Golf courses in Scotland's Tier 4 areas get green light to remain open

Golf courses throughout Scotland have been given the green light to remain open when the Scottish Government's new COVID-19 protection levels come into force.

Scottish Golf has delivered its latest COVID-19 update to member clubs following the tightening up of restrictions by First Minister Nicolas Sturgeon. Picture: Scottish Golf
Scottish Golf has delivered its latest COVID-19 update to member clubs following the tightening up of restrictions by First Minister Nicolas Sturgeon. Picture: Scottish Golf

Clubs in the areas set to be placed into Tier 4 had been anxiously awaiting the latest update from the governing body following First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the latest measures on Tuesday afternoon.

In those Tier 4 areas, which include Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Dumbartonshire, parts of Ayrshire, Stirlingshire and West Lothian, the guidance for "on-course activities" is dependent on whether or not clubs have a COVID officer.

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At clubs that have a COVID officer and applicable risk assessments, groups of up to four golfers with no restrictions on number of households are permitted.

But, at those that don't fulfil that requirement, any groups of up to four golfers must have up to two households represented.

In Tier 4 areas, all indoor clubhouse facilities should be closed along with indoor hospitality areas, professional shops and retail areas. The latest guidance is for no travel into or out of Tier 4.

Scottish Golf chief operating officer Karin Sharp said: "With restrictions tightening across many parts of the country, we welcome the fact that on-course activity can continue across Scotland in compliance with local restrictions.

"In recognising the contribution of golf to the physical and mental health of our membership, we are most appreciative of the opportunity to keep the golf courses open and our golfing community benefiting from playing the game during these ongoing times of uncertainty.

"We have been working with our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government to gain final sign-off on our latest version of our COVID-19 Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers which includes a new summary sheet detailing what golf activity can take place under each level of protection.

"This information should be used in conjunction with Scottish Golf’s main guidance and clubs should be aware that this guidance may be subject to further change. Should this happen, we will continue to keep all clubs informed."

Elsewhere, the guidance appears to be unchanged, with golfers in the lower tiers being encouraged to "minimise travel".

That also includes groups of up to four with no restrictions on the number of households.

"We know that these new restrictions are difficult, but it remains our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines," added Sharp.

"In doing so, this will ensure that we continue to benefit from playing the game we love. We thank all of our clubs and golfers for continuing to play their part during these challenging times."Golf courses throughout England are currently closed as part of a national lockdown implemented by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and are not due to open until the first week in December at the earliest.Courses in the Republic of Ireland are also closed at the moment for a second time this year, having been placed in that position in late October for six weeks as part of a national lockdown there.Meanwhile, Scottish Golf is encouraging member clubs to complete a survey before 7 December to help MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee know more about the impact of COVID-19 and associated restrictions on sports clubs, sporting organisations and sports and leisure venues.

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