Tuesday, May 26, 2020

GOLF SOUTH AYRSHIRE - membership arrangements and guidelines for play announced in readiness for golf restart

Golf South Ayrshire have announced details of the arrangements for commencing play on the 8 local authority courses in the area from Friday 29th May, pending  Scottish Government approval, including on course arrangements and the introduction of a flexi-membership arrangement in place of the traditional season ticket process at this stage, to allow golfers to commence playing on the courses as soon as permissible.

A series of questions and answers regarding the new flexi membership arrangements have been published by Golf South Ayrshire:-


You will have a number of questions relating to the reopening of the courses.

We have tried to answer as many questions below, however if there is anything we haven’t covered, please email and we will endeavour to get back to you within 2 working days.

Why are you not selling the Traditional Season Ticket?

Our Season Ticket offers unlimited access to 8 courses throughout South Ayrshire. Due to the gradual relaxation of restrictions, with access to tee times also restricted, it may be several months before we are able to offer the Season Ticket in its traditional form.

Initially tee time intervals will be increased, and the size of groups restricted. This means the availability of tee times and group size will be around 25% of our usual capacity.

This may restrict your ability to be able to book the course and time that you want.

Is there a limit to the number of golfers per tee time?

Play will initially be limited to 2 per tee time at 15 minute intervals. Tee times will be available from 7am to 7pm daily.

All tee times will be available to FLEXI-Members, there will be no Visitor times available initially.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can book in a week?

To meet the anticipated demand for tee times, we may have to restrict the maximum number of bookings per golfer to 2 per week. This will be under constant review and will be immediately relaxed if we are sure there is enough capacity for everyone wishing to play.

When will we get back to normal play?

We simply do not know how things will progress. We may have to enter another period of lockdown and close the courses. The administrative resources required to start, stop and restart memberships, direct debits and issue refunds to all members would be an impossible task.

The FLEXI-Membership, allows you to join as a member and to play golf immediately, however you will only pay for what you use with no long term commitment.

What is the FLEXI-Membership?

The FLEXI-Membership, is a points based membership which allows you to join online as a member and make payment online to top up your membership account. This removes the requirement to sign up and pay within the clubhouse, reducing the risk to our customers and staff. It also removes the requirement to check-in with the starter, however it is essential that you pre-book before arriving onsite.

How much does it cost?

To become a FLEXI-Member and play on the courses will cost as little as £50 and can be purchased in multiples of 50.

All member rounds will cost 5 points, and guest rates will vary by course. Junior Golfers will only be charged 2 points per round (proof of age may be requested by a member of staff)

Belleisle, Darley and Lochgreen 18 points
Fullarton and Seafield 12 points
Dalmilling and Girvan 10 points
Maybole 7 points

How do I sign up?

The Golf Booking Line, 01292 616255, will be open from Tuesday 26 May and daily thereafter between 9am and 5pm.

You will then receive a confirmation email within 48hrs with instructions on how to register your online account. As soon as you have added points to your account, you will be ready to book your first round of golf.

To enable as many people to sign up as possible ahead of the reopening date, tee time bookings will not go live until Thursday 28 May*.

From the 5 June, the booking line will only be available Monday – Friday between 9am and 12noon.

*Dependent on the First Minister confirming the easing of lockdown restrictions on Thursday 28 May.

Can I come to the clubhouse to pay?

Initially no, the clubhouses will be closed, our staff on the course will also not be accepting any cash payments. All transactions must be completed online or on the telephone by Debit or Credit Card.

How does the points system work?

When you book your next round of golf points will then be automatically deducted from your account.

If you cancel your tee time with greater than 24hrs notice, they will immediately be refunded.
You may also use your points to pay for a guest (Member’s guest rates apply).

If you are booking another FLEXI-Member into your tee time, their account will be deducted the required number of points.

*Telephone bookings will be available Monday – Friday 9am to 12noon only.

Why can I not use my points on any golf course?

Initially, due to travel restrictions, you will only be able to redeem points at a single location. These are; Troon Links, Belleisle Park, Dalmilling, Girvan or Maybole. We therefore encourage you to play at your nearest course.

