A Perthshire golf club has had its membership of Scottish Golf suspended with immediate effect over plans to stage an open competition this weekend.
bunkered.co.uk understands that Strathmore Golf Club has been hit with the disciplinary action by Scottish Golf after officials were alerted to plans to stage a gents' open competition at Strathmore Golf Centre this Sunday.
The competition is advertised on the centre's website as being "open to all Gentleman Golfers" with "Handicap and Scratch Prizes awarded for the first four places in each section".
At the time of publishing this story, the competition was still accepting entries, priced at £20 for members and £20 for visitors.
Under the terms of the coronavirus guidance that was issued to clubs following the country's move to Phase 1 of the lockdown exit strategy on March 29, and updated yesterday following the announcement of plans to transition into Phase 2, clubs have been advised not to stage open competitions.
The document states: "It is recommended that non-competition play is used during the initial period of golf being played, and that strokeplay competitions involving players in different groups are avoided."
bunkered.co.uk understands that Scottish Golf attempted to resolve the matter with the club but was unable to do so to the body's satisfaction. Consequently, the club's membership has been suspended.
When contacted by bunkered.co.uk, a Scottish Golf spokesperson said that the body is "not in a position to comment directly on any individual cases" but added: "Following concerns reported to Scottish Golf relating to a breach of Phase 2 guidance on the safe return to golf in Scotland, we can confirm that early discussions with an unnamed member club have not been concluded to our satisfaction.
"As a result, a member club has been suspended pending further investigation."
Suspension of a club's affiliation to the body is not unprecedented. It is understood that it has previously happened over issues of non-payment of fees, for example. This is, however, the first time since lockdown restrictions eased that Scottish Golf has been forced to take this action.
Scottish Golf has previously revealed that "a small number" of other clubs have been investigated by the organisation for breaches of the guidance but that, in each of those cases, they said they "engaged directly and positively with clubs to rectify any misunderstanding" without any further action being required.
bunkered.co.uk has reached out to Strathmore Golf Club for comment.