£20,000 funding for covered shelters at Kirkcaldy golf course
Councillors have agreed to provide £20,000 of funding towards the creation of covered shelters at a Kirkcaldy golf club's practice range.
The five-figure grant, drawn from the local area budget, will enable Dunnikier Park Golf Club to built the shelters on its short course so training can proceed in all weather conditions.
Dunnikier, which is run by the arms-length Fife Golf Trust, approached Fife Council seeking the grant to improve its six-hole short course, which opened to a very positive response in 2019.
The course is designed to ease beginners into the sport with shorter hole lengths, larger holes and shallow bunkers. It has proven especially popular with local primary and secondary schools, who have used the course to give children taster sessions.
Alastair MacGregor, chief executive of the Trust, said Dunnikier was looking to establish more partnerships and widen access. to the sport.
The club has fostered links with other parts of the community - from older people new to golf through to those with disabilities.
It and aims to expand that offering by taking referrals from occupational therapists and GPs through a process known as social prescribing in partnership with golf governing body the R&A and St Andrews University.
"This isn't just about the traditional golf market.” he said. “Once we've got covered bays, they will just make it so much easier for coaching to go ahead.
"There's nothing worse ethan people turning up and the heavens opening. This will allow coaching to continue regardless of weather."
Kirkcaldy area committe agreed to provide the funding, essentially opening the way for the project to proceed.
Councillor Alistair Cameron, Kirkcaldy Central Labour, hailed the plan as a "great innovation", while Kirkcaldy East SNP member Rod Cavanagh described it as a "natural progression" adding: "It is so important that we encourage youngsters to get off the settee and away from the computer games.”
The £20,000 boon is the most substantive contribution, but far from the only one made to the project.
Dunnikier has secured £15,000 of groundworks from a club member who runs a construction firm alongside £5,000 of labour in kind from the trust, and £3000 of cash contributions from its own coffers and its PGA professional.