Outdoor sports resume on Arran

Some of the first golfers out on Brodick Golf Course today.

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By Hugh Boag

Sport on Arran resumed for the first time today (Friday) since lockdown restrictions were imposed.

Corrie Golf Club was the first to announce they were ready to open for play today, Brodick and Shiskine and Lamlash and Whiting Bay also resumed members only play this weekend.

Hiking, tennis, bowls, fishing, outdoor swimming and sailing – including canoeing and kayaking – are also permitted now in Scotland, following the announcement of phase 1 of the relaxation in restrictions by the Scottish government.

Wider access to hillwalking will be particularly welcome on Arran and the suggested five-mile limit on travel still gives most people on the island access to their local hills.

In phase 1 of the route map, the government advice states that you can continue to participate in unrestricted outdoors exercise adhering to distancing measures. This includes ‘non-contact, outdoor activities in your local areas – for example, golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, angling. You will also be able to meet up with members of another household while outdoors.’ Public health guidance – including physical distancing – will continue to apply to any activity.

Mountaineering Scotland said this week they were pleased to see ‘hiking’ referred to in phase 1, which means they can start planning a safe and responsible return to the hills. Further assessment of the route map is needed to establish what this means for climbers. Mountaineering Scotland will continue to work with the Mountain Safety Group to publish detailed guidelines next week for hillwalking and climbing.

The relaxation of the guidance to include a wider range of outdoor activities is welcome news for many outdoor sports, although these opportunities will continue to be limited as a result of the travel restrictions in the early stages.

CEO Stuart Younie said: ‘We understand the government is having to make some extremely tough decisions and the need to be cautious about easing lockdown. While the document has some good news in it and we can start to prepare for a return to the hills, the next few weeks are going to be hard, particularly for our members living in the central belt and larger cities. They have had limited opportunity to enjoy the outdoors during lockdown and further clarity is required.’

Corrie Golf Club

The golf course to be opened today (Friday) and the club is required, by law, to create and retain a record of all players in the event information is required for contact tracing purposes. The golf club therefore requires all players to sign in before heading to the golf course by providing the names of all golfers plus contact details and the date and time of play. Sign in by emailing hello@corriegolfclub.com. If you don’t have an email address, call 01770 810507 for other options. Please do this prior to leaving home as phone connectivity is poor at the club.

Golfers are also reminded to familiarise themselves with the code  of conduct for this difficult period as issued by Scotland Golf. Please adhere to these guidelines, enjoy your golf and stay safe.

Brodick Golf Club

Please note the course will only be open to members who have paid their subscriptions and have pre-booked a tee time. The club welcomes membership enquiries.

Arran Golfers Assocation

The 2020 AGA fixture list has been cancelled. The 2021 competitions will all be played at the same venues as this year. We remain hopeful that the winter league can be played as normal.

One of the walks which make up the Arran Mountain Festival.