As restrictions are lifted, we plan to be able to make points redeemable at any of the courses.
What if I still have points remaining when the traditional season ticket becomes available?

You can use them towards the cost of converting your FLEXI-Membership to one of our traditional Season Ticket types.

All points purchased will be valid until 31st March 2021.

Will I still be able to play if I don’t want a FLEXI-Membership?

Initially no. Priority will be given to members only. Once travel, group size restrictions are relaxed and tee time availability increases, you will be able to pay to play as a visitor by booking online.

Is the FLEXI-Membership available for Juniors?

Not yet. The guidelines recommend that all juniors should play with an adult from their own household for now, a Junior Guest rate is available when booking online.

Golf South Ayrshire have also issued guidance on procedures on and off the courses once golf restarts:-

Scottish Golf, sportScotland and the Scottish Government have agreed a set of guidelines on how golf can be played when restrictions are eased on 28th May. We anticipate that golf will be able to resume on 29th May at the earliest.

The following information covers all key areas: booking your round, arrival at the facility, on the course and after the round.

Our number one priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our community of golfers, clubs and staff. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the details in this document.

Also be aware that Golf will be in the spotlight at this time and it is essential that we all follow the guidance and physically distance at all times.

We will not hesitate to close the courses if we cannot be certain that the risk to Public Health is minimised.

As guidance changes it may be necessary to update this document.

Travel to the golf course must be in line with Scottish Government guidelines – in Phase 1 local travel is noted as broadly 5 miles from home.

If you are in the highest risk (shielding) group outlined by the Government, then you should stay at home.

If you are displaying any symptoms of a cold or COVID-19, you are not permitted to access the facility, or course for a period of 14 days.

Only FLEXI-Members and their guests are permitted to play.

All rounds of golf must be pre-booked, you must not turn up to the facility without a booking. A limited telephone booking service will be available Monday to Friday 9am – 12noon and will be for members only.

You can also download the mobile app by visiting the App Store or Google Play Store and by searching ‘BRS GOLF’

All players must be entered at the time of booking. If you intend to play on your own, you must select RESERVED in the Player 2 slot. Another player will be also able to book into this tee time if you leave it blank.

Times will become available at 5am and be bookable up to 7 days in advance.

First tee time will be 7am and last will be 7pm, daily.

Times may be cancelled up to 24hrs in advance a full and immediate refund will be made.

Times not cancelled will be charged in full.

If the course is closed for COVID-19 restrictions or inclement weather, a full and immediate refund will be given.

Tee Time intervals will be 15 minutes – this MUST be strictly observed.

There will be a maximum of 2 players per tee time.

Anyone found not to be observing tee time intervals or are playing in groups of greater than 2 players, will be asked to leave the course. No refunds will be offered. No exceptions.

The clubhouse and locker room facilities will remain closed. There will be no access to the toilets or changing facilities, please arrive ready to play.

If you require your equipment from a locker, then call 01292 616255, to make an appointment to collect your equipment. A member of staff will remove the items for you.

The Pro Shop will be open, 1 customer will be permitted in at any one time. Please observe social distancing at all times. There will be markings on the ground to advise customers where to stand when queuing. Please do not linger.

There is no requirement to check in for play, there will be a member of staff on course who will confirm your arrival. If you are not booked in to play, you will be asked to leave.

Arrival at the facility; Please arrive ready to play no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your tee time. Please remain in your car until 10 minutes prior to your tee time and please do not go to the tee until 5 minutes prior to your tee time.

Please do not congregate in the carpark with your peers.

You MUST maintain 2m Social Distancing at all times.

No trolleys, buggies or clubs will be available for hire.

There will be no scorecards available.

Please bring your own hand sanitiser with you, and use this at regular intervals throughout your round.

During the course of the lockdown, we have been following an essential maintenance programme only. Some areas of the course have not been maintained as normal. It may take a little time for some areas of the course to return to normal. Please respect this and our staff.

On-Course Items
All rakes will be removed – Bunkers will remain GUR until further notice, as such relief from a bunker will be possible without penalty.

