Scottish Golf has issued a warning to its 550 member clubs not to re-open from lockdown prematurely against government advice.
Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Executive Karin Sharp believes that some clubs in Scotland have “communicated to members their intent to re-open their golf course ahead of restrictions being lifted”.
A statement from the governing body stressed that no date for the restart of golf had been finalised.
“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,” read the statement.
“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.”
The statement also quoted Scottish Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe FitzPatrick who said he recognised the importance of golf to many, 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,” he added.
“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.”
Sharp said it was “disappointing” to hear some clubs had indicated to members their intent to re-open before restrictions were 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,” she said.
“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”.
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