‘Golf clubs should throw out members who break lockdown rules’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 7, 2020 16:40

The captain of last year’s victorious European Solheim Cup team, Catriona Matthew, has called on a golf club to suspend the memberships of golfers who have broken lockdown rules and played at their club.

This comes as some managers of golf clubs have written to members in the last few days, amid several reports of golfers ignoring the guidelines, to detail to them that they should not be playing golf at their courses at the moment.

Writing on social media, Matthew referred to reports that members were practising their game at Gullane Golf Club, which breaches the guidance from Scottish Golf, based on the government’s directive, that golfers should stop playing during the coronavirus lockdown.

Catriona Matthew. Image by Tristan Jones

Gullane, which has followed Scottish Golf’s advice and closed for play, has a waiting list, she observed. She is also a member of the club.

She wrote: ‘Heard more people have been caught practising at Gullane Golf Club … with a long waiting list is it not time to throw those breaking the rules out and / or suspend their membership #idiots.’

Gullane’s secretary, Gordon Simpson, has sent an email to all members and confirmed there had been ‘several incidents over the last few days’.

‘The club are obviously very disappointed that a small minority of members are still choosing to ignore the government directive and continue to use the courses as they are out for a daily walk, despite everything being closed,’ he said.

‘Today we have highlighted again that all of our facilities are currently closed to help in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and we are asking for the members support during these challenging times.’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 7, 2020 16:40
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  1. Alexander F April 6, 10:02

    I agree entirely, we are in a situation where we have warned members after one member and his son has been seen using our driving range facility and then two days later been caught using our Par3 course. If seen again I will give them their subs back and refuse to have them on the site again. We all want to get through this and to get restrictions lifted as soon and as safely as possible and selfish idiots are no help in this goal.

    Reply to this comment
    • Graham T April 6, 11:07

      Why give them their subs back? Ban them for a long time and let other local clubs know about your reason why. They’ll struggle to find another club.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Jessica Y April 5, 16:10

    I’ve just walked around my local course and saw three things, all of which disappointed me:

    3. People not using common sense. I saw a guy touching every tee box and bench he passed. If he has the virus and is asymptomatic or the symptoms haven’t started it yet, he’s just spread the virus on to everything he touched. If he doesn’t but someone earlier with it did what he’s done – he now has the virus on his hands. Similarly fathers showing off to kids by pulling branches – fine in normal time, same as cyclists talking to each other as they go around someone, but in times like this, this could be lethal.

    2. Despite there being signs that the course is open for walkers to use, the (I presume) manager felt the need to stop random people to ask what they were doing. I’m sure he was polite, but every time the people he did this to quickly left. Why was he doing this? All these walkers are potentially future members, and he’s just shown them they’re not a welcoming club. Is that what he’s come into work to do?

    1. Far and away the worst – people playing golf despite walkers everywhere. Totally dangerous, breaching the rules, the club is clearly closed with no flags etc.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Neil B April 5, 16:01

    Yep I witness two people daily playing pitch and putt on the 9th at Bathgate Golf Club

    Reply to this comment
  4. Baz April 5, 15:45

    Have to ask, are they allowing their members to use the course just to exercise on? So to take a walk? Or is it closed to them for that as well?

    Reply to this comment
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