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COVID-19 update - 13th January

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Scottish golf courses CAN remain open despite a further tightening of COVID-19 mitigation measures outlined by the Scottish Government this afternoon. 

Following today’s update in Parliament from the First Minister, a reminder to all affiliated clubs that mainland Scotland is currently in a temporary lockdown or enhanced Level 4 (Stay at Home), with guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

Some islands will remain at Level 3 and golf clubs in these areas can continue to follow the relevant guidance for Level 3. For all areas currently in Level 4 (Stay at Home), new restrictions will come into force on Saturday. These are:

Click and collect services should not be offered at this time. Takeaways can no longer allow customers indoors, and must instead operate from a hatch or doorway. 

The sale of alcohol for consumption outdoors is not permitted in all level 4 areas. Indoor starter facilities should not be offered at this time.

An updated table summarising the rules for the current lockdown period (Level 4 – Stay at Home) and Level 3 can be accessed here.

As with all of our COVID-19 guidance, this is subject to further change which can take place at short notice. Should any changes take place, we will inform all affiliated clubs as soon as possible.


COVID-19 Update – 5 January 2021

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Following our COVID-19 update yesterday, we are now in a position to provide further information about the new enhanced restrictions. Please note that mainland Scotland has now moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown or enhanced Level 4 (Stay at Home), with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes.

Some islands will remain at Level 3 and golf clubs in these areas can continue to follow the relevant guidance in our Local Protection Levels Table here

An updated table summarising the rules for the current lockdown period (Level 4 – Stay at Home) can be accessed here and are effective immediately:
• 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
As with all of our COVID-19 guidance, this is subject to further change which can take place at short notice. Should any changes take place, we will inform all affiliated clubs as soon as possible.

We are in a unique and privileged position in Scotland with our golf courses being permitted to stay open and we respectfully ask that everyone adapts their operations accordingly to ensure that every facility continues to adhere to the revised guidelines. In doing so we can, as a sport, play our part in minimising further spread of the virus, whilst ensuring that golfers across Scotland can continue to enjoy the many health benefits from playing golf.


COVID-19 update 21st December

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Following the First Minister’s weekend announcement that a move to Level 4 will be implemented from 26 December, we can advise that there has been no changes advised to the previously shared sporting guidance based on each local protection level.

The Scottish Golf website remains current and the full detail of what is permitted can be found here, with further details from sportscotland on the wider sporting framework and responsibilities of COVID officers available here.

Should there be any changes advised in the days ahead, we shall of course keep you updated but in the meantime all detail on our website shows the current position for golf.

With best wishes to you and your membership for a safe festive season and collectively let’s hope for better things to come in 2021.


SG events to return in 2021

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Scottish Golf is pleased to announce a full schedule of events for golfers of all ages and abilities will be returning in 2021.

Following a season-long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a full 2021 schedule will offer thousands of golfers the opportunity to play some of Scotland’s top golf courses and bid to become a National Champion. With over 120,000 downloads of the Scottish Golf App since the start of November, the upcoming season will also see several exciting changes to enhance the player and viewer experience. Full hole-by-hole live scoring will now be available at all Scottish Golf events for the first time as players input their scores and sign off scorecards directly on their mobile devices using the Scottish Golf App. The App, which is free to download here, has many exciting features which entrants will be able to take full advantage of in 2021. This includes simple event entry, live scoring and an on-course Caddie which will give you accurate course information for every one of our Host Venues.

The Scottish Medal Finals will make its debut as a combined event in 2021 with affiliated clubs invited to enter three of their top-performing male and female players from both the 2019 and 2020 season’s monthly medals into one of six Regional Finals taking place during May and July. On the day of the Regional Final, male and female players will play alongside each other with the top six net male and female qualifiers booking their place at the Home of Golf for the Grand Final which will be played over The Duke’s Course on Sunday 15 August. The offering for club golfers continues with the hugely successful and free-to-enter R&A 9-Hole Challenge, with Milnathort once again playing host to the two-day Scottish National Final on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 June. The prize for the top four teams from the National Final is the money-can’t-buy experience of playing in the R&A 9-hole Challenge Final over Royal St. Georges on the eve of The 149th Open Championship where they will compete against fellow qualifiers from across the world for the overall title.

