Tuesday, December 01, 2020


Entry forms for the six Ayrshire Golf Association extended competitions in 2021 were emailed to member clubs today.

The events concerned are:-

The Champion of Champions Trophy

The Ayrshire Fourball Championship

The Gary Bryden memorial Salver (Scratch Club Team Knockout)

The Handicap League Championship

The President's Putter (Handicap Club Team Knockout)

The Scratch Leagues

With all the extended competitions being cancelled due to the  COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it has been decided that, in the Champion of Champions and Fourball Championship events, that clubs can also enter their 2020 nominee in the 2021 competition IN ADDITION to the 2021 nominee.

In another change to the Champion of Champions competition, going forward, only the previous seasons champion can represent the club in the event, with no alternative nominee being permitted.

All entries for these competitions should be in the hands of the Area Secretary, along with the appropriate entry fees, by 31st January 2021.

If any Club Secretary does not receive the email with the entry forms, they should contact the Area Secretary direct.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


Due to the ongoing global pandemic, approval was sought from member clubs to deal with AGM business, due to be discussed at the AGM on 20th October, by way of written submission and approval, or otherwise, for one year only, due to the exceptional circumstances.

The proposal to deal with business in this manner attracted no dissenters, and in the event 25 member clubs, over 1/3 of the membership, submitted their responses which resulted in unanimous approval of the eleven proposals for the AGM.

The fists six proposals were for approval of the 2019 AGM minutes and adoption of the President's report, Financial report, Coaching report, Course rating report and Ayrshire Junior Golf League report.

John W Watt

Vice President
Scott Gilchrist

Again, in recognition of the exceptional circumstances in 2020, proposals that John W Watt (Prestwick St Cuthbert) and Scott Gilchrist (Loudoun) serve a further one year term as President and Vice President respectively, were approved.

Alasdair Malcolm (Prestwick St Cuthbert) was re elected Secretary/Treasurer for 2020 - 2021.

Mike Hazlewood (Ayr Neptune), Andy Gilligan (Troon St Meddans) and Barry O'Rourke (Loudoun) were all re elected to The Executive for a further 3 year period. whilst Hugh McKenzie (Troon Welbeck) Willie McCormick (Ayr Seafield) and Allan Muir (Caprington) stood down from The executive and did not seek re election.

The Executive proposal that the per capita for 2020 - 2021 be set at £2.50, a reduction of 10 pence, was approved, whilst the Scottish Golf per capita payment remained at £14.50.

In early November all member clubs were circulated by email with the 2020 - 2021 membership returns form, with a request that these be submitted to the Area Secretary by the end of November at the latest.

Invoices for payment will thereafter be sent out to member clubs towards the end of 2020.

Entry forms for the extended county matchplay competitions in 2021 will be forwarded by email to member clubs in the near future

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

BALLOCHMYLE GOLF CLUB - Head Greenkeeper vacancy advertised

 Ballochmyle golf club are advertising for a new Head Greenkeeper. 

Any interested parties should make application as detailed below.




Catrine Road, Mauchline, KA5 6LE

Tel: 01290 550469 e:

 Ballochmyle Golf Club - Head Greenkeeper

 An opportunity has arisen for the position of Head Greenkeeper at Ballochmyle Golf Club, located in East Ayrshire.

Responsible for:  Ensuring the maintenance and upkeep of the golf course so that it exceeds the expectations of members, guests & visitors.

 Background:   The successful candidate will lead a team of green-keeping staff.   The role is permanent and full time.

Main duties and responsibilities:

·   Maintain a professional and welcoming approach at all times when dealing with members, guests and visitors.

·   Carry out effective turf maintenance through the establishment of schedules and programmes of annual, monthly, weekly and daily maintenance, which maximise efficiency at the course.

·   Ensure the course is prepared for play including marking hazards; ground under repair and placing tee markers; bunkers; golf furniture and general green maintenance.

·   Manage and conduct construction / renovation projects.

·   Oversee the preparation and maintenance of equipments for use.

·   Operate and maintain irrigation systems.

·    Plan and manage the control of weeds, pests and disease.

·    Maintain appropriate levels of supplies ensuring safe and effective control of all stored materials.

·   Allocate work rotas and supervise green-keeping staff.

·   Ensure the correct procedures are followed regarding the use of all machinery, fertilisers and chemicals.

·   Take all reasonable steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees, patrons and visitors, by following all legislative guidelines for the preparation, use and disposal of chemicals, the safe use of tools, plant and equipment and promoting safe working practices in all areas of operation at the course.

·    Comply with company policies, rules and procedures at all times.

Desirable skills:

·   PA1, PA2 & PA6 Spraying certificates.

·   Relevant Chain Saw Certificates.

·   Knowledge of Turf Machinery.

·   Full UK Driving Licence.

·   Machine Maintenance skills.


Remuneration will be dependent on experience and qualifications.

28 days annual paid leave which includes Bank Holidays.

Staff workplace pension scheme.

Uniform and Safety wear provided.



