Golf courses can reopen in Scotland ‘a few days after’ May 28

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 18, 2020 12:43

The first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that ‘outdoor activities such as golf’ can resume ‘within a few days’ of the next review of lockdown restrictions, which will take place on Thursday, May 28.

She added that she will be providing a ‘route map’ to the easing of the lockdown from this Thursday, May 21, which has been welcomed by Scottish Golf.

Nicola Sturgeon

She said that the route map will confirm that the next formal stage of Scotland’s map of dealing with Covid-19 will begin on Thursday, May 28.

“Within a few days of that [date] we will aim to allow, for example, for outdoor activities such as limited outdoor sporting activities, such as golf,” she said.

“Within two weeks [from today] we will be taking concrete steps on our journey, I hope, to normality.”

English golf courses and some Welsh golf courses reopened last week, more Welsh golf courses and venues in the Republic of Ireland opened today, while it is not known when golf courses in Northern Ireland can reopen yet.

Many venues in England that have reopened have reported a surge in demand, something that several golf clubs in Scotland are hoping for, as many have struggled in recent years and some have feared that the Covid-19 lockdown may prove to be the final nail in their coffin.

The reaction on social media appeared to be largely negative, with golfers and golf courses both calling for an immediate resumption of the game in Scotland.

Scottish Golf responded to the announcement by issuing a statement saying: ‘Following the first minister’s daily briefing on Monday 18 May, Scottish Golf welcomes the announcement that more detail will be shared later this week on Scotland’s road map out of the current lockdown restrictions in Scotland.

‘Scottish Golf are working through final details with the Scottish government and sportscotland to ensure that when the time is right, golf can be included in any extension to exercise guidelines and we look forward to sharing more detail of the Scottish government’s publication on Thursday.’

Update: On the May 21 briefing, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that golf will be allowed in Scotland’s first phase of the easing of lockdown restrictions, which start on May 28. However, she reiterated that some measures can only start ‘within a few days’ of May 28, so, for now, there remains no date for when golf courses can reopen.

A statement from Scottish Golf reads: “Following positive discussions with the Scottish government, sportscotland and the governing bodies for tennis and bowls, Scottish Golf welcomes today’s news that our golfing community will benefit from the Scottish government’s revised guidance for exercise.

“Guidance documents containing detail on preparing facilities for the return of golf will be issued to all affiliated clubs as soon as practically possible. This will take into account details from the road map published by the Scottish government today.”

Image from Twitter

In a Scottish government guidance released on May 21 it states you are ‘permitted to travel short distances for outdoor exercise but to stay within a short distance of your local community (broadly within five miles).’

This suggests that members of Scottish golf clubs should travel no more than about five miles to play at their courses when restrictions are eased.  In the Republic of Ireland the limit is currently 5km and in Wales golfers are asked to only play at venues ‘local’ to them.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 18, 2020 12:43
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31 Comments

  1. Declan May 21, 18:05

    I think her decision is absolutely the right one!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Davidsonsmains May 20, 16:26

    Just returned from a walk on the lane between the Bruntsfield and Burgess courses. The lane packed with cyclists in groups and lots of walkers on the golf courses. Does the First Minister have medical reason unknown to science why no golf allowed

    Reply to this comment
  3. Leo May 19, 18:48

    Feel for you all in Scotland courses should never had been closed in the 1st place / we had a trip up to carnustie booked in may thanks to Jimmy cranky we never got ☹️☹️️

    Reply to this comment
    • golfismygame May 20, 14:15

      i cannot believe that you are puting a round of golf ahead of a life. i love my golf but to make sure we save lives and less pressure on our NHS we have a lockdown. a few months without any sport is worth the wait. and to blame a first minister on a pandemic(hopefully you know what that word means) is just pitifull.

      Reply to this comment
      • Davidsonsmains May 20, 19:28

        I thank golfismygame for making us aware of the pandemic especially in the Scottish care sector where where its been a third of all deaths. The present administration has been sadly lacking in their actions to protect residents and workers when they have still not implemented wide scale testing

        Reply to this comment
      • PaulO May 21, 10:50

        We are all fully aware of what the pandemic means and how the pandemic has taken thousands of lives within the UK and it is heart breaking. All governments have made mistakes. But whenever we come out of lockdown the virus will still be there as there is no vaccine. We have to start living the new normal way of life with the virus and social distancing is now the new norm. Just remember are 1st minister did not disclose 1st signs of COVID in late Feb after conference in a hotel in Edinburgh and the medical and scientific people are indicating because of this this was Scotland’s ground zero in terms of the pandemic. This is not being pitifull it is fact

        Reply to this comment
  4. wardy May 19, 17:55

    scottish golf is a disgrace they do not put pressure on the goverment its a disgrace, we should be playing golf if i can stand in a que at a supermarket which is more dangerous,if england get a second wave she will never let us play

    Reply to this comment
  5. T7ppy May 19, 15:31

    Clubhouse are not opening!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Bryan May 19, 11:17

    It’s all political. Why the delay? Show the evidence it is dangerous to open garden centres, golf courses, parks, etc?