Ball washers will be covered up.

All Benches and bins will be removed, covered or sign-posted in such a way that players don’t touch them – please be responsible and take your rubbish home with you.

All other removable items will be removed, except that stakes defining areas of the course can be treated as immovable obstructions.

Hole and Flagstick
Flagsticks will be used, please note that flagsticks are not to be touched or removed. Please do not use your putter to retrieve your ball as this will damage the hole.

The hole cup will be inverted making the ball easier to retrieve by hand, please do not use your putter to retrieve your ball.

Practice Areas
All Practice Ranges and Practice Nets will remain closed until further notice. Please respect this and respect the courses by not practicing on them.

The Practice Putting Green will be open and may be used, the flagpoles will be removed and the cups inverted. Please do not use your putter to retrieve your ball.

Social Distancing reminders will be placed throughout the golf course.

Teeing Areas
You must maintain social distancing at all times, and remember to keep 2 metres apart at teeing areas due the normal close proximity of golfers to one another when tee shots are being played.

Only 1 player is permitted on a tee box at any one time.

You must stay more than 2 metres apart when walking to the ball, searching for a ball and playing shots.

Do not touch any golf ball other than your own.

As there are no rakes on the course, bunkers will remain GUR until further notice.

Putting Greens
You must keep 2 metres apart from your playing partner on the putting greens and not to touch the flagstick. When retrieving the ball please do not use your putter as this may damage the hole.

Social distancing is as important after a round as it is during the round, so when the round is over you must leave the course and the facility immediately so that there are no gatherings around the clubhouse area.

Please do not be offended if a member of staff reminds you of any of these measures.

Repeated failure to follow these measures, may result in you being asked to leave the course, a serious breach of these measures may result in the forfeiture of your membership.

The Council reserves the right to temporarily close any course or facility to ensure the safety of its staff and customer at any point.

This document will be reviewed and updated when new guidance or measures are announced by Scottish Golf, or Scottish Government in relation to tackling the COVID-19 virus.

Further information and updated guidance is available via the Golf South Ayrshire website at

Thursday, May 21, 2020

POTENTIAL RETURN FOR GOLF IN SCOTLAND ON 29th MAY - Scottish Golf identify return date, subject to final approval

Scottish Golf issued an update on Thursday 21st May, identifying Friday 29th May as the potential return day for golf in Scotland, subject to Scottish Government approval on Thursday 28th May.

The statement issued by Scottish Golf reads:-

Following the First Ministers update today, I am writing to provide detail to support you with the opening of golf courses from 29 May 2020 at the earliest, subject to final confirmation by the First Minister by way of an update currently planned for 28 May. 

As previously stated, we have been working with Sportscotland and the government to ensure that golf aligns with the guidelines laid out for Phase 1 easing of the current lockdown restrictions. Whilst I know that in many people’s eyes this should have been a straightforward process, it certainly has not been the case, but I am delighted that we now have the opportunity to share with you the guidelines for the safe return of golf across Scotland.

There are aspects of the document that refer to direct government advice e.g Travel restrictions, Physical Distancing, Risk Groups and any changes to those policies will be for clubs and individual golfers to ensure they are adhering to. I must stress that these guidelines are shared with the assumption that there is no change made in the government’s stated position on easing of restrictions.

It should be noted that a final decision will be made by the First Minister on 28 May and if any changes to the current procedures are required to align with updates provided by Scottish Government then these will be shared with you as soon as they are known to ensure re-opening plans can be updated or adjusted accordingly.

Based on the above, if they choose to do so, clubs may now prepare their course and their membership for play to commence on 29 May. I hope that in giving a week’s notice, this will give clubs time to finalise any local rules and activate their tee sheets. I have looked to give direction but not prescription, as I know that all clubs will want to do what is best for their members within the framework of the facilities or operational capacity that each club will have. The Scottish Golf guidance has been prepared through our collaboration with the wider golf industry but has been reviewed by appropriate Scottish Government channels to give you a flexible but consistent framework with which to prepare your own club protocols.