If you are an ambitious individual and looking to join a forward thinking golf club, please apply by email (with your CV and covering letter) to Andy Harrow, Secretary at:


Friday, October 09, 2020

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS - Golf clubhouse catering to close in Ayrshire for 2 weeks following latest restrictions

The latest COVID-19 restrictions, announced on Thursday 8th October, will mean that clubhouse catering facilities in Ayrshire will require to close down, with the exception of carry out food services, between 9th and 25th October.

Though the stricter constraints on a national level allow for some continuation of service in some areas, health board areas in the central belt, including Ayrshire & Arran are subject to stricter regulations which means all in house clubhouse refreshment and food provision will be suspended for that period.

The latest guidance note from Scottish Golf was published on Thursday 8th October, following the announcement of tighter restrictions, and is reproduced below.

Following the First Minister’s latest update in Parliament on Wednesday 7 October, Scottish Golf has been in dialogue with our partners at sportscotland and the Scottish Government to obtain further clarity about the new national restrictions being implemented across Scotland and how these might impact private member clubs.

On-course golf activities can continue under our current Phase 3 Guidance, with up to four players from four different households allowed to participate together. There are no changes to access to toilet facilities, locker rooms or professional shops which can continue to be utilised provided all appropriate measures, such as use of face masks, increased sanitation are adhered to. 

The key changes that apply to all golf club, are the hospitality restrictions which apply to private members clubs across the country. These are summarised below and are effective from 6pm on Friday 9th October 2020:

Pubs and licensed cafes in five Scottish health board areas - Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley - must shut to all but takeaway customers

In other parts of Scotland not mentioned above, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes can operate 6am to 6pm but cannot serve alcohol indoors during that time. These premises can sell alcohol outdoors until 10pm. 

Rules on gatherings remain the same with a maximum of six people from two households permitted.  

The changes announced vary across different regions of the country and we would encourage all clubs to familiarise themselves with the latest guidance and how it may impact their operations. These measures are in place for an initial 16-day period and will be reviewed thereafter by the Scottish Government. 

Scottish Golf remains in dialogue with sportscotland and the Scottish Government to seek further clarification on the potential impact of restrictions on indoor activity for driving ranges and swing rooms. Further information will be provided as and when it is received from government.

We would like to thank all clubs and golfers across Scotland for your ongoing adherence to the latest guidance during these trying times. Scottish Golf will continue to keep all involved in the game updated via our dedicated COVID-19 webpage which can be accessed here.

Kind regards,

Karin Sharp, Chief Operating Officer

Saturday, October 03, 2020

AYRSHIRE GOLF ASSOCIATION A.G.M. - Papers sent to member clubs

Papers and annual reports relating to the 2020 A.G.M. of The Ayrshire Golf Association were emailed to all member clubs on Friday 2nd October.

The A.G.M was scheduled to take place on Tuesday 20th October, but due to the present COVID-19 restrictions, it has been proposed to deal with the A.G.M. business by completion of simple voting sheets this year, subject to the majority of member clubs bening comfortable with this approach.

The provisional A.G.M. agenda is:-

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of AGM of 22/10/2019 
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Presidents report 
  5. Financial report 
  6. Coaching report 
  7. Course rating report
  8. Ayrshire Junior League Report
  9. Election of President
  10. Election of Vice President
  11. Election of Secretary/Treasurer
  12. Election of General Committee
  13. SGL & Area Subscriptions
  14. AOCB

In accordance with the constitution, there are four retiring members from the executive this year (Allan Muir, Mike Hazlewood, Andy Gilligan & Barry O’Rourke). Allan Muir has indicated he will not stand for re-election and in addition Hugh McKenzie has intimated his intention to stand down at the date of the AGM.

It is likely there will remain at least four other vacancies, for varying periods of three, two and one year, on the Executive committee.

Clubs are requested to encourage interested members to contact the Secretary or Executive members for more information and if appropriate seek nomination for the vacant posts.

Under the constitution, Nominees must be a member of a club affiliated to The Ayrshire Golf Association and be proposed and seconded by members of affiliated clubs also.

The work of The Association Executive is varied and encompasses, amongst other things, Competitions, Course rating, handicapping, team administration at all age groups, rules and working with the National body and local agencies in the promotion of golf in the county.

All matters for the AGM, any proposals from member clubs and nominations for above positions and Executive posts require to be in the hands of The Secretary, in writing, by  Tuesday 13th October at the latest.  

As the current COVID-19 restrictions negate the possibility of holding a traditional AGM, it is intended, subject to the agreement of member clubs, to deal with business by completion of simple voting sheets this year. These will be distributed immediately after the closing date for acceptance of proposals for the AGM. In the event that a majority of member clubs are not comfortable with the proposed method of dealing with AGM business this year, alternative arrangements, incuding postponement or a virtual on line meeting will be considered.

The final Agenda of the meeting will be forwarded to member clubs immediately after 13th October,, along with a copy of the voting sheet, as appropriate,

If any member club has not  received the email and attached papers they should contact the Area Secretary as soon as possible at 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP - Ayrshire pair bow out in matchplay round 2

The Ayrshire duo of Ruben Lindsay (Ayr Belleisle) and Stuart Easton (Irvine) bowed out in round two of the matchplay stages of the 2020 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale on the afternoon of Thursday  27th August.

