Nicola Sturgeon has 'pulled the rug from beneath us', says golf club secretary

The managing secretary of one of the biggest golf clubs to be affected by some clubhouses around Scotland being forced to close today under new Covid-19 restrictions has hit out at First Minister Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Friday, 9th October 2020, 7:30 am
Gullane Golf Club's members' clubhouse will close at 6pm tonight for 16 days, as will its visitors' clubhouse across the road
Gullane Golf Club's members' clubhouse will close at 6pm tonight for 16 days, as will its visitors' clubhouse across the road

Gullane will close its two clubhouses - one for members and the other for visitors - at 6pm today, falling in line with hospitality restrictions being introduced in the Lothians, as well as Glasgow, Ayrshire and Arran and the Forth Valley.

They will remain closed until a fortnight on Monday, with the club's managing secretary, Gordon Simpson, admitting the development has come as a hammer blow.

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"The announcement has had a huge impact on our business as we will be closing our clubhouses again from today at 6.00pm," he told The Scotsman.

"It is not only the food and beverage that we are losing out on, it is the golf as well due to people cancelling packages as the restrictions in hospitality are just so severe.

"As a club, we have spent £1,000’s complying with all of the Government guidance with regards to PPE, changes in layouts, screens for bars etc.

"Just as we were getting our business growing once again, she has pulled the rug from beneath us.

"Whilst the FM announced that she has made £40 million available to help cover costs, that won’t go far given the amount of businesses around the country affected by the latest changes, it is simply not good enough."

In an update to clubs yesterday, Scottish Golf's chief operating officer, Karin Sharp, confirmed that clubs in the five health board areas singled out by the First Minister had to abide by the new hospitality restrictions.

Clubs elsewhere in Scotland can still have clubhouses open from 6am to 6pm but cannot serve alcohol during that time while alcohol can be served outdoors until 10pm.

“The changes announced vary across different regions of the country and we would encourage all clubs to familiarise themselves with the latest guidance and how it may impact their operations," said Sharp.

“These measures are in place for an initial 16-day period and will be reviewed thereafter by the Scottish Government."

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