Calls have been made to support the golfing industry, with pleas to reopen courses “as soon as permitted”.
Leaders are warning the sport is facing a crisis due to empty clubhouses and courses, with some pointing out golf could be played while following social distance measures.
Yesterday, MSPs quizzed public health minister Joe FitzPatrick about what the Scottish Government is doing to protect the sport.
David McPherson, secretary of the Fife Golfing Association, said: “I’m deeply concerned about the access to support and the situation it leaves golf clubs in here in Fife.
“I’m pleased to have the opportunity for all the clubs to come together to voice our concerns and discuss ways of helping each other.
“Working collaboratively, I am sure initiatives can be generated that can sustain golf businesses in Fife through this crisis.”
Similar concerns have been raised in Dundee, with Lochee Labour councillor Michael Marra urging Leisure and Culture Dundee to prepare to reopen courses in the city.
He said: “Golf lends itself to social distancing in a way that few other sports played in Scotland do.
“It looks like it will be many months before football can be played again, golf could well be a different story.
“The signs from government officials are clear that this will be among the first sports to return. The benefits of getting our golf courses open are clear for all to see – this would have huge benefits for fitness, mental health and quality of life.
“It would be a fantastic new option for families to exercise and enjoy the sport together.”
Mr Marra has also asked Dundee City Council to rethink the future of the now closed Camperdown Golf Course.
Last year councillors voted to close the course to save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. It was due to be permanently closed at the end of the month but this was brought forward when lockdown was announced.
Mr Marra added: “I have written to the chief executive of the council to ask him to look at how Camperdown Golf Course can be brought back into use.
“I believe that we should prepare now so that this facility is open again as soon as it is allowed by government.
“I have also spoken with the director of Leisure and Culture Dundee to ensure that golf can restart at Caird Park as soon as it is permitted by government. Preparations need to be put in place to ensure that the social distancing can be observed in all aspects of both the game and accessing the course.”
North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain, whose constituency includes the St Andrews Old Course, is to host a virtual meeting with golf stakeholders.
She said: “Golf is a vital part of our local economy here in North East Fife, with St Andrews recognised as the home of golf and dozens of golf clubs across the constituency, it’s important that we get the support right.
“Having worked to increase the support for the self-employed, self-caterers and mobile caterers, and addressing a number of other gaps in government support, I am now working hard to see that golf is not left behind, either.”
Mr FitzPatrick, MSP for Dundee West, said: “Scottish Golf is one of the organisations I am looking to meet in the near future to discuss their particular needs.
“But right now it is important to get the message out – which isn’t coming just from the Scottish Government but Scottish Golf, that golf should not currently be taking place anywhere in Scotland.”
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said its chief executive would respond directly to Mr Marra.
Dundee Leisure and Culture said: “We echo the words of Scottish Golf that 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.
“We continue to follow government guidelines and, when we do open Caird Park Golf Course, it will be done ensuring the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved.”
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