What a day, writes Karin Sharp COO of Scottish Golf, 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.
Kind regards, Karin Sharp, Scottish Golf COO
Meanwhile the latest UK Government adjustment of lockdown conditions now permits golf clubs in England to re-introduce the fourball format from Monday 1 June.
As part of a phased return to play, up to four golfers from four separate households may now play together in one single group from the above date.
For coaching in England, the impact of these changes remains unclear. The PGA are working in collaboration with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf to seek confirmation. Further guidance will be communicated once clarity can be provided.
Please note it is essential that golfers continue to strictly observe social distancing and safety regulations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All other industry guidelines pertaining to the playing of the game remain unchanged from those issued ahead golf’s phase one return on 13 May.
While COVID-19 remains a live threat in our communities, we would ask everyone involved in the game to act responsibly, show respect and protect the wellbeing of golfers, staff and volunteers.
**The following organisations have come together to help golf in the UK during the COVID-19 crisis and, through the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, to work with Government to promote safe golf:
The Belfry; the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association; the British Golf Industry Association; England Golf; the Golf Club Managers’ Association; Golf Ireland; the Golfing Union of Ireland; the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union; IMG; The Professional Golfers’ Association; PING; The R&A; Scottish Golf; Syngenta; the UK Golf Federation; Wales Golf.