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As excitement continues to build that golf courses in the UK could re-emerge from coronavirus-enforced lockdown as early as Monday, it appears as though layouts in Scotland, at least, could be set to stay shut for a little while longer.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this lunchtime that the lockdown “must be extended” in Scotland and that easing any restrictions next week would be “very, very risky”.

This comes ahead of an expected address by the prime minister Boris Johnson to the nation on Sunday, where it is thought that the re-opening of golf courses may be sanctioned under new guidelines he could outline.

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That has left Scottish golfers and golf clubs asking the same question.

Who do we listen to: Holyrood or Westminster?

According to Scottish Golf, the country’s governing body for all club and amateur golf-related matters, the answer is simple.

Holyrood.

Speaking to bunkered.co.uk this lunchtime, a Scottish Golf spokesperson said: “We continue to be in direct and regular contact with the Scottish Government and remain in the planning phase for a return to golf.

“Scottish Golf will be guided by the Scottish Government on golf’s return while also remaining in close contact with all of our partners from across the golf industry in Great Britain and Ireland. 

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“Following today’s announcement from the Scottish Government, the message remains clear that we must continue to stay home and save lives.”

The Scottish Government’s position is next scheduled to be reviewed on May 28. However, the First Minister did add today that changes can be made at any point before then.

“The only thing that matters to me is that we take the decisions that are best going to suppress and tackle this virus,” she said.

“I think that’s what all of us in leadership positions across the UK are doing.”

Last week, we revealed that the R&A has drawn up a list of ‘best practice’ measures to stage a phased return to ‘normalcy’ for golfers and golf clubs.


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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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