Bivens 'encourages' in-round updates

Updated: May 28, 2009, 1:59 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens says she wouldn't mind players using social media Web sites during a competitive round.

"I'd love it if players Twittered during the middle of a round," Bivens said in an interview, according to Bloomberg News. "The new media is very important to the growth of golf and we view it as a positive, and a tool to be used."

Bivens said she "encourages" players to update their Twitter or Facebook pages in the middle of a tournament.

There is a question, however, of whether using a handheld phone or mobile device is allowed under USGA rules. The LPGA is awaiting a ruling from the USGA. Its 2008 Rules of Golf do not mention using handheld devices, though Rule 14-3 says that players cannot use equipment "that might assist him in making a stroke or in his play; or for the purpose of gauging or measuring distance or conditions that might affect his play."

The PGA Tour bans the use of mobile phones or handheld communication devices during competitive play.

According to Bloomberg, approximately 30 LPGA players have Twitter pages, including Morgan Pressel, Christina Kim and Natalie Gulbis.

"For Morgan Pressel and Christina Kim's following -- her fans are 12-, 13-, 14-year-old girls and boys -- they're not waiting for the golf broadcast on Saturday and Sunday," Bivens said, according to Bloomberg. "They want to know what's going on in the middle of the round. If we're going to get out of the collared shirts and khaki pants and make golf chic, hip, happening, Christina Kim is exactly the kind of player to reach out and make golf a lot more relevant."