Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID-19 - Ayrshire courses take on Government advice to close

Following the advice issued last night and this morning by Scottish Golf in response to the Government announcements yesterday, most Ayrshire clubs are shutting their courses with immediate effect, to ensure the safety of their members and the wider community in general.

The Scottish Golf statement last night urged all golfers to stay at home and stop playing until further notice. The full text of the announcement is:-

In its latest measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK Government has announced that everyone must now stay at home except in exceptional circumstances. 

The new measures announced state that you may only leave home: 

to go to work (if you are a key worker)
to infrequently shop for groceries, medicine and other essentials
to exercise outside once a day 
to provide care or help a vulnerable person 
for any medical need
While golf is an outdoor sport that allows players to exercise in the fresh air, the message to all of us is clear, we must stay home and play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19. 

With this in mind, Scottish Golf asks that all golfers in Scotland refrain from golfing until further notice. 

We understand that this advice will have a significant impact on golf clubs across the country and we will continue to consult with industry partners to provide clubs with all information and support possible during this time of deep uncertainty. 

We know that these decisions are difficult ones to make, but right now, it is our shared responsibility to prioritise the health of our local communities by working together to follow the Government guidelines. In doing so, this will ensure that we get the opportunity to play the game that we all love as soon as it is safe to do so.

Last week, North Ayrshire Council and East Ayrshire Council took the decision to close their municipal courses and since the announcement late last night a number of other clubs and courses have followed suit.

It has been confirmed that the courses administered by Golf South Ayrshire in Troon, Ayr, Maybole and Girvan will also be closed with immediate effect and an announcement to that effect is imminent.

Many private clubs around the county such as Kilmarnock Barassie, Prestwick St Cuthbert, Loudoun, Prestwick St Nicholas have also announced the closure of their courses until advice to reopen is forthcoming, and it is hoped that all courses in the county will take the same position going forward.

At the moment, advice from Scottish Golf published today indicates that essential maintenance of courses will be able to continue at present,

The full text of the advice is :-

COVID-19 Update – Advice for greens staff

Following last night’s announcement, Scottish Golf has been working with partners from across the golf industry to seek further information from the Government on guidance for greens staff.

Scottish Golf has today received the following advice from the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:

For security and essential maintenance purposes, greenkeeping staff can still attend work.
All work must be carried out in strict accordance with government guidelines on social distancing.
We are aware that this is an uncertain time and would like thank you for your understanding during this ever-changing situation. 

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