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‘Flagstick rules have not changed’: Governing body’s warning to golf clubs

The governing body has fielded an increase in enquiries regarding on-course furniture and has restated its position that they should remain 'out of use'
 

Flagstick rules in golf have not changed and pins, as well as rakes, should remain out of use to limit the “potential spread of Covid-19”, Scottish Golf has told its affiliated clubs.

The governing body, responding following an update on the virus from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday, said it had fielded an increase in enquiries regarding on-course furniture.

With more and more of the UK double vaccinated against coronavirus, and planned easing of restrictions set to come into force in July despite case numbers increasing because of the Delta variant, golfers are starting to question whether curbs over the touching of flagsticks and other limitations need to remain in place.

Scottish Golf said it did not anticipate any further changes in the nation’s Protection Level system until July 19. And addressing the issue of equipment on course, it added: “There has been an increase in enquiries regarding on-course furniture, ie rakes and pins and we would take this opportunity to advise that our guidance (along with that of the other Home Nations) also remains unchanged at this time.

“These should remain out of use to limit the potential spread of Covid-19 and we do not foresee this position changing until we move to Level 0.”

For those set on taking a different path, the governing body added: “Any club who has chosen to reintroduce rakes or permit the removal of pins should ensure they have undertaken a full risk assessment and have checked with their local authority, health and safety advisors or insurance provider to be sure that they are in no way negating any public health liability cover they might have in place.” 

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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