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Wednesday, 18 September, 2002, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
Should Ryder security be tightened?
Mobile phones and cameras are among the items spectators will be banned from having at the forthcoming Ryder Cup at The Belfry.

Do you agree with the measures?

This debate is now closed.

Other items banned include pagers, picnic baskets, briefcases, portable televisions, pushchairs and bicycles.

No bags or carryalls larger than eight inches square will be allowed beyond the ticket and security checkpoints.

The event was cancelled last year following the 11 September terrorist attacks.

And organisers are determined to make spectators and players feel safe at the event, which takes place from 27-29 September.

Is the security crackdown a good idea?


Not only should phones and cameras be banned but also the goons who are constantly shouting "you're the man" and "in the hole".
Marilyn Bolger, Canada

A cynical exploitation yet again by the PGA, made worse by the fact it is done in the name of safety and security. Safety is paramount, but the banning of picnic boxes when there are X-ray machines (which are good enough for our airports!) is legalised robbery.

We are further insulted by suggesting that the behaviour of the European fans, which has been and will no doubt continue to be exemplary, could stoop to the level displayed by the Americans at Brookline. Now I am torn between attending and pandering to the greed of the PGA, and supporting our team.
Mark McNamee, UK

This is a completely over-the-top reaction caused by having to accommodate the Americans' island mentality whereby they feel any trip outside Planet America is akin to going to the Moon. When are they going to show some guts and become part of the rest of the world?
Mike Binns, UK

It is impossible to ban anything when thousands of people are involved. Of course, mobile phones should be switched off while the owners are on the course - if they go off, the individual can be escorted off the course.


The only people that will be happy will be the food concession people
Stuart Ellis, UK

People should be provided a copy of the rules - mobile phones switched off, no photographs during players' swing. If there is a breach then remove the individual.
David Murphy, Belgium

I think the restrictions on bags is absurd and over the top. Us foot soldiers there to provide atmosphere for the God of television are expected to be treated like cattle; no complaints allowed...

I don't mind not being able to take a phone, camera etc but not to be allowed a bag to carry clothes (sufficient for 12 hours in the open air at the end of Sept) or food (to keep my eight-year-old going) seems to treating the so called "guests" with disdain.
Bill Ashford, UK

Whilst it is understandable that certain security measures are in place, some of the restrictions are absolutely ridiculous. The only people that will be happy will be the food concession people who must stand to make an (extra) fortune.
Stuart Ellis, UK

My family were looking forward to coming to this event and now all we want is our money back. What a cheek the organisers have, telling us what we can and cannot bring.

My son is only 12, and I like to go to the tents and enjoy a beer or two while he goes of with my older son. We can't do that now as I have no way of meeting up with them at a different part of the course without prior arrangement.


It's only proper that measures are put in place to provide everyone with a secure feeling
Jim Brown, UK

I think it is disgraceful that I can't call him - we always keep our phones silent. Once again ordinary families like mine are being punished.
Keith Ojasis, Scotland

In light of events, it's only proper that measures are put in place to provide everyone with a secure feeling to get the most enjoyment from the match.

The concern I have is that not enough exposure to the measures is obvious. As they do at the Masters, a guy patrolling the queues explaining what's allowed and not allowed may help. Despite this, I still feel there will be someone who will get a phone or pager into the match and if that's the case, don't just eject them, fling them in the lake at the 18th in front of everybody.
Jim Brown, UK

Blatant rip-off! It means you have no choice than to buy their overpriced food and drink. Also, as a scant five footer, I will have little chance of seeing a thing without my picnic box to stand on.
John Bird, England

Terrorists win again. By adopting such strict security measures the terrorists are affecting our lives without doing anything directly. Whatever happened to English sang froid?
Nick Cawood, UK

This is ridiculous pandering to American paranoia. We have dealt with terrorism for decades in this country without resorting to such over the top measures.

We seem to be able to put on many other large sporting events with equally large crowds week after week without treating the spectators with such contempt.
John Whitlow, England


This once great event is under threat not from terrorists but from greed
Les Barrow, UK

I will not be attending because of this ban, as I need to have my mobile phone with me at all times for medical reasons. I feel the organisers are taking too strict a line with their proposals and should consider that this IS a sport and not in any way connected with political thinking.

