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Scottish Golf clarifies position on "five mile" restrictions on golfers

Scottish Golf has moved to clarify confusion surrounding next week's plans to re-open the country’s golf courses.

It was announced yesterday that Scottish courses will be allowed to resume play from next Friday, May 29. This is subject to any changes to Phase 1 of the Scottish Government’s four-part ‘route map’ towards lifting coronavirus restrictions.

A return to golf is part of an easing of restrictions on outdoor activities in Scotland, outlined in a documented published by the Scottish Government.

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However, confusion over who can and cannot use the country’s courses appears to have arisen from another section within that same document, which advises that travel for outdoor sports activities should be “broadly around five miles”.

With a number of golf clubs occupying a rural location and a significant proportion of members living more than five miles from their club, many have been critical of the measures, saying that they do not best serve the unique needs of the golf community.

To address that and other finer points of the resumption of play, Scottish Golf has this afternoon published a list of FAQs, which includes further guidance on travelling to play golf.

It says: “The updated regulations state that a ‘drive of broadly five miles is considered to be local’ [and so] the travel advice is for an individual to apply good judgement and not for the golf club to determine or police.”

The document also explains that tee times must be booked in advance in order for clubs to maintain an accurate record of all golfers who use the facility over a six-week period, as that may be required to assist in contact tracing.

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Golfers over the age of 70 ARE allowed to play but those who are in the highest risk (shielding) group outlined by the government must not.

Clubs will be required to put guidelines and measures in place to manage their own practice facilities and it will be left to each club’s discretion to determine availability and usage limits.

bunkered.co.uk also understands that it will be at the discretion of each club to decide whether or not to accept visitor bookings.





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