Lindsay, who led the qualifiers for the matchplay stages, faced Ilari Saulo of Finland who had won through a first round tie in the morning, but was beaten 2 & 1.

Stuart Easton was up against Joe Harvey from England and lost out by a single hole in his bid for a place in the last 32.

Of the seven Scots who qualified for the matchplay stages, only Connor Wilson (Castle Park) and Darren Howie (Peebles) made it through to the third round, which continues on Friday morning. 

WOMAN'S AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP - Hazel McGarvie bows out in first round of matchplay

Hazel McGarvie (Royal Troon) bowed out of the 2020 Woman's Amateur Championship at West Lancashire GC on Thursday morning, 27th August.

Playing England's Thalia Kirby (Stoke Park), Mcgarvie was all square with three holes to play but lost the sixteenth and seventeenth to exit the championship with a 2&1 defeat.

THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP - Ruben Lindsay leads the qualifiers at Royal Birkdale

Ruben Lindsay (Ayr Belleisle) led the qualifiers for the matchplay stages of the 2020 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale, with the two round strokeplay qualifying being reduced to just one round following the abandonment of play on Tuesday 25th August.

In Wednesday's strokeplay qualifying round, Lindsay had four birdies and an eagle with just two bogeys in a four under par round of  67 to lead the qualifiers for the matchplay, where he was joined by six other Scots including fellow Ayrshireman Stuart Easton (Irvine) who returned a two over par score of 73 to qualify in tied 18th place.

The other Scots who qualified for the matchplay stages were James Wilson (Balmore), Connor Wilson (Castle Park), Lewis Irvine (Kirkhill), Darren Howie (Peebles) and Andrew Davidson (Charlton)

With the cut falling at 76, five over par, ten Scots failed to qualify for the matchplay stages, including Jack Broun (Turnberry) who missed out by three shots with a seven over par score of 78.

Four first round matchplay ties to be completed on Thursday morning, and Ruben Lindsay must wait to find out his second round opponent, who he is due to play at 12.27 on Thuersday afternoon.

Stuart Easton tees off at 09.04 in his second round match against Englishman Joe Harvey (The Kendleshire).

The matchplay rounds continue over the next four days, with the 36 hole final scheduled to take place on Sunday 30th August. 

In the Woman's Amateur Championship, also being played this week at the West Lancashire Golf Club, the opening days play in the strokeplay qualifying on Tuesday was also abandoned and the strokeplay qualifying reduced to a single round on Wednesday.

The seven Scots who qualified for the matchplay stages, with the cut falling at 78, six over par, included Ayrshire's Hazel McGarvie (Royal Troon) who was the second best of the Scottish qualifiers with a one over par round of 73 in which four bogeys were offset by three birdies during the round.

The other Scots qualifiers were Clara Young (North Berwick), Hannah Darling (Broomieknowe), Jasmine Mackintosh (Murcar Links), Lorna McClymont (Milngavie), Chloe Goadby (St Regulus) and Penelope Brown (Auchterarder).

In the first round of the matchplay on Thursday morning, Hazel McGarvie tees off at 0746 against England's Thalia Kirby (Stoke Park).

The matchplay rounds continue over the next three days with the 18 hole final scheduled to be completed on the afternoon of Saturday 29th August.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY LEAGUES - All fixtures abandoned for 2020

The six West of Scotland Area Associations recently took the difficult decision to cancel all the scheduled West of Scotland Inter County fixtures for 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in place.

The Under 18 Boys' League fixtures had already been cancelled earlier in the season, at the height of the lockdown restrictions, and the West of Sctland Strokeplay Championship and West of Scotland Boys' Championships were also subsequently cancelled.

The West of Scotland A and Youths leagues were due to commence in mid September but taking a number of factors into account, including the present COVID-19 restrictions and the position of potential host clubs and their own condensed fixture arrangements this season and need to make as many tee times available to their membership, it was concluded that the most equitable way forward was to abandon all the West of Scotland fixtures for 2020. 

It is sincerely hoped the the full programme will go ahead in 2021

SCOTTISH GOLF - Latest advice on easing of COVID-19 restrictions

 Scottish Golf have recently clarified the latest easing of  

Add caption

COVID- 19 restrictions relating to golf clubs, including identifying Monday 31st August as the scheduled date for clubhouse locker rooms and indoor driving ranges to be reopened, as well as the resumption of outdoor coaching arrangements. 

Latest advise has also outlined changes in requirements for clubs providing catering services and clarified the position in respect of fourball groups going on to use the facilities in a clubhouse setting.

Details of the latest two releases by Scottish Golf are reproduced below:-

Scottish Golf wishes to make all affiliated clubs aware of new changes made to the Scottish Government's regulations for hospitality settings.

Effective immediately, it is now mandatory for hospitality venues to collect contact details of visitors to their premises in support of Test and Protect. The new regulations apply to all restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels in which food or drink are sold for consumption on the premises. 

Businesses must now record the name and contact number of an individual - or lead member of each household in a group - that visits the premises. They must also record the date of visit, the time of arrival, and where possible the departure time. 