The full document provides you with all the detail and links to get ready for a safe return to golf but some of the key aspects are:

Two Balls – may be from two households whilst maintaining physical distancing

Groups up to 4 four players permitted at the discretion of the golf club 
(ensuring that only two households are represented in the group)

Tee Time intervals will be at the discretion of the club

Travel to course within local vicinity, noted as broadly around 5 miles in roadmap

Casual play only is recommended in the first instance to allow all membership categories the opportunity for play

Clubhouse facilities must remain closed at this time

We have heard very encouraging stories from south of the border where some clubs have seen an immediate uplift in membership, as many courses have not been open to visitors given ongoing travel restrictions applying to exercise. Clubs have a great opportunity to show value in being a member of a club, and all the preferential benefits this can bring. I am sure that the demand for tee-times will be high and I look forward to seeing and hearing of golf courses all over Scotland full of people enjoying the sport once again.

Finally, I would like to thank all golfers who have shown great restrain over the last 8 or 9 weeks in conforming with the requests of the Scottish Government. The team here at Scottish Golf are firm in our belief that golf is a healthy sport that can be played giving due consideration to social distancing, whilst contributing to the improved health and mental wellbeing of many people across the country and we will continue to prioritise supporting clubs and the development of the game in Scotland.

I wish you well in planning for the return of your membership to your fairways and should you require any clarification on any aspect of the guidance framework then please do get in touch.

Karin Sharp
Chief Operating Officer

Copies of Scottish Golf's Guidance for Golf Clubs and Golfers on returning to golf in Scotland, and for Scottish Golf's latest updates on COVID-19  can be accessed via the Scottish Golf website at

LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS - Scottish Golf issue statement following First Minister's statement on route map to easing restrictions

Scottish Golf have issued the following statement following the statement made by the Forst Minister on Thursday 21st may on the route map to ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Scotland.

Following positive discussions with the Scottish Government, sportscotland and the governing bodies for tennis and bowls, Scottish Golf welcomes today’s news that our golfing community will benefit from the Scottish Government’s revised guidance for exercise. 

Guidance documents containing detail on preparing facilities for the return of golf will be issued to all affiliated clubs as soon as practically possible. This will take into account details from the road map published by the Scottish Government today.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

COVID 19 - Scottish Golf issue statement following First Minister's daily briefing

Scottish Golf have issued the following statement, in response to the First Minister's daily briefing on Monday 198th May 2020.

Following the First Minister’s daily briefing on Monday 18 May, Scottish Golf welcomes the announcement that more detail will be shared later this week on Scotland’s road map out of the current lockdown restrictions in Scotland.

Scottish Golf are working through final details with the Scottish Government and Sportscotland to ensure that when the time is right, golf can be included in any extension to exercise guidelines and we look forward to sharing more detail of the Scottish Government’s publication on Thursday.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

BELLEISLE OPEN - 2020 competition cancelled

The 2020 Belleisle Open, due to take place at Ayr Belleisle on Sunday 26th July, has been cancelled.

Organisers Ayr Belleisle GC have decided that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, there were presently too many uncertainties involved to give the club any confidence that the competition could be completed successfully this year.

Friday, May 15, 2020

GOLF SOUTH AYRSHIRE - Local Authority release statement regarding municipal courses

Golf South Ayrshire have published a statement regarding the current position on the eight municipal courses in South Ayrshire.

COVID-19 UPDATE...7 weeks in

Courses remain closed

It has now been a little over 7 weeks since we closed the courses as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the lockdown instructions were issued by the UK and Scottish Government.

You will be aware that England has begun to relax some of its lockdown restrictions, with Golf being able to recommence on Wednesday and in Wales on 18 May.

The lockdown still remains in place in Scotland, with no date or indication as yet as to when Golf may be able to recommence.

Please be assured that we are working to enable us to reopen safely to minimise any risk to our staff and customers when the time comes. There will be a number of measures that will have to be implemented to achieve this, which we will communicate to you in due course.

We would like to thank the vast majority of you for respecting lockdown and course closures by not playing golf at this time. To those who still insist on trying to nip out for a practice or a few holes, be assured that our staff will ask you to leave.

