Sometimes, golf etiquette seems so obvious that I wonder how people miss it in the first place.

Such is the case with cell phones on the golf course.

cell phone guy

When Cell Phone Guy isn't looking, throw his phone in the lake. (Image: Explosion 5000/Flickr)

In my opinion, cell phones are welcome on the course—with a few seemingly obvious stipulations: only use them in between shots, preferably whilst driving the cart, and never within 100 yards of your fellow player. Yes, 100 yards.

This past summer, I was playing in a tournament at my local course. One of my playing partners answered a call, on the tee box,  as I was stepping up to my shot on a 205 yard par 3.

Not only was his phone on, it was also turned up, it rang three times to the tune of some god awful 80s pop song, he answered the call, and proceeded to talk, rather boisterously, while I attempted to prepare for my shot.

I waited on him for another minute to finish the call. In a tournament. Seriously. This guy wasn’t even a new player; he was a solid golfer. Isn’t this basic golf etiquette 101?

Cell Phone Guy needs to realize this: Most people go to the golf course to get away for a few hours from the distractions and stresses of life. A round of golf is a mini-vacation of sorts. The golf course is a resort, a bastion of peacefulness and solitude, though only temporary.

The last thing in the world we (and by “we” I mean golfers everywhere) want to hear is a playing partner “whispering” on his phone about his girlfriend issues, his crappy stocks, or the milk and bread run his wife wants him to make after the round. Please, spare us.

If  your life is so hectic that you can’t place that cell phone on silent, that you can’t return that call in three minutes when your fellow golfers have already played their shots, then maybe golf isn’t your game, my friend.

Give bocce ball or lawn darts a try. They take much less time and obnoxiously loud phone calls are welcome.

Previous Golf Pet Peeves

#8: The Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Worker

#7: The Drunken Wedding Party

#6: The Distance Exaggerator

#5: The Golf Channel Guy

#4: Stewart Cink’s Green Shirt

#3: The Mulligan Golfer

#2: The Shot Jinxer

#1: The Shot-By-Shot Recap Golfer