Saturday, May 30, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM KARIN SHARP, SCOTTISH GOLF COO

Scottish Golf's Chief Operating OfficerKarin Sharp, has issued out a message to everyone involved in the return of golf in Scotland.


 It reads as follows:

"What a day, we really couldn’t have asked for better weather for the return of golf in Scotland."

"Over the last few days, it has been fantastic to see the anticipation building, with many wonderful photographs and videos of courses ready for play. The greenkeepers and volunteers the length and breadth of the country are to be congratulated for their hard work, under essential maintenance guidelines in preparing for golfers to return."

"The enthusiasm and excitement to be back has been great to see and I am sure there were many golfers up with the lark this morning and heading out for a game. I was one of the lucky golfers who snagged an early tee time, I was first out at my club at 6am this morning and played a most enjoyable 10 holes in the sunshine and was home long before 8am ready for a day’s work!"

"To everyone who supports the game at a local club, from employees, committee members and volunteers, I applaud you for the significant effort that has been put in to get your club ready for opening today, employing the appropriate measures and updating your membership on the rules you have put in place to maintain the safe return to golf. The phase 1 guidelines have given the sport the early opportunity to recommence and we thank you for embracing these. Health remains the priority and we can’t take our eye off the ball in this early stage, so please keep playing your part and keep the golf course a safe place for us all to continue enjoying."

"The feedback from many clubs has been of full booking sheets and lots of new member enquiries, which is really positive and I am sure welcomed by clubs given the uncertainty that the last few months have brought. I have no doubt there will be challenges ahead across the golf industry but for now let’s enjoy the walk in the sunshine, the fine courses, the friendships and health benefits of being back out on the course and celebrate the return of golf in Scotland."

Thursday, May 28, 2020

SCOTLAND GETS GREEN LIGHT TO RESTART GOLF

Scotland's First MinisterNicola Sturgeon, has given the green light for golf to restart in Scotland tomorrow.


Last Thursday, Scotland's First MinisterNicola Sturgeon, announced that golf would be one of the first outdoor sports activities allowed to restart under Phase 1 of the Scottish Government's Route Map out of lockdown. She also confirmed that the earliest Phase 1 would start was after the next formal review date for lifting restrictions on Thursday 28 May.

Today, at her daily briefing, the First Minister announced that the time is right to move out of lockdown. Phase 1 will start this Friday. The focus is on easing some of the restrictions on outdoor activities. With regard to playing golf, she confirmed as follows:

"In terms of sport and recreation, some non-contact outdoor leisure activities, will be allowed to restart again from tomorrow. This applies to activities where you can safely keep a two metre distance from others at all times and follow strict hygiene practices,  for example golf, tennis, bowls and fishing."

It means that, after 9½ weeks of lockdown, Scottish golf clubs can finally join the rest of Great Britain and Ireland and reopen their courses.

Scottish Golf has released a statement in response to the First Minister's announcement. It reads as follows:

"Scottish Golf welcomes the news that our golfing community will benefit from the Scottish Government’s revised guidance for exercise as we enter Phase 1 in the easing of lockdown restrictions."

"Ahead of golf's return, we have issued guidance developed in partnership with the Scottish Government, Active Scotland, sportscotland, Health Protection Scotland and key industry partners to support our clubs in preparing their facilities and we are pleased to confirm that the return of golf can now take place from Friday 29 May."

"We know that this confirmation will be well received by all of our members and will have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of golfers across Scotland in the days and weeks ahead. We hope everyone enjoys returning to the fairways and would encourage all golfers to familiarise themselves with the current guidance to ensure we can all return to playing the game safely."

To read the guidance published by Scottish Golf click on the link below:
Guidance for golf clubs and golfers returning to golf in Scotland

Monday, May 25, 2020

THE R&A CORONATION FOURSOMES IS CANCELLED

The R&A has cancelled the 2020 Coronation Foursomes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will next be played in 2021.


