In response to a number of enquiries, Scottish Golf have reiterated the current guidance in respect of the hosting of Open competitions in Scotland, which remain off limits for the present, with no return to competitive Open events envisaged in the near future. The ban on open competitions includes large outings with a competitive element.
The latest advice, issued to member clubs and Area/County Associations by Scottish Golf this week, is reproduced below.
Dear Member Clubs,
Scottish Golf continues to work with Sportscotland and the Scottish Government as we continue to transition through the different Phases of Scotland’s route map out of lockdown.
Following continued discussions with the Government during the transition into Phase 3, our guidance on Open Competitions has had to remain the same, in that these cannot be played at present. We understand that this does present golf clubs across Scotland with significant challenges but at this time, where public health remains the priority, we wanted to provide all affiliated clubs with some more information on the framework behind this decision.
During the easing of lockdown restrictions, golf has been, and continues to be, viewed as an extension to exercise, not a return to sport. This is consistent across the sport sector in Scotland and it is imperative that all golf clubs follow the current rules regarding competitions that are in effect.
These rules can be accessed on the Scottish Golf website, and state:
“22.1 Competitions or events where groups of more than 5 households (or extended households) (maximum of 15 people) congregate at any one time are not permitted.
“22.2 Competitions should only be undertaken locally and informally at your own club/venue where household, physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place.
“22.3 Travel to competition out with your normal club/venue of play is not permitted.”
We recognise that some professional events have confirmed their intent to resume in Scotland behind-closed-doors later this summer. We would like to make clear to clubs that the resumption of these elite events will be subject to adherence of rigorous COVID-19 testing protocols that sit within the performance sport framework. These requirements are world-leading and in many cases, the costs associated would not be viable for non-professional and non-elite performance events.
Golf is a game that prides itself on sporting integrity and as the national governing body, we must again emphasise that we all have a role to play in maintaining the integrity of the game and if necessary applying sanctions to any organisation found to be in breach of the ruling on running open competitions. This is not something we would wish to see and would encourage all clubs to familiarise themselves with the current guidance and take appropriate action to ensure that all guidelines are being met.
Thanks once again, for your continued support and understanding as we remain in this extension to exercise phase.
Karin Sharp, Scottish Golf COO