For golfers checking in for food or drink in clubhouses before play, they should check out when they take to the course, and back in again should they visit the clubhouse following their round.

The new regulations include customers, staff working on a particular day and visitors such as delivery drivers or cleaners. Premises must store the information for 21 days and share it when requested to do so by public health officers within 24 hours.

New statutory guidance for the hospitality sector has been published which explains how to keep a record of customer and visitor contact details securely ensuring data protection principles are upheld. To view this guidance, please click here. 

The Scottish Government has also published updated guidance for hospitality customers to reinforce key safety measures. To view this guidance, please click here.

This includes the need to maintain physical distancing and the strict limits on the number of households that can meet at a time - 8 people from up to 3 households indoors and 15 people from up to 5 households outdoors.

While 4-balls from four households is permitted, it is important to note that this is not the case in clubhouse settings. We recognise this will pose clubs with a significant challenge but ask for your cooperation in adhering to the latest guidance to ensure everyone can continue to enjoy clubhouses being open at a time when the virus is still in circulation. 

Following the First Minister's update on Thursday 20 August, Scottish Golf is now in a position to provide all Clubs with an updated version of our Phase 3 Guidance for all Golf Clubs and Golfers. 

The following changes are effective:

From Monday 24 August: 

Outdoor coaching activity in groups of up to 30 will be permitted. 

From Monday 31 August: 

Access to indoor locker rooms and storage areas is permitted for the dropping off and collection of sports equipment or clothing.  The golf club should ensure mitigating actions are put in place to minimise the risk of virus transmission including physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning measures. 

Indoor Driving Ranges may re-open and facilities should ensure mitigating actions are put in place to minimise the risk of virus transmission including physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning measures.

AYRSHIRE CHAMPIONSHIPS - 2020 events abandoned due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation

The Ayrshire Golf Association Executive recently took the difficult decision to abandon all the 2020 Ayrshire Championships, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Going forward with some events was considered, however a number of factors including the identification of venues and consideration of club members, who have already suffered courses being unavailable for much of the season and are now trying to catch up with club fixtures, when potentially requesting courses to hold county events.

The events primarily affected are the Ayrshire Strokeplay Championship, Ayrshire Matchplay Championship, Ayrshire Seniors Championship, Ayrshire Club Championship, Ayrshire Boys Championship and Ayrshire Boys Matchplay Championship. 

The executive hope that potential competitors and clubs alike will appreciate that much thought was given to the matter before the decision to abandon the fixtures was taken, and sincerely hope that a full programme of events will return in 2021.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

BILL DOWIE - Former Ayrshire Golf Association President passes away


Golfers in Ayrshire, throughout Scotland and beyond will be saddened to learn of the passing, on Tuesday 11th August 2020, of former Ayrshire Golf Association President Bill Dowie of Ballochmyle Golf Club.

A Past Captain and Club Champion of his home club, and latterly Honorary President at Ballochmyle, Bill was well known in Scottish golf circles as well as in his home county.

Bill joined the Ayrshire Golf Association Executive in the 1980’s where he served for over 20 years, holding the post of Area President from 1990 to 1992. He later went on to represent Ayrshire on the Scottish Golf Union Executive from 1993, holding several positions within the national body, including Convenor of Championships, before retiring from both the Scottish Golf Union and Ayrshire Golf Association Executive positions in 2003.

Bill was a ‘weel kent face’, a friend to many and could always be relied on to take part in lively discussion and speak his mind, especially in golf related matters, whilst always being receptive to other views.

Though burdened with failing eyesight and health in recent years, Bill still retained his keen sense of humour and love for his parent club, despite his health burdens.

Bill Dowie was a good friend to many of the golfing community in Ayrshire, Scotland and beyond, and those who knew him will undoubtedly mourn his passing but will have fond memories of Bill, whom it was a pleasure to consider a good friend over many, many years.

The thoughts of all at the Ayrshire Golf Association are with bill's family and friends at this sad time.


Monday, August 10, 2020

OPEN COMPETITIONS - Scottish Golf give the green light to the resumption of open golf competitions

Scottish Golf have given the go ahead for the resumption of Open Competitions, following recent negotiation over the elaxation of COVID-19 restrictions.

The latest statement from Scottish Golf on the subject was published this week, and is reproduced below:-

Since COVID-19 impacted us all back in March, we have worked tirelessly to protect our affiliated clubs, doing everything we could to ensure that all of our clubs survived this terrible crisis. 

Scottish Golf has remained in regular dialogue with the Scottish Government and has participated in the debate with a constant concern for public health and wellbeing, as well as expressing concern of the economic impact the pandemic is having on member clubs.

Our financial relief package has provided clubs with £570,000 worth of affiliation fee rebates and once our assessment process is complete, we will have delivered an additional £685,000 of funding to our affiliated clubs through the R&A club relief fund and COVID-19 fixed costs funds. As previously outlined, we made early decisions around our events and performance plans for 2020 to make these financial provisions.

As stated last week, we lobbied Government in the strongest possible way to resolve the contradictory guidelines in relation to Open Competitions. As has been the case throughout the last few months, through positive dialogue, the Government has taken onboard our representation and we are extremely pleased to advise that our affiliated clubs are now able to host qualifying Open Competitions. 

