In a galaxy far, far away, Scotland will reintroduce four balls to the fairways without restrictions on the number of households from Friday, Scottish Golf has confirmed.
The news was announced off the back of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealing that lockdown rules were to be eased across the country by week’s end. The only proviso for four balls with no household restrictions is that the groups must be members living within a club’s local authority point while courses must also have a designated Covid officer on site.
That said, courses without such a designated officer and allowing members to play from different authority areas can continue to operate but with a max of four players from two separate households. At this stage I’d pay €9 for a substantial meal just to use a driving range!
“Following the First Minister’s latest update on Covid-19 restrictions, Scottish Golf welcomes the news that we are continuing to progress through the road map out of lockdown,” said Scottish Golf COO Karin Sharp.
“Guidance previously allowed golfers to travel up to five miles outside their local authority area to take part in informal exercise using household rules. Yesterday’s announcement to allow organised sport will allow four-ball play with no restrictions on the number of households; however, this is only applicable to members who live within the golf club’s local authority area.”
“Within an hour of the First Minister’s update, Scottish Golf submitted updated guidance to our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, this final check can take some time as further details are considered and legislation published.
“These checks remain ongoing and must be complete before we can share a full updated version of our guidance to affiliated golf clubs for implementation across the country. However, we do appreciate that clubs require time to make operational changes ahead of any changes coming into place so we have provided this update until such time as we are given the green light to publish a full updated guidance grid.”
Unlike Ireland, England and Wales, Scottish golf courses have remained opened since May last year, identifying what the rest of us already knEw, they are safe havens amid this pandemic. The hope is that play will resume in Ireland from April 5th when the Government announce some easing of restrictions towards the end of March. The sport has already proved itself safe to reopen during the pandemic and will hope to be one of the first sports to get the green light to resume following this latest level 5 lockdown.