Over the past 7 weeks the courses have been busy with people and families accessing them for their daily exercise and on the whole they have done so responsibly and respected the golf course.

Our hardworking Starters and Marshalls have been out patrolling the courses to ensure that the courses remain in good condition throughout and have been on hand to ask those who are there to stay off the greens and to take their litter home with them.

They’ve also been undertaking some divot repair work and litter picking whilst on patrol.

Our Greenkeeping Team have also been working hard to ensure the courses remain well maintained so that they can reopen as soon as lockdown restrictions are eased and golf is given the green light to recommence.

Until then, please Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

WEST OF SCOTLAND GOLF - Current fixture position for 2020 season

The six West of Scotland Area Associations have agreed the following position regarding the remaining West of Scotland fixtures in 2020, which will be subject to a further review around the end of July.

The WEST OF SCOTLAND MENS STROKEPLAY which was originally due to be played at Gleddoch in may and was later rescheduled to September has now been cancelled for 2020. Renfrewshire will host the competition in 2021.

the WEST OF SCOTLAND BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP which was scheduled to be played in June at Rowallan Castle GC has been cancelled for this year. Ayrshire will host the event in 2021.

Fixtures in the WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY A LEAGUE, in September and October 2020,  remain in place at present.

Fixtures in the WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY YOUTHS LEAGUE, in September and October 2020, remain in place at present.

All fixtures in the WEST OF SCOTLAND INTER COUNTY BOYS LEAGUE, scheduled to be played from May through to September have been cancelled. The six Area Associations will review the position in July, with some format of event, either match fixtures or a one day event, to be considered later in the year if possible.

Monday, May 11, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF - Statement released following UK government's relaxation of lockdown rules

Scottish Golf have released a statement regarding participation in Scotland, following the relaxation of lockdown rules, effective in England, announced by the government on Sunday 10th May.

"Following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, we are writing to confirm that the position outlined by Scottish Golf on Friday, 8 May for Golf in Scotland remains unchanged. The message is still clear – Stay at home and save lives.

We remain in daily dialogue with the Scottish Government and other golfing bodies throughout the UK, to ensure that when it is deemed safe to do so in Scotland, that we are ready to support our golf clubs with a concise protocol for reopening. 

We will update our membership as soon as the Scottish Government agrees a plan on a safe return to golf. Scottish Golf would like to thank all of our members for their continued support in following the guidelines in such difficult times".

Friday, May 08, 2020

SCOTTISH GOLF - Statement released on course opening speculation

Scottish Golf have today released a statement regarding the ongoing speculation over when golf courses are likely to reopen.

In response to increased speculation and rumour around timing of the re-introduction of golf, Scottish Golf can confirm that nothing has been finalised regarding a date, or any details of potential phasing with Government. Scottish Golf has been, and will remain in regular dialogue with Scottish Government, with regards to the planned procedures for the safe return of our sport when the time is right. We also continue to collaborate with our partners in golf throughout the UK and act as a collective at every opportunity. The recent update provided by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, confirmed that lockdown restrictions remain in place and the clear public health message is to stay home and save lives. This responsibility sits with each of us and golf is no exception.

Joe Fitzpatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing “I recognise the importance of golf to many across the country, and the eagerness to return to the course as soon as possible. However, that can only happen once it is safe to do so – and the focus at present must be the continuation of measures to slow the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. The Scottish Government and sportscotland are working closely with Scottish Golf to ensure the right preparation and risk assessment is undertaken to allow golf to return at the appropriate time.”

Karin Sharp, Scottish Golf, “It has been disappointing to hear that some golf clubs in Scotland have communicated to members their intent to re-open their golf course ahead of restrictions being lifted. We urge all member clubs to continue to follow the Scottish Government advice, that continues to have the best interest of the public at heart. Golf is a sport where integrity and rules sit at the very heart of the game and we ask all golfers to respect the position of Scottish Government and show patience at a time when the virus continues to have a devastating impact on society. I appreciate the frustrations and desire to play golf as soon as possible, but I urge you to continue following Government guidelines and save lives."