Just because the Americans can't control their crowds does not mean that it is not possible over here.
Cdr. M.J. Wallace, UK

I trust the American team will wear yellow shirts to match the streak running up their backs.This once great event is under threat not from terrorists but from greed.
Les Barrow, UK

Were these restrictions in place at the last PGA event held in America? I don't think so. I bet 50% of the crowd had guns in their cars just a few yards from the same players that are now "worried".

What makes these Americans think they are so special? When they go outside their own country they have a greatly inflated sense of their own worth.
Jon, Singapore

Why would anybody want to spend all day outside in the UK during September with another 20,000 people, paying inflated prices for food and drink when you can stay at home and watch it on TV...some people are just plain dumb!
Andy, Singapore

Banning mobile phones (the curse of the modern age) and cameras is perfectly right, but to force spectators to use the no-doubt extortionately-priced on-course catering by banning picnic baskets and cool bags is way over the top.


My wife and two boys have decided to cancel our planned two day visit due to these ridiculous restrictions
Jim Croton, England

On-course catering at the Euro Tour events I have attended has been pretty abysmal and over-priced and what about people who are on special diets? How will their needs be catered for? I'm glad I'm going to be watching on TV from the comfort of my chair, with my own food and drink to hand.
Sarah Lane, England

My wife and two boys have decided to cancel our planned two day visit due to these ridiculous restrictions.
Jim Croton, England

I'm very glad to be going but am I right in thinking that if I want to buy a couple of Ryder Cup jumpers, a T-shirt and waterproofs they will refuse to sell them to me because they won't fit in an eight inch bag!
David, England

The security at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester was quick and efficient with metal detectors and scanners, yet there was no ban on bags, food, cameras, etc. I find it hard to believe this is any more than a corporate exercise to try and make money.
Martin Sharrock, UK

People have bought tickets in good faith and looking to having a good day out as with previous events. Imposition of such restrictions is in effect a change to terms and conditions.

Whilst mobile phones, pagers and to a degree cameras can interfere with and upset sensitivities of these highly paid professional sportsmen, they still have a duty to the public. If you don't want spectators, just say so.
Denis, UK


The PGA make it sound as though they are doing us a favour letting us attend
Tim, UK

I will be at Old Trafford tonight and will be able to walk in with a phone and could take a camera if I wanted. I won't be searched and there will be no problems. If 68,000 people at a football game are not a security risk, then why is a game of golf? Another game is lost to the paranoia of terrorism.
Andrew Hood, UK

I have tickets to this event which I paid for well over two years ago (two tickets to each day comes to about 450). I understood why they cancelled last year, and decided to hang onto my tickets instead of asking for a refund (which was offered).

As the event gets nearer though, I am beginning to wonder if it was worth it. The PGA make it sound as though they are doing us a favour letting us attend. No radios, no ladders, no mobile phones... and certainly no having fun.

Whilst I can sympathise with this stance to a certain degree, as a spectator I am beginning to think it is not worth the bother. If there is another postponement, I will be asking for a refund.
Tim, UK

Tickets sell out months (years?) before the event, organisers have vast revenues from advertising and 'on site' sales, and still this is not enough! I would love to go but even if I had a ticket, I would not bother if I have to wear all waterproofs, pay massive prices for sub-standard food, and stand for nine hours!!!!

Let's be sensible - allow people to enjoy the day and forget about making money - its a sport, not a business.
Simon, UK

These measures are way over the top. It takes away the potential enjoyment of the event especially when you are parting with so much money for the tickets. You cannot even bring your own picnic or personal radio to listen to Radio Five Live. You have to buy special Ryder Cup radios! How ridiculous!
Stuart Ferguson, Scotland


Paranoia has claimed another victim
Tom Toohey, UK

I hope the organisers are now making refunds available to all those who feel that their freedoms have been curbed to the point where the exorbitant ticket price is no longer justified. Mobile phones I understand but cameras (especially digital and video that don't used flashes) and pushchairs seem crazy decisions.
Charlie Griffiths, UK

I'm glad mobile phones, pagers & cameras are to be banned. If somebody is that important that they need to be contacted they shouldn't be at sport. Cameras are a nuisance too, but if someone really wants a souvenir photo The Belfry should provide all spectators with either free or very cheap ones to compensate. But they won't. If there's a way of making money it will be taken advantage of. That's the real reason for banning food.