Completing the portfolio of National Championships for club golfers is the free-to-enter PING Scottish Mixed Championship which will this year be played over former Men’s and Women’s Scottish Open venue, Gullane No.1 on Friday 17 September. This event will see the Top 40 pairs from a National Leaderboard qualify for a great day out and some fantastic prizes courtesy of Championship sponsors PING.

Fraser Munro, Head of Events at Scottish Golf, said: “2020 has been a hugely difficult year for everyone but we are looking forward to getting back out and engaging with clubs and golfers in the new year. Entries recently opened for our newly combined Scottish Medal Finals and we have been hugely encouraged by the level of response it has received.

“As always, none of this would be possible without the support of our various stakeholders including our many host venues for allowing us access to their wonderful courses and our generous event partners for providing some outstanding prizes throughout the season. With more than 120,000 people having now downloaded the Scottish Golf App, our events and the information available will be more accessible than ever and we look forward to welcoming more golfers of all ages and abilities to our events going forward.”

At elite level, the domestic season tees off with the Scottish Boys’ and Girls’ Open Championships taking place 7-9 April at Lundin and Longniddry who will be celebrating their centenary.

Scottish Golf’s flagship Women’s and Men’s Amateur Championships will be staged over Gullane (4 – 6 June) and Murcar Golf Links & Portlethen (27 – 31 July) with Southerness (28 – 30 May) and the newly announced 2024 Open Championship venue Royal Troon (16-18 April) playing host to the Scottish Men’s Open and Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championships respectively. Elsewhere the Scottish Senior Men’s Open Championship will take place at Duff House Royal (16-18 June), Aberdour will host the Scottish Senior Women’s Open Championship (22 – 25 June) as part of their 125th-anniversary celebrations with the Scottish Boys’ and Girls’ Amateur Championships being held at Bruntsfield Links and Strathaven in July, with Kirkcaldy and Stirling completing the offering by hosting the Scottish Boy’s U14 Open and Scottish Girl’s Open (8 – 9 August) respectively.

Participants should note that we will continue to work with our partners in Government and sportscotland to ensure that all events adhere to any restrictions in place at the time. Entries for all 2021 Scottish Golf National Championships will open on 1st February 2021 via the Scottish Golf App and website. To see the full 2021 schedule, please click here.


Latest Scottish Golf newsletter

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In this week's newsletter we bring you more information about our Club Events for 2021, with club's encouraged to schedule their qualifying rounds for next year's Scottish PING Mixed Championship and The R&A 9-Hole Challenge. Clubs can also catch up on our recent WHS Zoom Call which covers some of the most frequently asked questions in relation to the new World Handicap System.

The newsletter may be viewed here


One month of WHS

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It’s been one month since we went live with one of the biggest changes in golf in recent times. The new World Handicap System allows golfers to have a handicap which is portable around the world and will welcome more golfers into the game by making it easier to understand. Since going live with WHS on 2nd November in Scotland, we have seen an incredible 30,000 scores submitted through the system. All scores have been calculated correctly, providing golfers with an updated Index that is reflective of their demonstrated ability overnight. 

We are delighted to see that over 100,000 golfers in Scotland have also now registered for the Scottish Golf App. The App, which has a variety of different functions from allowing General Play scores to Course Look up information, is the go-to place for News and Handicap information in Scotland. 

General Play is a new feature under WHS allows golfers to play for their handicap at any time using the Scottish Golf App. Since going live with WHS, over 6,000 General Play scores have been submitted, with 4,000 of these being processed through the Scottish Golf App.


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