Dunnikier Park Golf Club

Dunnikier Park Community Golf Drives Forward With Ambition

Wednesday 6 March 2024

Dunnikier Park Community Golf in Kirkcaldy has published its second Trustees Report detailing a tremendous year of activity and development.  The charity, founded by Martin Christie, president and former captain of Dunnikier Park Golf Club, introduced park golf or gowf to Kirkcaldy in 2022.  This simple and safe form of golf, which only requires one club and a ball originated from Japan in 1983 and is growing in popularity across the globe. 

The charity’s base is Fife Golf Trust’s 2019 course at Dunnikier Park, a six-hole, 500-yard course, where offers an inclusive, recreational activity to all members of the community, of all ages and abilities.

Martin, a former chartered accountant, explained, We are delighted to be the first affiliated UK member of the Nippon Park Golf Association. From the beginning we have focused on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups in the community, as we recognised, they had been the most affected by social isolation during the pandemic. We wanted to get people out of their homes, having fun and a social chat, playing a simple and safe sport in the open air.  

“To say we were blown away with the level of community engagement achieved during 2023 would be an understatement. We more than doubled the number of park golf games played from just over 400 to over a thousand. Over 250 school pupils, from six primary schools, played park golf for the first time, with 30 pupils competing for the first park golf trophy. Seven care homes joined our Care Home League, with four events held over the summer. We aim to create a positive impact on people’s physical, mental health and wellbeing.  

“All of this would not have been possible without grant funding from The Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, Our Lives Matter Short-Term Community Grants, in addition to Arnold Clark, the Fife Golf Partnership and JustGiving donations.”

The charity is also a client of Business Gateway Fife and Martin has received advice and support from Business Adviser, Alasdair Busby, who commented, “This is a remarkable initiative, will benefit so many different groups and I am pleased to support Martin and Dunnikier Park Community Golf as they evolve it further.  As a keen golfer myself, giving everyone the opportunity to get outdoors and to try this form of golf is excellent on so many levels”.

The club worked with Active Fife Schools and Fife Golf Trust to install a short, six-hole Park Golf course in the grounds of Capshard Primary School in Kirkcaldy.  Park golf clubs and balls were loaned to the school allowing all its pupils to play Park Golf anytime they want as part of their PE curriculum. 

Last year, a pilot in partnership with the Friends of Craigtoun Country Park Golf facility in its large putting green area. The pilot ran from late summer to October and following evaluation, a larger Park Golf course is to be introduced from Spring 2024.

Martin added, “We are extremely pleased with the progress to date, especially the strong interest from schools.  Park golf is a perfect starter, as a confidence builder, and pathway to traditional golf.  Our next stage of development involves exploring the opportunity to take referrals from the NHS as part of patients’ recovery as it does wonders for physical and mental health and wellbeing. It’s important to emphasise that park golf can be played in any available green space, with a course layout installed for very little investment.  In the future, we’d love to see further expansion in other towns in Fife, and beyond. It’s entirely feasible for organisations looking to support their employees’ mental health and wellbeing to install a short park golf course in available green space within their complex’’.  Any organisation/employer with an interest in exploring park golf as a way of supporting employee health and wellbeing should get in touch with Martin by emailing dpcomgolf@gmail.com

Whether thinking of starting a business or looking to grow or sustain an existing business, contact Business Gateway Fife on 01592 858333 for a variety of advice and support or visit www.businessgatewayfife.com