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Martin Gilbert set to be next SG Chair

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Martin Gilbert, one of Scotland’s best-known business figures, is set to become the chair of Scottish Golf, the national governing body of the sport in Scotland. The Scottish Golf board has announced that Martin, who has actively supported golf in Scotland for over 20 years, will be presented as chair-elect at the AGM in March 2021, when Eleanor Cannon will step down after a six-year term as chair.

Martin has been a prominent supporter of golf in Scotland for many years, firstly through Aberdeen Asset Management and latterly Aberdeen Standard Investments. Via his businesses he has also sponsored leading Scottish golfers including Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie, Women’s Open Championship winner Catriona Matthew and recent European Tour winner, Robert MacIntyre. Eleanor Cannon said: “This is a tremendous coup for golf in Scotland and the entire board is delighted that Martin, whose passion and support for the sport are very widely known, has agreed to take on this role next year.

“His achievements, both in business globally and in his role as the biggest supporter of Scottish Golf over the past two decades, speak for themselves and I am sure his dynamic approach will allow Scottish Golf to flourish. I am extremely pleased that our members and our sport will benefit from Martin’s guidance and undoubted love for golf in the years ahead. Martin Gilbert said: “As many people know, golf has been a lifelong passion of mine and I’m hugely excited to be taking up this role in the Home of Golf. I commend Eleanor and her team for their sterling leadership of the new, amalgamated body since its inception in 2015. 

“The strategic direction that has been adopted by Scottish Golf is bold and exciting. I am very much looking forward to progressing this strategy and working closely with the board, the team and the membership in continuing to develop the game at all levels in Scotland.”


COVID-19 Update 20th November

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As detailed in our COVID-19 Update yesterday, we were awaiting final detail from the Scottish Government about travel restrictions which will become law from 6pm this evening (Friday 20 November). Following the parliamentary process, Scottish Golf has today received updated information on these restrictions and can confirm that the rules regarding travel are as follows:
• Participants can travel to take part in organised sport and physical activity or informal exercise within their own Local Authority area.
• If you live in a Level 3 or Level 4 local authority area you should:
o Avoid any unnecessary travel out of the area.
o Keep journeys within the area to an absolute minimum.
• Participants aged 18 years or over (adults) living in a Level 3 or Level 4 area should only travel locally (within around 5 miles of their local authority area) to take part in physically distanced non-contact sport or exercise outdoors. You can also take part in local informal exercise such as golf that starts and finishes at the same place but straddles the boundary of two local authority areas.

• Participants aged 18 years or over (adults) who live in a Level 0, 1 or 2 area should minimise unnecessary journeys and avoid travel to Level 3 or Level 4 areas to take part in sport or physical activity.
• Participants aged 17 years or under can travel to and from Level 0, 1, 2 and 3 areas (but not Level 4) to take part in organised sport, physical activity, training and competition. Where living in a Level 4 area then you should only travel locally (within around 5 miles of their local authority area) to take part in physically distanced non-contact sport or exercise outdoors. You can also take part in local informal exercise such as golf that starts and finishes at the same place but straddles the boundary of two local authority areas. Read the full article here


COVID-19 update 18 November

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Following our last communication on Tuesday 17th November, Scottish Golf is now in a position to provide all affiliated clubs with further guidance relating to the Scottish Government’s COVID protection levels by local area. With restrictions tightening across many parts of the country, we welcome the fact that on-course activity can continue across Scotland in compliance with local restrictions. In recognising the contribution of golf to the physical and mental health of our membership, we are most appreciative of the opportunity to keep the golf courses open and our golfing community benefiting from playing the game during these ongoing times of uncertainty. We have been working with our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government to gain final sign-off on our latest version of our COVID-19 Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers. Please note that our updated guidance includes a new summary sheet detailing what golf activity can take place under each level of protection. This information should be used in conjunction with Scottish Golf’s main guidance and clubs should be aware that this guidance may be subject to further change. Should this happen, we will continue to keep all clubs informed. Read the full article here

 


Travel guidance updated

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Following the First Minister's update in Parliament on Tuesday 10 November, Scottish Golf has been in further dialogue with our partners at sportscotland to gain further clarity on the current travel guidance in place.

