The R&A has lifted its six-year ban on mobile phones, which means that spectators will be able to use mobile phones at the 2012 Open Championship.

Phone calls will be allowed in designated areas, although photography and video recording will not be allowed during the championship itself.

“There is no denying the attachment people feel to their mobile phones,” said R&A chief executive Peter Dawson. “Allowing their use at the championship will enrich the Open experience.”

Mobile phones were banned for the 2007 Open at Carnoustie following a number of complaints made by the players about phone useage at Hoylake a year earlier.

“We understand there will be concerns over this change in policy but we will be liaising with spectators around the tented village and food and drink outlets,” added Dawson.

“Strict rules will be put in place designed to ensure that play is not affected in any way by the change.
“Our spectators are very knowledgeable and understand golf and so we are confident they will respect the players.”

The Open Championship returns to Lytham in July for the first time since America’s David Duval lifted the famous Claret Jug.

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