Spectator etiquette is an important part of professional golf. PGA events allow you to get up-close access to athletes that you rarely get at other major sporting events.
If you are headed to a PGA tournament, you may be wondering what the policy is for smoking as a spectator. Can you smoke cigarettes or cigars at PGA events?
Yes, spectators can smoke cigarettes and cigars at PGA events. There is no policy in place that prohibits a spectator from smoking on the grounds at a PGA tournament.
That said, you will want to consider spectator etiquette before you decide to smoke on the course. In this article we will discuss why some people may object to you smoking on the course and also discuss if leaving the grounds to smoke is an option.
The PGA tour has unique policies that you may not be used to if you have not attended many events. Here are links to our other articles that may help prepare you:
- What to bring to a PGA tournament
- Can you drink at a PGA tournament?
- Can you bring a baby to a PGA tournament?
Smoking Etiquette at PGA Events
PGA tournaments are all-day events for spectators. Many gates are open for over 12 hours. If you are planning on being out there all day, it may be very difficult to imagine not smoking at all over that 12-hour time frame. So what can you do?
Well, again, there is no policy against smoking on the course at a PGA event. So you can smoke while at the event, but there are also concerns about spectator etiquette that you will want to be mindful of.
Smoking in the middle of a large galley is not a good idea. You will be surrounded by children both young and old, as well as other adults who do not appreciate cigarette and cigar smoke. So although smoking is not prohibited, you will likely hear complaints from fellow spectators if you smoke in crowded areas.
And although there is not policy against smoking, the PGA does reserve the right to remove anyone from a PGA event that is acting in a manner that is deemed to be abusive, derogatory, rude or aggressive. It is unlikely that you will have any issue if you choose to smoke, but to avoid that possibility, be mindful of others.
The good news is you are on a wide-open golf course. There will be areas filled with large galleries of fans, but there will also be many areas that are not populated with spectators and will give you the a good opportunity to smoke without bothering others.
Can You Bring a Cigar Cutter To PGA Events?
If you are wanting to smoke cigars while attending a PGA tournament, you might alse be wondering if cigar cutters are allowed.
Yes, you should be able to bring a cigar cutter with you. Cigar cutters are not on the list of prohibited items issued by the PGA. That said, to be sure you can always contact the event you will attend and ask them to confirm.
Cigarette lighters also should be allowed. They are not listed on the PGA’s prohibited items list.
Can You Leave PGA Tournaments to Smoke?
If you have entered a PGA event, you cannot leave the grounds for any reason and then regain admission. This is PGA policy.
If you are wanting to smoke, you should be able to find areas around the course that are not populated that provide you the opportunity to smoke without aggravating fellow spectators.
Do PGA Golfers Smoke?
Yes, some PGA golfers smoke while on the course. It is not as common to see present day as it was decades ago on the PGA tour. During past generations of golf, it was commonplace to see golf superstars such as Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer smoking while on the course.
Today, most golfers feel pressure from sponsors not to smoke while on the course. Other golfers choose not to do it simply to avoid the health and performance consequences.
Many caddies will smoke while on the course. In recent years, some of the most notable smokers on tour are John Daly and Miguel Angel Jimenez.
Prohibited Items at PGA Events
Here is a link to the official list of prohibited items at PGA events. If you don’t feel like doing a deep dive on their policies, here is a basic understanding of what you need to know:
Bag – You will need to make sure any type of bag you bring into the event matches their bag policy. Most bags will need to be clear, unless they are small handbags. No backpacks of any kind (even if they are clear) will be allowed on the grounds at a PGA tournament.
Coolers/Alcohol – Hoping to bring some beer with you to a PGA tournament? Well, unfortunately you can’t. Beer nor coolers are allowed through the gate.
Chairs – You are allowed to bring a lawn chair, but it cannot be over-sized, so don’t bring your beach lounge chair. Chair bags are also prohibited at many PGA events, so you may need to remove your collapsible chair from the bag before you enter the tournament.
Cameras – Most video camers and DSL point-and-shoot cameras are prohibited at PGA events. Some events may allow certain types of cameras on the grounds during practice rounds. Check with your event.
Other prohibited items include such things as bicycles, radios, selfie sticks, laptops, posters, and weapons.
PGA Tournament Etiquette
The most important thing to remember while attending a PGA tournament is to exhibit the etiquette expected of spectators. Golf is a sport that requires serious concentration, and spectators need to be prepared to make sure competing golfers are not affected by fans.
With smoking, as we discussed above, this means being mindful of spectators and golfers when you choose your spot to smoke. If you are perched right next to a tee box, and light up a cigar, some golfers may take exception.
If you have any concerns about these issues before you head to the event, contact event personnel beforehand and let them advise you on what you need to be ready for.