Golfers whose favourite pastime has been bunkered for the past few weeks are expected to swing into action on Friday.
Courses across Fife are preparing for an influx of players to tee off as lockdown restrictions are eased and warned walkers who have used empty courses for exercise to be aware fairways will be busy.
Golf is among the activities permitted from Friday as the Scottish Government moves into the first phase of lifting restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.
St Andrews Links Trust is reopening the Old Course, New Course, Balgove and Eden courses, with Friday tee times fully booked.
Fife Golf Trust’s seven courses open at 7am to season ticket holders only, with most tee-times already booked up by midday on Thursday.
John Grant, director of golf at St Andrews Links Trust, said: “We believe golf has the potential to play a significant role in the recovery from this crisis in public health terms.
“We are delighted to be able to reopen and look forward to our famous links providing a valuable outlet for healthy activity that can be enjoyed safely.”
He said the phased reopening to ticket-holders only initially had been planned in line with Scottish Government and Scottish Golf guidance to ensure as many people as possible can play in a safe and controlled manner.
Alistair MacGregor, chief executive of Fife Golf Trust, said players were delighted that “golf is back in business”.
He said: “There will be some players who are older or who have underlying health issues who will be anxious about returning to play but the rest of the golfers are champing at the bit to get out.”
Despite lockdown, some 1,600 season tickets have already been sold for the trust’s seven courses, including Dunnikier Park, Lochore Meadows and Kinghorn, with only ticket-holders permitted to play so far.
Mr MacGregor also thanked the public for using the facilities responsibly to exercise during lockdown but warned people to take care while golfers are playing.
He said: “Golf courses have been well advised to embrace the public who have used courses to walk and I hope that those walkers and dog walkers will continue to use them in a safe manner.
“People have rights of access but dogs should be kept on a short lead and people should stick to the paths or the perimeters.”
Both trusts are promoting social distancing at all time, with a maximum two players teeing off at intervals of 10 or 12 minutes.
Players have also been reminded of government advice that they should only travel a short distance from their home.
Clubhouses, toilets and other facilities remain closed.
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