Flagstick rules in golf: Governing body issues warning to clubs

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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 Protections 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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