We are now able to provide the following updated travel guidance for all golf clubs below:

  • You should avoid travel to other areas regardless of their level unless essential. 
  • For exercise/sport – there is an exemption, however, it is limited:  
  • In Level 4, not permitted to drive outside your Local Authority area for exercise – you can cross boundaries in the process of exercising i.e if a golf course straddles two Local Authority area boundaries.  
  • In Level 3 - You can travel anywhere within your local authority area to take part in sport. You may cross a local authority boundary by up to 5 miles if necessary,  this includes where a golf course straddles two local authority areas. You can currently travel up to 5 miles into another local authority for sport where this is absolutely necessary and you cannot access the sport otherwise. If there is a more local option to play golf within your local authority area, this would be recommended as unnecessary travel is being actively discouraged.  
  • In Levels 0-2 - Adults should, where possible, minimise unnecessary travel between areas and not travel to a Level 3 or 4. Read the full statement here

Submitting General Play scores

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One of the major benefits of the new World Handicap System (WHS) is the option to submit General Play scores. General Play enables you to submit scores for your WHS Handicap Index from any course at any time – you can even decide to do this on the day. Therefore you don’t have to wait until the next medal day at your club or for an open competition in order to improve your handicap. It’s also a great way to see how regular submission of scores will give you a Handicap Index that is more reflective of your play, which is one of the key benefits of WHS.

Whether you are playing socially with friends at your local course, or looking to test yourself on a Championship Course, General Play will allow you to submit a score from any tees you choose. You can register and submit your General Play scores quickly and easily through the Scottish Golf App. To submit your first General Play score, simply click the link below, check out our guide on General Play and head out on to the course! Find out more here


WHS updates for clubs

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Since going live with the new World Handicap System on 2 November, Scottish Golf has already processed over 8,000 scores through the new calculator, with 5,000 of these scores being submitted on Saturday alone.

There have already been 2,000 general play scores submitted by golfers across the country and we are pleased to say that over 10,000 handicap records have been recalculated and ready for the following day, giving us confidence that the new system is already working well and ensuring a golfer's handicap is demonstrative of their ability.

As outlined in our Initial Handicap Index Calculation document, we know that some golfers at your club will have experienced some anomalies within their record.

Today, we are pleased to provide all affiliated clubs with the required tools to make any adjustments deemed necessary. Below you will find instructions on how to delete a score from a player's record and how to make handicap adjustments. Read more here


Lawrie and Matthew to mentor

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Two of Scotland’s most successful golfers, Paul Lawrie and Catriona Matthew, are to help deliver the next generation of golf champions as they begin a mentoring programme with the country’s top young talent.

Paul and Catriona will also contribute to a broad review into the structure of Scottish Golf’s performance programmes and player pathway. The review, which will be conducted over the winter and in collaboration with a range of other key external stakeholders, will aim to further develop and improve the output of Scottish Golf’s performance programmes and ensure resources are being allocated in the most appropriate and effective manner.

Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Golf said: “It is very exciting to have Catriona and Paul on board and we are very much looking forward to working with them in a number of different capcities in the coming weeks and months. I can’t think of anyone more appropriate to help us further develop our performance programmes than two of Scotland’s most successful golfers. Read the full story here


Get ready for WHS

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From Thursday 23rd October Scottish Golf started the World Handicap System (WHS) transition process of golfer handicaps as we move to implement the new WHS. The main part of this transition was the calculation of every current CONGU Handicap into a WHS Index and golfers may have noticed their projected handicap has changed several times over the last few days as we aligned the data from the two systems.

To find out more about how we have generated initial handicap values that are as accurate as possible, please click here to access our WHS Initial Handicap Index document. This document also aims to answer some of the additional questions golfers may have around the process.