Scottish golf courses must remain closed for now, says R&A

The R&A has said golf courses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should remain closed despite England getting the green light for courses to reopen on Wednesday. Picture: JPI MediaThe R&A has said golf courses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should remain closed despite England getting the green light for courses to reopen on Wednesday. Picture: JPI Media
The R&A has said golf courses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should remain closed despite England getting the green light for courses to reopen on Wednesday. Picture: JPI Media | jpimedia
Scottish golf courses have been warned to stay closed by the R&A despite the green light being given for courses in England to open on Wednesday.

The game's governing body delivered the message in a statement responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving the green light for courses south of the Border to reopen.

It read: "The UK Government has announced that golf will be able to resume in England on Wednesday, 13 May 2020.

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"All outdoor sport must be done alone or within a household group and that includes golf.

"There is no change to the current position in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and so golf courses in these countries must remain closed for now."

The R&A has drawn up a plan aimed at delivering "safe golf" once courses reopen, having been closed since 23 March due to the coronavirus crisis.

"We are seeking further clarification from the Government regarding other golf-related facilities," added the statement.

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"The pandemic has already had a substantial impact on golf clubs and venues and the focus will soon turn to trying to recover from the crisis.

"As a group we will continue to do all we can to provide support and guidance in that effort."

Scottish Golf has reiterated that courses in the Home of Golf should not be opening before the lockdown restrictions are lifted north of the Border by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

In an email to member clubs on Monday morning, it said: "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.

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"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."

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