IT is an edict that could easily have been issued in less than 140 characters. Players from both teams at the Ryder Cup have been banned from using micro-blogging site Twitter until after the competition finishes on Sunday.
European captain Colin Montgomerie said he wanted to avoid his team “getting into trouble”, while his United States counterpart Corey Pavin, himself a Twitter regular, added that it could prove a distraction.
Both sides have avid tweeters in their ranks, with Europe’s Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy and Americans Stewart Cink and Bubba Watson among the most frequent users of the social networking site.
“The team has come to a consensus not to do it,” said Pavin. “It can be a little bit distracting sometimes, and I think it is important to focus on the Ryder Cup and playing in the matches.
We’ve decided to not tweet this week, but a week today I am sure tweeting will be all over the place.”
Montgomerie said: “We feel that tweeting and Facebook and all of these social sites… can get oneself into trouble. We are in the same boat. I think it’s important we focus on the job in hand this week.
“We are here to try regain the trophy that Corey has brought back for us. We have to focus on that job, and as Corey rightly says, on Monday 4 October, yes, you will find the team probably on social network sites, but not until then.”
Several high-profile sportsmen and women have found themselves in hot water after posting unguarded comments on Twitter.
Cricketer Kevin Pietersen was fined by England chiefs after revealing he had been dropped, while footballer Darren Bent upset Tottenham chiefs after venting his frustration at the protracted nature of his move to Sunderland.
Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice lost a sponsorship deal and had to apologise after making an anti-gay remark.