    Reply to this comment
    • PaulO May 19, 13:40

      Agree with you its all political. Makes you wonder if Westminster had tightened lockdown restrictions it would not of surprised me if Sturgeon would have eased lockdown restrictions so just to make a point that she will not be influenced by Westminster

      Reply to this comment
  7. Jimbo May 18, 23:39

    Golf is viewed by many as elitist, this is her perfect chance to stick the boot in to those SNP want to stick it to many they label in this way, looks like it’s going to backfire big time!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Michael W May 18, 18:24

    Little Hitler control freak again . Remember the next time she is looking for a vote

    Reply to this comment
  9. Bogeypro May 18, 16:42

    I will never vote for this party again as I have for years. It seems its ok to jog by someone profusely sweating or cycle past them doing the same or go to B and Q for that vital length of skirting to protect from coronavirus but those nasty golfers cant safely hit a wee ball around an expansive green space whilst Tom , Dick and Wee Harry are free to cycle, splash about bunkers or play football on the same space. And Vichy Golf Scotland can shove my affiliation fee up their golf umbrella

    Reply to this comment
  10. Alexander D May 18, 13:29

    Not another road map. Most people have a sat nav. The SNP issue another plan. Their green credentials are going down the toilet with all the other papers.

    Reply to this comment
  11. PaulO May 18, 13:21

    Why is the 1st minister allowing people to go to the supermarkets/DIY stores, go out doors for exercise but does not allow golf to be played or fishing to take place. Golf and fishing have more social distancing in place than going to supermarkets have.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bc May 18, 14:00

      There’s now more people on the golf courses walking their dogs than would be if the golf course was open.

      Reply to this comment
    • Ribin May 18, 14:05

      I suspect it’s the social gathering aspect of golf that may concern her! While easy to social distance on a golf course it’s not so easy inside a clubhouse!

      Reply to this comment
      • Col May 19, 10:40

        Clubhouses are closed under R & A guidelines. Jason Leitch said on “On the ball” 2 weeks ago the ‘optic’ was wrong for playing golf. He then confirmed that this meant “it wouldn’t look right to single parents if golf was played!” Led by the science,what rubbish!! Golf,with all the protocols in place is safer than shopping!

        Reply to this comment
      • T7ppy May 19, 15:30

        Clubhouse are not opening!

        Reply to this comment
    • Sturgeon hasn't got a clue May 18, 17:32

      Why wait until then? What is really going to have changed? Just get the golf courses open then continue this tit for tat with down south you absolute idiot. Lest all go stand in supermarkets but not allowed to play golf. Just as well we didn’t get independence the way she’s handling this. Home of golf the last to get back playing.

      Reply to this comment
      • PaulO May 18, 18:10

        Fantastic comment absolutely agree with you 100%. As a golfer we are all fully aware of the social distancing rules so to save lives, protect others and that respective golf clubhouses remains closed and quite rightly so. When ever we come out of lockdown whether is next week, next month or in 2 months time the virus will still be there as there is no vaccine and we have to start living the new normal way of life now.She is an idiot and god help us if we ever go independent

        Reply to this comment
      • Chaz May 18, 22:34

        Moronic foolish imbecile has not a clue. There have been more people walking all over my golf course during the past 5 weeks than would have normally been had golf not been cancelled. Please remove this power monger moron from office.

        Reply to this comment
      • Tbone May 20, 11:13

        Yep used to quite like wee Nippy, but no longer and will not support her party either EVER! Completely dumbfounded as to why she never saw the benefit of leaving golf or of the lockdown measures. She has turned her back on Scottish golf, the home of the sport.

        Reply to this comment
    • Artie May 20, 07:48

      Totally agree with you Paul O. She is a nippy sweetie who hasn’t a clue. She made a mess of both education and health. But we can’t get a game of golf.

      Reply to this comment
    • Artie May 20, 07:48

      Totally agree with you Paul O. She is a nippy sweetie who hasn’t a clue. She made a mess of both education and health. But we can’t get a game of golf.

      Reply to this comment
  12. RickyB May 18, 13:10

    Can she tell us the reasoning behind her comments regarding golf courses remaining closed.

    Reply to this comment
    • PaulO May 18, 13:50

      From day 1 of the covid crisis main criteria has been washing of hands and social distancing. How can anyone be of the belief that golf does not conform to the social distancing measures were are told to implement. There is even more of a covid risk at times in going for a walk with someone running past you full of sweat. This is the 1st minister who covered up the 1 st signs of COVID at a conference in Edinburgh late Feb

      Reply to this comment
    • Artie May 20, 07:58

      There is no reasoning behind it. The woman is a fool who made a mess of both health and education and it’s all about her power. Get the courses open and let the fishermen fish you stupid woman.

      Reply to this comment
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