Scotland is only country in UK and Ireland to escape golf lockdown

Scotland is the only country in the UK and Ireland with its golf courses still open after England joined Ireland and Wales in seeing the game placed back into a full Covid-19 lockdown.

Scottish Golf has managed to persuade the Scottish Government to allow courses to remain open under the new national lockdown on the mainland. Picture: Scottish Golf

England Golf confirmed the disappointing news after Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced new steps to try and contain the pandemic amid a second strain sweeping through the UK.

“Golf clubs, golf facilities – both indoor and outdoor – and driving ranges will be required to close during this full lockdown. As such, coaching will not be permitted,” said a statement from England Golf last night.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“England Golf – as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf along with other leading industry bodies – is extremely disappointed with the news, having made a strong case in recent months to keep golf open during the national lockdowns and in the regional tier system.

“It is with great regret that we share this news with you, but please be assured that we will continue to make the case for golf to reopen whenever possible.”

Courses in Wales have been closed since 19 December after the whole of the Principality was moved into tier 4 by First Minister Mark Drakeford.

In Northern Ireland, golf clubs have been shut since 26 December while, in the Republic of Ireland, the sport went back into lockdown on 31 December.

While tougher new restrictions came into effect in Scotland at 00.01 on Tuesday, golf is still being permitted in the sport’s cradle.

Play must now be in either one or two-balls, with golfers being advised by Scottish Golf to stay local and only travel if it is “essential”.

“As has been the case throughout the pandemic, we have worked alongside both sportscotland and The Scottish Government to demonstrate that golf is a sport that can be played outdoors with physical distancing and increased safety measures in place,” said Scottish Golf’s chief operating officer, Karin Sharp.

“We are pleased that this continues to be recognised. Golf courses can remain open for play with a maximum of two players from up to two householdsGolfers must stay close to home, travel only for essential purposes and in line with the new legislation.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.