Our updated guide, with specific information relating to Open competition can be found on the Scottish Golf website. There are a number of additional measures that clubs will need to be cognisant of if they plan to run Open competitions and we ask everyone to ensure that they adhere in full to the steps outlined.  

Whilst this is good news for sport, this is still a public health emergency and the following key points have been highlighted by government in relation to this guidance change:

Organised and sanctioned open competitions must take place behind closed doors with; 

Only competitors and essential competition staff in attendance.

No spectators.

No family members (except for parents or guardians of children or vulnerable adults).

A register of all attendees should be maintained 

Travel to and from competition must not mix households i.e. no car sharing.

There is no shortage of evidence that the virus is still prevalent, and as a sport we must not drop our guard and ensure that we do everything we can to keep our golfers and golf clubs safe.  We urge all of our clubs and their members to comply with all Government Guidelines, both locally and nationally.

It has been a long journey back to this point for golfers and clubs and I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in adhering to the guidelines.

 Kind regards,

Karin Sharp 

Chief Operating Officer

Thursday, July 30, 2020

COVID -19 UPDATE - Scottish Golf release statement regarding Open Competitions which opens looophole in restrictions

Following the latest Scottish Government update on the COVID-19 restrictions and relaxations, Scottish Golf have issued a statement regarding the position of Open Competitions which are still not permitted in the traditional manner. The statement does however seem to indicate that, by definition, if the format is a non qualifying round, and complies with all other COVID-19 regulations, then other formats of play involving visitors is permitted.

This seems to leave a loophole open to clubs and societies to generally hold events provided they are not qualifying events for handicap purposes.

The full Scottish Golf statement reads:-  

Following the First Minister’s update today, we wish to inform all clubs that there are no further easing of restrictions directly relevant to golf clubs or their operations and as a result, our Phase 3 guidance remains unchanged at this time.

However, following an increased volume of enquiries and growing confusion across the membership, we wish to take this opportunity to clarify Scottish Golf’s position on Open Competitions.

The definition of an Open Competition concerning the current route map out of lockdown is “a qualifying round of golf played at a venue away from a player’s home club.” Any other format of play that takes place by visitors to golf clubs is permitted provided that all related COVID-19 regulations including travel restrictions, sanitation protocols and physical distancing protocols are met, along with industry-specific guidance being adhered to both on and off the course.

We continue to respect and follow the guidance issued by the Scottish Government and will continue to work with them to contain the spread of the virus to save lives.

We urge all our member clubs to continue with the current guidance but can assure our members that we will continue to make representations on behalf of our clubs to Government in the strongest possible way to bring about change. We will continue to keep all member clubs appraised of any changes to guidance and as always clubs should note that restrictions may be re-introduced if anything changes on a local or national basis.

To keep up to date with all of the latest COVID-19 guidance for golf in Scotland, people should visit Scottish Golf's dedicated web page.

Kind regards,
The Scottish Golf Team

Friday, July 24, 2020

COVID - 19 - Scottish Golf reinforce position regarding locker rooms in golf clubs

Scottish Golf has issues guidance to member clubs on Thursday 23 July 2020, reinforcing the current directive that locker rooms within golf clubs must remain closed at the present time.

The following communication was circulated:-

Dear Member Clubs,

There have been a number of enquiries in recent days with regards to locker rooms and confusion as to whether they are permitted to be back in operation and we felt it was appropriate to provide an update to all clubs on this topic.

In anticipation of Scotland entering Phase 3 of its route map out of lockdown, Scottish Golf provided all clubs with a Readiness Guide to support you in preparing for the reopening of Clubhouse Facilities. This Guide, which was subject to change, was issued in advance of announcements by Scottish Government to give all clubs as much time as possible to prepare for several significant changes that would impact on how your clubhouse operates. It was however issued noting that it was subject to final approval once public announcements had been made.

Following the announcement that we would be entering Phase 3, Public Health Scotland and the Scottish Government later confirmed that locker rooms must remain closed at this time. 

As and when this guidance is changed, we will inform all clubs. We thank you for your continued understanding at this time and should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,
The Scottish Golf Team

Monday, July 20, 2020

PRESTWICK ST CUTHBERT GOLF CLUB - Two open competitions cancelled

Prestwick St Cuthbert Golf Club have announced that, due to the current government restrictions on open competitions and the hosting of large visiting groups, that two of the open competitions scheduled to take place at the club in the near future have been cancelled.

The events concerned are:-

The Gents Senior Texas Scramble scheduled for Saturday 1st August
and the
Gents St Cuthbert Open scheduled for Saturday 8th August.

Any enquiries regarding the events should be directed to Prestwick St Cuthbert club and competitors who have already entered are requested to contact the Secretary during office hours, on 01292 477101 - option 1,  to arrange a refund.

TROON ST MEDDANS OPEN - 2020 event cancelled

The 2020 Troon St. Meddans Open competition, due to take place on Saturday 8th August has been cancelled.

With the restrictions on the hosting of Open Competitions and large parties of visiting golfers still in place and with no projected date for the relaxation of these restrictions, the club have taken the decision to cancel the event this year.

