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COVID-19 restrictions on golfers in Scotland are set to be relaxed further this week following the most recent update provided by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

From this Friday, April 16, adults living in Level 3 or Level 4 areas will be allowed to leave their local authority to “participate in informal exercise that starts and finishes in the same place”.

Golf is one of the sports classified as “informal exercise” by the Scottish Government, which means that players from outwith a golf club’s local authority may travel to play a casual round. However, where cross-border travel is required, competitive play will not be permitted until April 26 at the earliest.

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Groups may consist of up to four golfers from within Scotland, with no restriction on the number of households represented.

Here’s a full breakdown of what the guidance will look like from April 16…

On-course activities

– Groups of up to 4 golfers within Scotland with no restrictions on the number of households.

– All tee times must be booked in advance.

– Any golf club/course which is accessed on a regular basis by over 200 members or visitors, in a single day, must have in place a designated COVID officer and appropriate risk assessments.

– Professional caddie services may resume, providing all physical distancing and hygiene measures are adhered to. There are no restrictions on the number of households a caddy can have contact with per day, but services should be limited to carrying of bag, providing advice and not passing golf clubs to the player.

– Starter facilities can operate, providing that all physical distancing measures are adhered to and appropriate hygiene measures are put in place.

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Clubhouse facilities

– All indoor clubhouse facilities should be closed.

– One-off appointments to retrieve equipment are permissable.

– Toilets may remain open, subject to following Government public toilet guidelines at all times.

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Indoor Hospitality

– All indoor hospitality facilities should be closed.

– Takeaway services may be provided for consumption off the premises.

– Takeaways may no longer allow allow customers indoors, and must instead operate from a hatch or doorway.

– The sale of alcohol for consumption outdoors is not permitted.

Outdoor hospitality

– All outdoor hospitality facilities should be closed.

– Takeaway services may be provided.

– Takeaways may no longer allow allow customers indoors, and must instead operate from a hatch or doorway.

– The sale of alcohol for consumption outdoors is not permitted.

Professional / retail shops

– All professional and retail shops should be closed.

– Click and collect is permitted –all customers must have an allocated time slot for collection.

– Indoor starter facilities should not be offered at this time.

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Other facilities (driving ranges, swing studios & club fitting)

– All indoor or a combination of indoor and outdoor facilities should be closed.

– Fully outdoor facilities (regardless of whether bays are covered or not) and if access to the bays may be controlled with physical distancing and all appropriate hygiene measures in place these may remain open.

– Club fitting services may not be offered at this time.

Coaching

– Only outdoor coaching is permitted.

– Over the age of 12 -Group coaching should not exceed group sizes of 15 including coaches.

– Under the age of 12 -Group coaching should not exceed group sizes of 30 including coaches.

– Number of coaching sessions that may be delivered per day are unlimited.

Travel (18 years or older)

– Adults living in Level 3 or Level 4 areas may leave their local authority area to take part in a casual game of golf.

– Adults living in Level 4 areas should only travel locally to take part in a competitive or qualifying round.

– All travel to and from the venue must take place on the same day with no overnight stays permitted.

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Travel (17 years or under)

– Those living in a Level 3 or 4 area may leave their local authority area to take part in a causal game of golf.

– May travel to and from Level 0, 1 and 2 areas to take part in a competitive or qualifying round.

– May also travel to and from a Level 3 or 4 area, if for example, they belong to a club which is just outside their own local authority area. They should however travel no further than necessary to take part in a competitive or qualifying round.

– All travel to and from the venue must take place on the same day with no overnight stays permitted.


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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.

Deputy Editor

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