£7000 funding to expand Fife club’s pioneering Park Gowf initiative

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Kirkcaldy-based Dunnikier Park Community Golf was given an early Christmas present with the news that it is to receive a £7400 grant to run its highly-successful Park Gowf in 2023.

The money from the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund through Fife Voluntary Action and the Scottish Government will enable the charity to build on its first year of operation.

Martin Christie, chairman, said: “This funding is extremely important to us and we are very grateful that our achievements over the past year have been recognised.

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“The money will enable even more vulnerable groups in our community to enjoy the fun and well-being benefits of playing Park Gowf.”

DPCG golf trustee Raymond Johnston and chair Martin Christie at the ‘hame of Park Gowf'DPCG golf trustee Raymond Johnston and chair Martin Christie at the ‘hame of Park Gowf'
DPCG golf trustee Raymond Johnston and chair Martin Christie at the ‘hame of Park Gowf'

Described as mini-golf on steroids, Park Gowf was launched by the charity in Spring with the aim of helping people to improve their physical and mental health by meeting up with others outdoors to take part in the simple game.

Although the sport is most widely played in Japan and also in some other countries, it is virtually unheard of in the UK and DPCG was delighted to be the first organisation to set it up in this country.

The grant funding is for work with over-16s only, but the charity is also looking to increase its scope this year by rolling out the game to youngsters.

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It’s also planned to build on a pilot scheme which saw Park Gowf taken ‘on the road’ to the Auchtermairnie Care Home in Kennoway, a move which Martin said “had been really worthwhile”.

He explained: “The beauty of Park Gowf is that it involves just one club and a ball and can be played anywhere there is a decent-sized piece of grass.

“Fife Golf Trust’s 2019 course at Dunnikier Park is our ‘hame’ but with Active Fife and NHS Fife, we took equipment along to the care home and set up a few holes in their garden.

“In future, we want to take the game to people rather than everyone coming to us and this experiment was very successful - the residents who took part really enjoyed it.”

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Martin concluded: “Over 400 games were played at the 2019 course in our first year by people who would not normally be involved in sport, many of whom face significant challenges in their lives.

“The feedback we have had has been tremendous and now we plan to build on our work this year by enabling many more people to take part in 2023.”

Dunnikier Park Community Golf recently launched a Just Giving page for anyone to help the charity with its work: https://www.justgiving.com/dpcomgolf