Golf club member dies; A club is offering free golf; Council-run clubs are closing: Coronavirus update

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 19, 2020 11:13

A Scottish golf club has announced that one of its members has died after contracting COVID-19.

Members of West Kilbride Golf Club have received notification that one of their number has passed away, reports Largs & Millport Weekly News.

A message from the club to its members said: “We understand [he] had underlying health issues but the information we have suggests he had also contracted the COVID-19 virus.

“We are deeply saddened by this news and are obviously concerned about the safety of our members.”

The man had attended a quiz night held at the club on Friday, March 13.

Following advice from NHS, the club has told members who have been in contact with the man in the last week and who are over 70 and / or have underlying health conditions to self-isolate immediately, for a minimum of seven days if living on their own, or 14 days if living with their family.

The club has also announced it had closed its lounge, dining room and toilets with immediate effect until a thorough deep clean can be carried out.

In separate coronavirus news, Orchardleigh Golf & Country Club in Somerset has said it will offer free golf every Monday for at least the next four weeks, pending any government advice not to, to any member of the public.

Its clubhouse will be closed throughout.

Chris Vincent, owner of Orchardleigh Golf & Country Club and Orchardleigh Estate said: “We’re living in difficult and uncertain times at the moment. Like all businesses, we’re taking precautions, however we’re also keen to do our bit to support the public’s need to be outside for their own mental wellbeing, without compromising the government’s social distancing efforts. We hope that by offering free weekly golf sessions we’ll encourage visitors to make the most of the vast open space on offer at Orchardleigh whilst keeping active, mentally stimulated and honouring social distancing as per the government advice”.

He added: “Of course, if stricter measures come into force and we’re all advised to stay at home then we’ll need to stop the initiative. However, we’re hoping to offer it for as long as possible. We’re all keen to keep things going, and this was one way we felt we could potentially use our facilities to help people keep their spirits up in very testing times.”

He added that golfers should call 01373 454200 in advance to book their tee time.

Meanwhile, The Scotsman is reporting that council-run golf courses in Edinburgh are being closed due to the coronavirus, mirroring a move in Lanarkshire, and The Irish Times has printed this advice for golfers:

“Put your shoes on in the car park, no cash exchanging hands, keep your distance and, if you want, elbow bump or simply nod when it’s all over … and steer clear of the 19th hole and go home in separate cars.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 19, 2020 11:13
Write a comment


  1. easto April 30, 08:45

    Why not continue playing.keep a safe distance,don’t go looking for anyone else’s ball,and on the green turn the cup upside down so no one is touching flag or rummaging about for a holed ball

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jlj March 19, 17:10

    I like it shame Germany has taken the drastic decision to force all open and private sporting facilities

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ben March 19, 17:06

    Fantastic initiative. Every golf club across the land should follow your thoughtfulness and generosity!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Peter March 19, 16:55

    We’re experiencing a big disconnect with clubs in terms of the virus and operating in these times ! Clubs should close ! Period ! The fact the game is played outdoors, doesn’t provide any more safety than any other sport or gathering ! One “infected” person, in a foursome, who doesn’t show symptoms can infect so many others through association and contact. Until communities know their rate of spread and know the peak has been reached, clubs should remain closed !! Exercise is good… alone ! Open the course for walking for those in community…it might you help you recover after virus has died off !

    Reply to this comment
  5. Tourgolfer March 19, 13:32

    The main problem is not with being out on the course but in the Bar afterwards. For example if someone offers to buy a round think how many hands touch the glass before yours. To fight the effects of this awful virus the Clubs have to take the brave decision and close at least the bar in accordance with the guidance issued by England Golf. I belong to a Club near Southend-on-Sea and they put a post on Facebook yesterday saying it was safe to continue playing golf but when I commented about the dangers of using the Clubhouse especially the Bar my comment was immediately removed. I am afraid this is the attitude of a lot of Clubs as they do not want to lose the income from the Bar. What they ignore is a lot of the members are older and thus in greater danger.

    Reply to this comment
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