But banning pushchairs is ludicrous and makes no logical sense at all; surely they can be examined easily enough. I'd be interested to know if crutches are banned too.

What would make sense is for phones, briefcases, bikes, etc, to all be securely locked away at an entrance point & collected on the way out, so nobody is deprived of essential items on their way home, but I just can't imagine something as simple as that running smoothly in this country.
Mark, England

Why ban pushchairs? Surely this is only penalising spectators with very young children.
Jo Portch, UK

Treating paying guests with such distain is disgraceful. Paranoia has claimed another victim. Show some respect and stop hiding behind the cloak of terrorist scaremongering.
Tom Toohey, UK


Mobile phones they should be banned from all golf tournaments as they distract both the player and the spectator
Paul Alexander, Rep of Ireland

The caterers had better be organised with enough drink/food facilities. I am certainly not lining up for half an hour for a bottle of water for 3 quid...well it looks like I have to! Anyone want two tickets!
Simon, UK

I have managed to secure tickets to the practice rounds at The Belfry. I certainly get the feeling that the organiser's are attempting to gain every penny from the punters....as your waterproofs will take up your 8x8 inch bag allowance I wonder how much a sandwich or a can of coke will cost?

What happens to my Granddad...he will be there from 7.00am 'til 5.00pm...second mortgage just to eat during the day?
Chris, UK

In the aftermath of what has happened it is understandable to have ultra cautious security put in place. Regarding electronic gadgets such as cameras and mobile phones they should be banned from all golf tournaments as they distract both the player and the spectator.
Paul Alexander, Rep of Ireland

When is all this hysteria going to end? In the UK we have faced terrorism for decades without the need for such draconian security measures. Why don't they go the whole hog and play the competition behind closed doors? If someone is determined enough then no amount of security is going to be effective, as the saying goes "where there's a will there's a way".
Andrew B, UK


Who will want to go to the Ryder Cup and not be able to take any memories away because cameras are banned?
Alvaro, Spain

There is no mention of these restrictions on the official Ryder Cup web site... when where they planning on telling people? At the gate!
Caroline, UK

I am one of the lucky ones going to the cup; I have to say that whilst I understand body and bag searches and being a golfer even the banning of cameras and phones I have to say that 8" by 8" is something of a joke!

Golf fans have always been treated with respect because they deserved the same. Birmingham in September requires a rucksack. Commonsense has flown out of the window.
Gary, UK

I feel some events are taking advantage of Sep 11th and making money out of it. If the security is as strict as they say it is then there would be no need to ban food or mobile phones from the event. If food is not allowed to be brought in by spectators why are caterers aloud to bring food in to sell?
Grant Murray, UK

The issue of security has gone a step too far. As with a lot of things run by Americans, commonsense takes predictable second place to a heightened sense of their own worth. Who will want to go to the Ryder Cup and not be able to take any memories away because cameras are banned?

Everyone has sympathy in the light of the New York attacks, but if we keep going down this road, TV advertisers will be the ones who benefit: no one will want to go to events where they are metaphorically strait-jacketed.
Alvaro, Spain


Why not just ban children under the age of ten and have done with it
Pete, Wales

If these items can be safely carried on aircraft all over the world, even post September 11th, why are they a security risk at a sports event?
Peter Gibb, UK

While security should be tight and I agree with x-ray machines, they have none of these restrictions at other sporting events i.e. Wimbledon, soccer matches, cricket, rugby etc. I am sure the reason behind banning food is to make more money.
Martin Whelton, England

It is right to ban mobile phones as they are a pain in the backside at sporting events but to stop people taking pictures of there idols is absurd. We the public pay a lot of money to see these stars at work and now they are stopping us having fun.
Stuart, Scotland

Will they also ban wheelchairs? Why not just ban children under the age of ten and have done with it.
Pete, Wales


The prices charged for almost inedible food at these events is astronomical - on top of the ticket prices - this is punishing the average golf spectator
Gail Bellamy, England

Cameras are always a problem at golf with people taking pictures during the golfers' swing.

