‘Scottish golf clubs to be told on Tuesday when they can reopen’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2020 04:40

The Sunday Times has claimed that the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, will reveal when golf courses can reopen on this coming Tuesday.

Golf courses in England reopened last week, some in Wales also did last week and more will this week, while courses in the Republic of Ireland will open this week.

However, it’s not yet known when golf courses in Scotland and Northern Ireland can reopen.

For weeks, speculation had suggested courses wouldn’t be reopening until the end of May at the earliest, but with the resumption of the game in England and Wales, pressure has built on the Scottish government to allow courses to resume, although clubhouses will almost certainly largely remain out of bounds, as in the rest of the UK.

According to the paper, ‘ Nicola Sturgeon is preparing to ease the lockdown in Scotland, with an announcement of plans to let people return to leisure pursuits — such as golf, tennis and fishing — expected as early as Tuesday.’

Stormont’s first minister Arlene Foster has released a five-stage blueprint for easing the restrictions in force since the Covid-19 outbreak, but this has no timetable.

The desperation to play the game in Scotland last week resulted in a greenkeeper at Merchants of Edinburgh Golf Club being “threatened” by a golfer, reports The Scotsman.

The venue has seen frustrated golfers starting to turn up, mainly to practice, without permission.

“We have been advised this morning of an incident which has just occurred at the course,” Merchants club manager Melanie Dobie said in an email to members.

“A member of our green staff, while carrying out his duties, was threatened by a golfer.

“This individual, who claimed to be a member, was practising on the putting green at the first tee and our green staff told him the course and all practice facilities were closed and he should refrain from playing. Our staff member was then verbally abused and physically threatened by a club. This behaviour is totally unacceptable and no one should have to experience this when carrying out their duties.”

The incident came a few hours after the police were called to nearby Mortonhall Golf Club following a report of people playing there. Mortonhall club manager Alan Mackay said: “I have been in touch with police on a regular basis about the amount of ‘traffic’ on the golf course at times, which has been ridiculous.

“The police were called again last night as a member who was out walking took a picture of people golfing.

“By time they arrived, they had gone and were then called out to another incident.”

Mackay added: “80 per cent of people are very courteous in where they walk on the course.

Update: Nicola Sturgeon has revealed that Scottish golf courses can reopen ‘within a few days’ of May 28.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 17, 2020 04:40
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6 Comments

  1. Bryan May 19, 10:18

    Whole situation is a scandal. Golf and many outdoor activities are the victims of political games. I fear for many of the municipal courses which will have been neglected for nearly 9 weeks come the reopening, that’s if it is the 28th – more likely to be the 1st June. So much for the SG listening to the public.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Andy B May 18, 09:39

    Great news for the Scottish industry. Ireland back open today!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Todd May 18, 09:09

    Good news for the industry and golf fans!

    Reply to this comment
  4. James J May 18, 06:58

    Fingers crossed…

    … but only until I get on the 1st tee…

    …then it’ll be the Vardon Grip as normal.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Andy B May 18, 05:39

    Hopefully this is correct! ‍♂️⛳️‍♂️⛳️

    Reply to this comment
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