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.
The Scottish Golf Team