All enquiries regarding the competition should be directed to the Troon St Meddans club.

Friday, July 17, 2020

OPEN COMPETITIONS - Scottish Golf reiterate current guidance in respect of open competitions in Scotland

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. Competitions

“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.

Kind regards,
Karin Sharp, Scottish Golf COO

Friday, July 10, 2020

COVID - 19 GUIDANCE - Scottish Golf publish new guidance following further lockdown relaxation

Scottish Golf have released the latest COVID-19 guidance relating to golf in Scotland following the further relaxation of restrictions announced by the First Minister of Scotland on Thursday 9th July.

From Friday 10th July Fourball groups with players from any number of households will be permitted, whilst clubhouses will be permitted to provide indoor hospitality from Wednesday 15th July, subject to social distancing and hygiene rules.

There is however still no projected start date for the return of Open competitions at clubs, with only club members competitions being permitted still.

Scottish Golf Chief Operating officer, Karin Sharp, issued the following information to member clubs on Thursday 9th July.

Following the First Minister's update today, Scottish Golf is now in a position to provide all Clubs with Phase 3 Guidance for all Golf Clubs and Golfers as Scotland continues to transition through its route map out of lockdown.

The following changes are effective:

From tomorrow, Friday 10 July: 

Groups of up to four golfers with no restrictions on the number of households represented provided they adhere to the Government’s physical distancing rules.

Face coverings must be worn by members of the public when entering professional shops (retail facilities)

From Wednesday 15 July: 

Golf Clubs may offer Indoor hospitality subject to maintaining physical distancing and appropriate hygiene routines. 

Ahead of the wider re-opening of indoor hospitality venues, we have issued an updated version of our readiness guide to assist you with preparing your clubhouse for re-opening. The document is prepared based on the latest information we currently have. This could be subject to further change or additional measures that will require implementation.

At this time there remains no change in stance on the playing of competitive golf, with only club competition permitted despite the relaxation of travel restrictions. This decision is consistent across all sports and is based on the continuing premise that we are operating under an extension of exercise and not a return to sport. All clubs are asked to continue to respect the government position in this regard and not seek to jeopardise the image or trust in the golfing community by overlooking this key aspect that is applicable across all amateur sports that are currently operating.

Chief Operating Officer for Sportscotland, Forbes Dunlop, said: “It is a positive step for sport that public health guidelines for daily exercise have been extended further as part of the Scottish Government’s route map through the pandemic.

"While this is good news, it is not a return to sport as we know it and the most pressing priority remains public health and wellbeing.

"As such, it is crucial that participants, and everyone connected with sport in Scotland, continue to play their part by adhering to the latest government guidance and the advice issued by the governing body of each sport to ensure the safety of all those involved.”

The latest guidance on a return to competitive sport can be found on Sportscotland's website. 
Scottish Golf will continue to keep all clubs and tournament organisers updated via our dedicated COVID-19 webpage.

 We would once again like to thank all of our clubs and gofers across Scotland for your continued co-operation. We continue to make good progress as a community and by adhering to the latest guidance, it will ensure we can all continue to enjoy playing the game safely.

Kind regards,

Karin Sharp, Scottish Golf COO

VIKING KRUS - Largs 36 hole event cancelled for 2020

Largs Golf Club have cancelled the 2020 Viking Krus competition.

The 36 hole scratch event, a regular counting competition in the Ayrshire Order of Merit, was due to take place on Sunday 16th of August, but the present COVID-19 situation has prompted the club to cancel the event this year.

BUNKERS AND HANDICAP QUALIFYING COMPETITIONS - Clarification received from Scottish Golf

Prestwick Golf Club, Prestwick Scotland | Hidden Links GolfRecently questions have been raised regarding the status of local rules regarding bunkers, and how they affect counting competitions for handicaps.

In the published Scottish Golf Phase 2 and Covid-19 guidelines there appears to be conflicting information.

In one document it is stated that a committee can make all bunkers No Play Zones or 6" relief to run competitions.

In the other guidance document it is stated that if a committee makes bunkers a Ground Under repair or a club length then they won't count for handicapping purposes.

Clarification has been sought from Scottish Golf and it has been confirmed that for qualifying competitions the rule for bunkers is 6 inch preferred lie or GUR but not a mixture of the both.

If one club length is used in competitions then they must be non qualifying.

Monday, July 06, 2020

COMPETITION GOLF - R & A and USGA clarify competition status with temporary measures during COVID-19 pandemic

The R&A and USGA have moved to clarify whether a competition being run using temporary measures to help minimise exposing players to COVID-19 is being “played under the Rules of Golf”.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, both governing bodies have issued guidance so that Committees running golf competitions can better understand the options available under the Rules of Golf.

The R&A’s expanded guidance, which supplements the information contained in the Committee Procedures section of the “Official Guide to the Rules of Golf”, is outlined below. In relation to this guidance, it is important to note the following:

The Rules of Golf have not been modified.

If a Committee follows any of the available options contained in this guidance, the competition is being played under the Rules of Golf.
If a Committee is considering taking an action to modify the Rules of Golf that is not addressed within the Committee Procedures or in the expanded guidance below, that Committee should contact The R&A if it wishes guidance on whether the competition will be played under the Rules of Golf.

