Golf clubs in Scotland have been told to prepare for a return to golf as early as next Friday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced a route map to easing the restrictions that have been in place since March 23 due to the coronavirus crisis.
The first phase will begin on Thursday and outdoor activities such as golf, fishing, tennis and bowls could be permitted the following day.
Scottish Golf confirmed golfers would be able to play with someone from a different household in a two-ball whilst maintaining physical distancing. Groups of up to four players can be permitted at the discretion of the golf club providing only two households are represented in the group.
Aberdeen golfer David Law, a winner on the European Tour last year, is looking forward to returning to the course.
He said: “I know there has been a great demand for tee times in England since golf returned there. It will be great to get back out playing.
“Hopefully when the lockdown restrictions are eased everyone does stick to the rules and we don’t regress.
“It has been a bit strange that we all went into the lockdown at the same time in Britain, but we are all coming out of it at different stages with different rules.
“But making sure we are coming out of the lockdown safely is the most important thing.
“It will be good for people’s mental health to allow them to get out on the course and not be stuck inside.
“People will see a great benefit from getting out for a game of golf or tennis.”
Cruden Bay general manager Les Durno said his club are stepping up work to get ready for the imminent return.
He said: “We have had a lot of bookings cancelled but a lot of people have moved them to later in the year or next year.
“The members have been fantastic and stuck by the club.
“They have been very supportive, which has given us great encouragement. We have been working within the guidelines to get the course prepared for when golf is permitted again.
“Like every club that relies on visitors, it will be tough this year, but people’s health and safety is the most important thing.
“It will be nice to see golfers back on the course.
“I expect it to be very busy when we come back, especially when you hear how busy it has been in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.”
Scottish Golf said they would work with clubs to ensure they would be ready for when play restarts.
A statement read: “Following discussions with the Scottish Government, Sportscotland and the governing bodies for tennis and bowls, Scottish Golf welcomes the news that our golfing community will benefit from the government’s revised guidance for exercise.
“Guidance documents containing detail on preparing facilities for the return of golf will be issued to all affiliated clubs as soon as practically possible.”
The governing body said a final decision will be made by the First Minister on May 28, adding that the restrictions could be re-introduced if guidelines are not followed.