gary McCord? No. Carry a Cord

If you were a purist, you’d play unplugged. But since you’re not, you should bring a plug, as in one for charging your phone, as many carts now have built-in adapters.