£16,000 funding to build new winter tees at Fife golf course at heart of community
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Technically, the club had already secured the money as part of a £20,000 area capital grant in 2021, but it returned to Kirkcaldy area committee on Tuesday with a change of plans. Originally, the money was allocated to help build a covered practice area for golfers, but after spending £4000 on designs and watching building costs sky-rocket, the club decided to go another direction.
“We initially thought that an enclosed area would be good, but the 2019 course with park golf has taken off,” Paul Murphy, chief executive of Fife Golf Trust said.
“The material costs went sky high which put us on the back foot, but it also gave us a chance to see how the course had developed and I would say the 2019 course is now the mainstay of the area.”
He continued: “Golfers still have the ability to practice, but it won’t be undercover. We’re asking today that the money that was put aside for the enclosure would be reinvested in the course.”
The 2019 'park golf’ course is a six-hole game that provides a route into the sport for beginners of any age. It also caters to players wanting a shorter game. It was jointly funded between Fife Council, Scottish Golf, and Dunnikier Golf Club to operate as a community development course and as a practice area.
Since it was built, Mr Murphy said the course has become very popular in the local community. It has even allowed Dunnikier to become an active partner with local primary schools, care homes, Active Schools Fife, and more. More than 240 local primary school students came between April 2023 and the end of June. It also hosted the Park Golf Care Home League. The last event in August was attended by eight teams of seniors from four care homes in Fife.
The club has also partnered with Scottish Golf to launch a programme exclusively designed to attract girls into golf - the committee was told that the programme was “oversubscribed" in the recent school summer holidays.
“It’s a very, very good cause and I think it’s actually gone beyond where we previously saw it going and with more investment it can only get better,” Mr Murphy said. “When we designed and built the 2019 course we envisioned it was going to be a good spot for beginners and juniors but it’s taken off,” Mr Murphy said.
The committee unanimously agreed to reallocate the money for park golf course improvements.
Councillor Ian Cameron (Labour for Kirkcaldy East), committee convener, added: “You’ve taken this idea and made it work for some many different communities. The enjoyment and the sense of satisfaction from so many in the community is so positive.”