The Coronation Foursomes was established by the Ladies' Golf Union in 1953, to celebrate the Queen’s Coronation. The team event is for women and girls and open to all members of affiliated golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

Any affiliated club can run a qualifying round. The best 100 scores qualify for the Area Finals, which are held at 16 venues around Great Britain and Ireland. The winning teams qualify for a grand final at the Home of Golf, St Andrews.

The R&A has run the event since the merger of the R&A and LGU in 2017.

In a statement published by The R&A, The R&A Executive Director of Golf Development & Amateur Championships, Duncan Weir, said:

“The lockdown measures imposed by the governments in Great Britain and Ireland have meant that playing golf has been put on hold for all clubs and their members in these countries."

“It is very unlikely that clubs will be able to stage qualifying events in the near future, so we have decided that cancelling this year’s Coronation Foursomes is the only option. We are grateful to all the clubs who had previously agreed to host qualifying events and Area Finals this year and hope that they will consider being involved again in 2021."

“We will look forward to working with national associations and golf clubs again next year to inspire more women and girls of all ages to take part in this extremely popular and long established competition.”


"Further information will be provided in due course."

To read the full statement from the R&A click on the link below:
bit.ly/CoronationFoursomesCancelled

Saturday, May 23, 2020

SCOTTISH CLUBS TOLD TO PREPARE FOR FRIDAY

Scottish Golf has issued guidance for all Scottish golf clubs and golfers and instructed them to prepare for a return to golf on Friday 29 May (at earliest).


This week, Scottish Golf published two documents. You can access them by clicking on the links below:

1. Guidance for Golf Clubs & Golfers on returning to golf in Scotland
To access & download click here: Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers

2. FAQ document for Golf Clubs & Golfers on returning to golf in Scotland
To access click here: FAQ Support Document for Golf Clubs and Golfers

In a statement, which was issued out on Thursday along with the first of those documents, Scottish Golf said:

"Following today's announcement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Golf is pleased to confirm that golf clubs in Scotland can begin to prepare for a return to golf on 29 May 2020 at the earliest, subject to final confirmation by the First Minister by way of an update currently planned for 28 May."

"Scottish Golf has worked with Scottish Government, Active Scotland, sportscotland, Health Protection Scotland, The PGA and key industry partners at every opportunity to produce a clear guide for all golf clubs and golfers in Scotland."

"It should be noted that a final decision will be made by the First Minister on 28 May and if any changes to the current procedures are required to align with updates provided by Scottish Government then these will be shared with you as soon as they are known to ensure re-opening plans can be updated or adjusted accordingly."

Scottish Golf also advised that:

"Scottish Golf would like to highlight that the Scottish Government continues to monitor its response to the COVID-19 outbreak closely and have not ruled out the re-introduction of restrictions which could see golf paused again if these guidelines are not being followed."

"It is therefore imperative that golf clubs take the necessary steps outlined prior to opening their courses for play and adhere to the guidelines detailed in our guide."

To read the full statement from Scottish Golf click on the link below:
https://scottishgolf.org/guidance for golf clubs and golfers

Thursday, May 21, 2020

SCOTLAND IS SET TO RETURN TO GOLF... SOON

Today, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, unveiled details of a four-phase "Route Map" towards easing the country's lockdown restrictions.


In her statement, Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed that golf would be one of the first outdoor sports activities allowed to restart under Phase 1. The Scottish Government's Route Map states as follows:

"We are planning to allow unrestricted outdoors exercise adhering to distancing measures and non-contact outdoor activities in the local area - such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, angling - consistent with wider rules and guidance applicable to any activity with this phase."

The First Minister stressed that, for now, the lockdown remains in place. She confirmed that Phase 1 will not start before the next formal review date for lifting restrictions, which is Thursday 28 May, and it will only go ahead if the current progress in suppressing the virus continues. She also cautioned that not all the measures detailed in Phase 1 will start immediately. This echoes her statement on Monday, when she advised that the aim was to allow clubs to reopen their courses "within a few days" of the review date.