It is not the purpose of this communication to make recommendations or offer guidance in relation to the playing of golf at this time. Please refer to the appropriate body in your country for such guidance.

Scoring in Stroke Play (Rule 3.3b)

In view of concerns around handling and exchanging scorecards (which may be in paper or electronic form as already provided in the Rules), on a temporary basis, Committees may choose to allow methods of scoring in stroke play that do not strictly comply with Rule 3.3b or do not comply with the normal methods used under Rule 3.3b.

For example:

Players may enter their own hole scores on the scorecard (it is not necessary for a marker to do it).
It is not necessary to have a marker physically certify the player’s hole scores, but some form of verbal certification should take place if at all possible.
It is not necessary to physically return a scorecard to the Committee provided the Committee can accept the scores in another way.


Committees may choose to adopt the following policies on a temporary basis:

Require that players leave the flagstick in the hole at all times. It is a matter for the Committee to decide whether it establishes this policy by way of a Code of Conduct or Local Rule, and whether it provides a penalty under the Code of Conduct or for a breach of the Local Rule.
Not have flagsticks at all.
As a temporary provision, flagsticks can be used for the purpose of player safety which do not meet the specifications in Part 8 of the Equipment Rules. For example, a Committee may temporarily decide to use a flagstick that has an added movable platform or tray to help prevent touching the flagstick when removing the ball from the hole.
Allow players to centre the flagstick in a safe manner which does not involve using the hand, even when wearing a glove or using a towel (for example, by using a club). The centring of the flagstick may be allowed while another player putts (this may be desirable in windy conditions when the flagstick is required to be left in the hole and is leaning towards the player making the stroke).

Hole and Definition of Holed

A method of inserting the hole liner may be used that means that all of the ball does not fall below the surface of the putting green and can be easily retrieved by handling the ball only.

But if any of the following provisions are used, play in such circumstances is not in accordance with the Rules of Golf:

Treating a ball as holed or holed with the next stroke if it is within a certain distance of the hole.
Having the hole liner sitting above the surface of the green and treating a ball as holed if it strikes the liner.

Treating a ball as holed when it has bounced out of the hole for any reason (for example, when it has bounced off the flagstick, a tray attached to the flagstick or the hole liner).

If rakes have been removed from the course, or if the Committee has requested that rakes not be used, it is recognised that bunkers may not be smoothed as well as when there are rakes on the course. Players should be requested to make their best efforts to smooth bunkers using their feet or a club, which was the method used to smooth bunkers until the relatively modern practice of having rakes on the course was introduced. This may not provide an ideal lie in a bunker, but coping with imperfect lies, whether in a bunker or elsewhere, is a normal part of the game.

But, if the Committee decides that, even with players making their best efforts to smooth the sand, the condition of the bunkers is likely to be so abnormal that it will be clearly unreasonable for players to play the ball as it lies, the Committee may use one of the following options:

Change the status of the bunkers to be part of the general area and declare all of them to be ground under repair.

Introduce preferred lies in bunkers, for example allowing a place in the bunker within one club-length not nearer to the hole than where the ball came to rest.

But if the following provision is used, play in such circumstances is not in accordance with the Rules of Golf:

Allowing a ball to be lifted, the bunker to be smoothed and the ball to be replaced.

Note: A Committee should consult its handicapping authority for guidance on whether scores are acceptable for handicapping purposes.

Friday, July 03, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF COVID-19 GUIDANCE - Updated Phase 2 guidance issued to clubs

Following the First Minister's latest announcements on the relaxation of lockdown rules in Scotland, on Thursday 2nd July 2020, Scottish Golf have issued revised Phase 2 Guidance to member clubs.

Measures include the relaxation of the five mile travel restrictions, subject to local lockdown arrangements, the opening of toilet facilities and outdoor hospitality at clubs and the wearing of face coverings in professional shops.

As yet there is no date projected for the recommencement of Open competitions, Elite Amateur events and professional events, other than a general indicator that such events will not be permitted for some time yet.

The correspondence , issued by Scottish Golf Chief Operating Officer Karin Sharp, is reproduced below:-

Following the First Minister's update today, Scottish Golf is now in a position to provide all Clubs with updated Phase 2 Guidance as Scotland continues to transition through its route map out of lockdown. There are several key dates outlined in our updated Phase 2 Guidance and we would encourage clubs to study these carefully. 

The following changes are effective:

From tomorrow, Friday 3 July: 

Travel restrictions are now lifted (with exception of Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Langholm and Canonbie, where 5-mile guidance remains in place).

Toilet facilities can re-open subject to the implementation of appropriate hygiene routines.
From Monday 6 July: 

Outdoor hospitality can recommence subject to maintaining physical distancing and appropriate hygiene routines. 

From Friday 10 July: 
Face coverings must be worn when entering professional shops 

At this time there is no change in stance on the playing of competitive golf, with only club competition permitted despite the relaxation of travel restrictions. This decision is based on the continuing premise that we are operating under an extension of exercise and not a return to sport. 

