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Coronavirus restrictions on playing golf in Scotland have been relaxed further following today’s update from the First Minister.

With Nicola Sturgeon announcing plans to move the country into Phase 2 of its exit from the COVID-19 lockdown, Scottish Golf – in collaboration with sportscotland and the Scottish Government – has updated its guidance document for the country’s players and clubs.

From tomorrow, the following will be permitted:

• At the discretion of clubs, groups of up to three players consisting of multiple households, so long as they adhere to the Government’s physical distancing rules.

• A group of four golfers if they can ensure that only three households are represented in that group.

Competition play within clubs may also resume but only in accordance with the updated guidelines. No open competitions will be permitted based on the travel restrictions that remain in force and which are very clear in terms of staying local for exercise. 

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In a statement, Karin Sharp, Scottish Golf’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “I have been greatly encouraged by the many positive updates we have received from golf clubs over the last few weeks, with full tee sheets and many clubs signing up new members in pretty healthy numbers. 

“Whilst some of the changes are effective from tomorrow, we recognise that clubs might need longer to implement amendments to tee sheets and it is for each club to determine the correct time for them to adopt any of the changes permitted.

“I believe that this next phase on the journey can bring further benefit to the golf community and ask for your continued support in ensuring that we all play our part in operating within the guidelines.”

Speaking to clubs directly, Sharp added: “I hope your clubs enjoy the increased group sizes permitted and any of the other aspects that you as a club determine will return in the weeks ahead.

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Let’s ensure that we position the great game of golf in a positive light and continue to demonstrate that we are a healthy sport that can be played giving due consideration to social distancing, whilst contributing to the improved health and mental wellbeing of many people across the country.”

Golf was one of the first sports in the country to benefit from the relaxation of restrictions, will play resuming on May 29 more than two months after going into shutdown.

“It is important to remember that we continue to benefit from extension to exercise guidelines versus this being a full return of sport,” added Sharp. “This is a key distinction for the golf community to be aware of, as it does mean that some aspects or traditions of our game can’t yet return.”

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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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