As the golf season starts to come out of hibernation for 2021, the Scottish Golf Performance Programme is getting into full swing with the release of the structure that has been developed in conjunction with Paul Lawrie and Catriona Matthew. The Performance Programme is devised to add value and support to the work the player is doing with their personal coach. It is not about teaching a player how to improve their swing – their coach already does that. It is about developing potential and maximising performance of our elite players at men’s, women’s, boy’s, and girl’s levels to prepare physically and mentally for competitive golf at the highest level. Read more here
Scottish Golf Performance Programme
National Junior Framework
The Scottish Golf National Junior Framework is a one-stop-shop that will enable affiliated clubs to plan, fund, manage and grow a junior section all in one place. The comprehensive Framework, available at www.ScottishJuniorGolf.org, supports clubs who want to increase their junior membership and is based on consultation with a wide range of people who work on the frontline of junior golf, including junior organisers, PGA professionals, volunteer coaches, the Paul Lawrie Foundation, Stephen Gallacher Foundation, PGA, Junior Golf Scotland, Children’s Golf Trust, R&A and the Golf Foundation.
For more details click here
Once In A Lifetime Opportunities For Your Members
Entries are open for three of the most popular Scottish Golf events for golfers of all ages and abilities. Clubs are encouraged to register their qualifying rounds to ensure that they are represented on the national stage.
• PING Scottish Mixed Championship - Entries for the PING Scottish Mixed Championship are now open, with this year’s Grand Final being held at the former Scottish Open venue Gullane No.1.
• R&A 9 hole challenge - The Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Challenge returns for a two-day National Final on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th June
• Scottish Medals Finals - With over 450 entries received to date, spaces are becoming limited in some of this year’s Scottish Medal Finals.
For more details of these opportunities - click here
COVID-19 Update 12th March
Following our latest COVID-19 update, we have worked with our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government to gain final approval on our updated guidance.
We have now achieved sign-off on our updated guidance which is available here.
Clubs should note that from Friday 12 March:
• Golf courses with a designated COVID Officer can permit organised golf for members who live within the local authority area. Play can take place in four-balls with no restrictions on the number of households.
• Golf courses without a designated COVID Officer, or where members are crossing a local authority boundary to play, can remain open for play with a maximum of four players from two households.
• For groups over the age of 12, coaching should not exceed group sizes of 15.
• For groups under the age of 12, coaching should not exceed group sizes of 30.
Since our last update, we have received several queries relating to the new group numbers and limits. We wish to provide clubs with further clarity on this.
The guidance to permit 4-ball play from 4 different households to members who live within the local authority area is in-line with new sport-specific guidance developed by sportscotland and the Scottish Government for organised sport. Cross-border travel from one local authority area to another for organised sport is not currently permitted. Within the latest guidance, golf continues to be considered a form of informal exercise, where participants are permitted to travel up to five miles from their local authority boundary to take part. However, where this is the case, household limits of 4 people from 2 households apply.
Scottish Golf does not set the rules or parameters for these distinctions. However, we will continue to provide feedback on their practicalities for our member clubs. In comparison with most other sports across Scotland, we are in a unique and fortunate position to benefit from being identified as both organised sport and informal exercise at this time. We remind all clubs and golfers in Scotland that we remain in a privileged position, with courses across the country remaining open for play. Being able to benefit from playing golf should not be taken for granted, and we kindly ask that all clubs and golfers adhere to the latest guidance to ensure we can continue to make positive progress out of lockdown.
Keep up to date on our latest COVID-19 updates here.
COVID-19 Update 10th March
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.
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.
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. Where golfers are required to travel up to five miles across a local authority boundary, players will be required to adhere to informal exercise guidance which is subject to household limits of 4 players from 2 households.
Therefore, changes announced yesterday mean that from Friday 12 March:
Golf courses with a designated COVID Officer can permit organised golf for members who live within the local authority area -
Play can take place in four-balls with no restrictions on the number of households.
Golf courses without a designated COVID Officer, or where members are crossing a local authority boundary to play -
They can remain open for play with a maximum of four players from two households.
For groups over the age of 12, coaching should not exceed group sizes of 15. For groups under the age of 12, coaching should not exceed group sizes of 30.
We anticipate further guidance from our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government relating to children and young people. We will communicate these updates to all clubs as soon as possible.
We also look forward to a more substantive update from the First Minister next week relating to the return to a protection levels approach. That update is likely to include more details for clubhouses, retail and travel and will again be subject to the same sign-off process as outlined above. In the meantime, it is important to remind all golfers that they must remain close to home, travelling only for essential purposes in line with the current travel legislation.
Keep up to date on all the latest COVID-19 updates on our dedicated webpage here.
Scottish Golf Annual Review 2020
The Scottish Golf Annual Review for 2020 was held on Zoom on 7th March. Eleanor Cannon who vacates the Chair of Scottish Golf this year remarked on the challenges of the last 12 months, at a time when businesses worldwide faced extraordinarily difficult circumstances. An SG review to reassess the financial position and reprioritise activity, resulted in support to affiliated clubs and a rebate of 25% in affiliation fees, plus regular COVID-19 updates and advice. The implementation of the new World Handicap System (WHS) in November was one of the largest changes to handicapping the game of golf has ever seen.
Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Golf, said, “2020 was an incredibly tough year, but one in which we delivered significant improvements in our focused services to our members. 2021 will be about continuing to build on these improvements and to support our affiliated clubs no matter what happens.
View the complete annual review here
Scottish Golf February newsletter
Following the First Minister's latest update on COVID-19 restrictions, please note that there is no change to the current position for golf. This means:
• Golf courses can remain open for play with a maximum of two players from up to two households
• Outdoor coaching will be restricted to 2 people (including the coach) for those 12 years or over. Under 12s do not count towards the number so a coach can take larger groups of up to 30 U12s
• Golfers must stay close to home, travel only for essential purposes (which includes golf as part of the permitted exercise activities) and in line with the new legislation
The next update is not anticipated until mid-March. Should anything change, we will keep clubs up to date on our COVID-19 page.
To read the full newsletter click here
Member Handicaps ready for season
The 2021 golf season heralds the beginning of the first full season of the World Handicapping System (WHS). Not only does WHS provide an international standard for handicaps that is based on course difficulty, but it also enables club members to submit a General Play score at any time from any course.
If experiences around the world are anything to go by, then clubs in Scotland could see a dramatic increase in scores submitted for handicap. In New Zealand the first full year of WHS saw a 25% per month increase in rounds played, with peak months even higher.
General Play scores can be submitted directly by anyone with a valid Scottish Golf CDH ID via the Scottish Golf App or other CONGU approved systems. This creates more opportunities for golfers to submit scores for handicapping at their home course, or when playing as a visitor elsewhere.
For clubs there is also the opportunity to relieve pressure on competition start sheets by golfers submitting a General Play score on other days, so that those who want to play competitively for handicap when the course is quieter can do so.
When WHS was introduced earlier in 2020, incorrect CDH IDs, or indeed the fact that not every member had one, contributed to the issues with inconsistent data that were overcome through the hard work of clubs and Scottish Golf. Now that these issues have been resolved we are sure everyone would like to keep the data as consistent as possible!
In the past, some clubs have tended to only give CDH ID numbers to members who played in competitions, as that was the only way to submit a score for handicap. However, now golfers can also submit a General Play score at any time, it is imperative that all members have the CDH ID they are eligible for.
With a potential increase in rounds as golfers take advantage of General Play, Scottish Golf is therefore urging golf clubs to ensure that every member has a CDHID in time for the start of the season so that everyone can benefit from having a WHS Handicap Index.