As for mobile phones, thank goodness. Every sporting event these days is plagued with people talking on their phones, some constantly. If you are that important that you have to be able to be contacted then what are you doing having a day out at the golf?
Gareth, UK

What are people supposed to do to take account of the vagaries of the British weather - do they wear their waterproofs (even in the sun) or risk getting wet through as the weather changes? Whilst I realise the need for security this is being extreme and definitely over the top.

The prices charged for almost inedible food at these events is astronomical - on top of the ticket prices - this is punishing the average golf spectator.
Gail Bellamy, England

While security is essential for the match to take place, it should not be at such a level as to interfere so much with the spectators' ability to enjoy the match. Spectators need to take sandwiches, liquid, waterproofs etc. and to limit the size of bags to eight inches seems too draconian, especially since there is to be inspection of all bags at entry.
Martin Clarke, UK

While the authorities are quick to try and limit any possible security risk - which is quite understandable - will we see them similarly reduce the prices of admission to make up for the inconveniences of not being able to record the occasion on film, not being able to take your children in pushchairs, and not even take your own food and drink? I think not.

As cynical as it sounds, I cannot help but feel that the event organisers are getting a bit of a free ride on the back of a potential terrorist threat.
Duncan, UK


Banning mobile phones from the Belfry is completely over the top
Mike Kavanagh, UK

This is a complete and utter joke. I have an eight-week-old daughter and now I can't attend this event because I can't take a pushchair. Do they really expect me to carry my child for the entire day?

I believe the reason behind not being able to take carry bags, etc, is so that they can make more money from the food and drinks they sell at the Ryder Cup. Somebody should sit back and have a look at the situation, if people are bringing their own food and drinks maybe the prices at the event should be lower.

Also have they had a thought about people with children and nappies, milk, etc? This is getting completely out of hand.
Nicholas Truluck, UK

In principle it's a good idea, but there will be families that need to have pushchairs and large holdalls for the children's needs, so I think it would be better to just search larger holdalls and pushchairs to allow this event to be a family outing as well.
Terry Bryant, UK

Banning mobile phones from the Belfry is completely over the top and an absurd imposition on visitor's personal freedom. Notwithstanding the importance of meaningful security measures, the security management should be reminded that these visitors are in the main respectable golf enthusiasts paying an exorbitant price to watch the golf and be part of the occasion.
Mike Kavanagh, UK

I suspect some of the suggested items are for commercial reasons or to lessen distractions to players rather than for security.

I do hope the scanning and travel arrangements are well thought out as it is proven that severe problems can arise by implementing such tight security.
Roland, UK


The owners of the hospitality tents must be rubbing their hands with glee
John Underwood, Scotland

It looks like it will be a miserable time for fans at The Belfry. No cameras, nowhere to keep food, drink and spare clothes. I just hope it doesn't rain!!!
Chris Carrington, UK

This is necessary, and the authorities cannot be too careful. The risk of loss of life is too high a price to pay just so that people can bring their mobile telephone, or cameras with them.
Sheila O'Reilly, England

These measures seem OTT to me and appear to be playing up the threat, which is always there anyway. As for postponing the event if the US attack Iraq, what better way of telling the terrorists of the world that they have succeeded? We don't see football matches or athletics championships cancelled do we? Don't allow this issue to taint the game any further.
Ian Howells, England

The owners of the hospitality tents must be rubbing their hands with glee as everyone will have to purchase their food/drink for the day from them rather than take their own in. Joe public gets ripped off again.

However, I think it is a good idea to ban mobile phones and cameras as they are extremely distracting to the players and other spectators.
John Underwood, Scotland

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