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Scottish Golf has confirmed that its guidance to the country’s clubs “remains unchanged” following the latest COVID-19 update provided by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

Hopes had been raised that Scotland’s clubs would today be given the green light to resume open strokeplay competitions at today’s briefing on lockdown measures.

However, with the country remaining in Phase 3 of the four-step exit from lockdown, the instruction to clubs remains clear and unambiguous: such competitions are not allowed.

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“Following the First Minister’s update today, we wish to inform all clubs that there are no further easing of restrictions directly relevant to golf clubs or their operations and as a result, our Phase 3 guidance remains unchanged at this time,” wrote Scottish Golf in an update to its clubs.

Officials added that “following an increased volume of enquiries and growing confusion across the membership”, it wanted to make its position clear.

“The definition of an Open competition concerning the current route map out of lockdown is ‘a qualifying round of golf played at a venue away from a player’s home club’,” added the governing body.

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“Any other format of play that takes place by visitors to golf clubs is permitted provided that all related COVID-19 regulations including travel restrictions, sanitation protocols and physical distancing protocols are met, along with industry-specific guidance being adhered to both on and off the course.”

Scottish Golf added that it will “continue to make representations on behalf of our clubs to Government in the strongest possible way to bring about change”.

Golf clubs and courses in Scotland went into lockdown on March 23. Restrictions began to relax on May 29. 


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

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