There may be disappointment for those that need to travel some distance to their golf club. During the questions that followed her statement, the First Minister advised that any travel for outdoor leisure and exercise in Phase 1 should be limited to "around 5 miles". As many golfers in Scotland live a lot more than 5 miles from their golf club, some further easing may be required.

Scottish Golf has released a statement in response to the First Minister's announcement. It reads as follows:

"Following positive discussions with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and the governing bodies for tennis and bowls, Scottish Golf welcomes today’s news that our golfing community will benefit from the Scottish Government’s revised guidance for exercise."

"Guidance documents containing detail on preparing facilities for the return of golf will be issued to all affiliated clubs as soon as practically possible. This will take into account details from the road map published by the Scottish Government today."

THE R&A LAUNCHES A CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT FUND

This week, The R&A launched a £7 million funding package to help golf deal the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will largely be aimed at national golf associations and other affiliated bodies in Great Britain and Ireland. Each body will be responsible for controlling and allocating its share.

When The R&A Chief Executive, Martin Slumbers, announced the package on Monday. He said:

“The pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on golf and many clubs are facing dire financial situations through no fault of their own. Golf is in our DNA and we want to see the sport continue to thrive from grassroots right through to the top level on the professional tours. We have a responsibility to do what we can to help in such a crisis."

“The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will enable national associations and other key bodies to provide support to some of their members. We know that many challenges lie ahead but club golf is the bedrock of our sport and hopefully this fund will help to begin the process of recovery.”

To read the full statement from The R&A click on the link below:
https://www.randa.org/the-randa-covid-19-fund

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

NORTHERN IRELAND CAN RETURN TO GOLF

The Golfing Union of Ireland has confirmed that from today golf clubs in Northern Ireland can reopen their courses for members.


Last week, Northern Ireland's Executive published its five-phase blueprint for recovery in Northern Ireland. Although the lockdown remains in place and the next formal review date is not due until Thursday 28 May, the Executive decided to allow some aspects of the first phase to start this week.

At Monday's daily Covid-19 briefing, Northern Ireland's First Minister, Arlene Foster, announced that some "outdoor activity where social distancing can occur" could now proceed. She went on to confirm that golf would be one of the few outdoor activities allowed to restart, adding:

"I know that Golf clubs will be relieved that players will be returning to their fairways"

The Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) & Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) had already published a "Protocol for the Re-introduction of Golf in Northern Ireland" at the weekend. Northern Ireland's First Minister urged everyone to stick to those guidelines.

The GUI & ILGU also stressed in their introduction to the Protocol:

"As one of the first sports to be allowed to resume, there is a major responsibility on golf clubs and golfers to ensure that our sport is conducted in a safe and responsible manner. Full adherence to the provisions of this Protocol is absolutely essential."

"It should be noted that the Executive continues to monitor the situation closely and have not ruled out the reintroduction of restrictions which could see golf clubs closed once again, if the Protocol is not followed."

Some confusion surrounded the First Minister's announcement as she had not confirmed a date for when golf could restart. In the end, it fell to the Golfing Union of Ireland to clarify that golf clubs in Northern Ireland would be able to reopen their courses from Wednesday 20 May.

Last week golf clubs in England were allowed to reopen their courses. This week golf clubs in Wales, the Republic of Ireland and now Northern Ireland are allowed to open theirs. It means that Scotland is now the only country in Great Britain and Ireland where golf courses must remain closed.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF RESPONDS TO FM’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Scottish Golf has released a statement in response to the announcement made by Scotland's First Minister at yesterday's daily briefing.

It reads as follows:

"Following the First Minister’s daily briefing on Monday 18 May, Scottish Golf welcomes the announcement that more detail will be shared later this week on Scotland’s road map out of the current lockdown restrictions in Scotland."

"Scottish Golf are working through final details with the Scottish Government and sportscotland to ensure that when the time is right, golf can be included in any extension to restrictions and we look forward to sharing more detail of the Scottish Government’s publication on Thursday."