While we do not have any set date for Open competitions, Elite Amateur or indeed Professional events, we do want to be as open and transparent as we possibly can to allow our stakeholders to assess any plans they may currently have in place. At present, it is not currently envisaged that these type of events will return for some time yet. 

As with all of Scottish Golf’s guidance during the extension to exercise, this will be subject to change and will require final sign off from Government. Scottish Golf will continue to keep all clubs and tournament organisers updated via our dedicated COVID-19 webpage.

In the meantime we ask all of our member clubs and tournament organisers utilising facilities affiliated to Scottish Golf, to adhere to this mandatory regulation on competitive golf by ensuring that they are not operating any competitive events which allow non-members of the club to take part.

In anticipation of the wider re-opening of indoor hospitality venues, we have prepared a readiness guide to assist you with preparing your clubhouse for re-opening. The document is prepared based on the latest information we currently have. This could be subject to further change or additional measures that will require implementation. 

At this time it is our understanding that a target date of 15 July remains. As with all of Scottish Golf’s guidance, this is subject to change and will require final sign off from Government. This will not happen until nearer the time and we will continue to keep our clubs updated as and when we have further information available on this aspect.  

We would once again like to thank all of our clubs and gofers across Scotland for your continued co-operation. We continue to make good progress as a community and by adhering to the latest guidance, it will ensure we can all continue to enjoy playing the game safely.

Thursday, July 02, 2020


As part of a club support package funded by the R&A, Scottish Golf have announced that £685,000 will be made available to affiliated Scottish Golf clubs who have been affected financially by COVID-19.

The grants will be made available via two separate allocations; the COVID-19 Fixed Costs Grant and the Club Relief Fund.

Details of the two funds are outlined below, and applications are welcomed from all affiliated Scottish Golf clubs:


Value: £285,000

£500 maximum per club

The COVID-19 Fixed Costs Grant will enable every affiliated club in Scotland to apply for a maximum of £500 for fixed costs specifically associated with preparing for safe play and club/course management following the COVID-19 lockdown in early March 2020.

These can include but are not exhaustive of sanitation products, COVID-19 related H&S safety equipment, professional fees, signage, training, video conferencing licence (e.g. zoom) and any other COVID-19 related spend.

To apply to receive funding, clubs are required to fill out a short application form confirming details about the club, which is available via the Scottish Golf website, as are the full terms and conditions.

Only one application per club will be accepted for the COVID-19 Fixed Costs Grant.

The application process for the COVID-19 Fixed Costs Grant will open on Monday 29th June and will close on Friday 24th July. All grants will be paid to clubs within ten working days of notification of a successful application, and clubs should note these dates as the closing date will be strictly adhered to.

Money not claimed in relation to the COVID-19 Fixed Costs Grant will be transferred to the Club Relief Fund on Monday 27th July.


Value: £400,000

£1,000 - £5,000 per club

The Club Relief Fund has been created to provide financial support to clubs who have been impacted by the pandemic. This fund is concentrated on enabling clubs to reinstate or to increase expenditure in key areas to either improve member experience or boost income generation potential.

The long-term impact of COVID-19 on the golfing landscape is still unknown, but this fund is aimed at helping clubs take the first steps to recovery and look to thrive again in the future.

Clubs applying to this fund are required to complete a four-stage application to ensure the Review Committee have the correct information available to allocate funds.
The information required includes:
Standard Club Criteria and Agreement
Commitment to Growing the Game
Financial Information
Impact of Funding
The application for clubs is again available via the Scottish Golf website, as are the full terms and conditions.

*** Questions have been raised in relation to condition 2.5 of the Club Relief Grant, which indicates that clubs should be a course owning facility or one which incurs maintenance costs for a golf course, with concerns that many clubs who play over municipal courses or have playing rights bestowed by the course owners, would be debarred from making application to the fund.

Clarification has been sought and received from Scottish Golf as follows:-

Member clubs are not disbarred from applying for any support from this fund and are welcome to apply to both the COVID-19 Fixed Costs Fund and the Club Relied Fund.

It is the case that the criteria for the Club Relief Fund is weighted. The reason for this is that the fund is limited and can only realistically service 80-100 of 580 clubs. Clubs with primary cost responsibility for both a clubhouse and course do get weighted slightly higher than clubs with only a clubhouse. If a club have received no government grant funding that would also weight in favour in this regard.

The COVID-19 Fixed Costs fund is not weighted and has very limited criteria. It can also cover any past (and future) fixed costs incurred due to COVID-19.

In terms of the Relief Fund, the weighted criteria will be applied consistently and as a consequence will endeavour to get the funds to where they are most needed.

The application process for the Club Relief Fund will open on Monday 29th June and will close on Friday 24th July. Assessment of all applications will be undertaken during the week beginning 27th July with decisions being communicated by Friday 7th August. At that point, successful clubs will be asked to complete a final sign-off document, including bank details for payment. Again clubs should note these dates as the application dates will be strictly adhered to.

Scottish Golf anticipate the volume of applications to be high and the criteria outlined will be strictly applied to ensure that the funds available are distributed where most needed.
If any clubs have any questions regarding making an application, they can get in touch with Scottish Golf by email at