SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – With practice rounds underway at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, the United States Golf Association is banning cellphones on the course for the thousands of spectators in attendance.

Daniel Hubbard, Assistant Director of Communications for the USGA, said it’s just a distraction for the golfers.

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“We really cannot afford to have play, a putt, a shot, something affected by a camera going off or a cellphone ringing,” said Hubbard. “Would you want the 2012 United States Open to be remembered as the one where a guy had the chance to sink the winning putt and he missed it because somebody’s cellphone went off?”

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The USGA said phones will be checked at entry gates.

There are phone booths at the course and staff at the Olympic Club will also be able to make emergency calls if necessary.

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Hubbard said it’s a good idea to designate a specific point to meet up at if you’re with friends or family and happen to get separated from them.