Fife Community Golf Club tackles mental health issues with launch of Park Gowf

Sessions of the new sport are offered by Dunnikier Park Community Golf (DPCG), with the organization believing that simple play can help with the issues that loneliness can bring.

Park Golf is played by millions of people in Japan and the United States, but is virtually unknown in Scotland.

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DPCG Secretary and Trustee Raymond Johnston and President Martin Christie at Park Gowf’s home.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from May 9-15, and practice sessions will take place at the game’s Scottish home, the 2019 six-hole par-3 course at Dunnikier Park in Kirkcaldy.

Martin Christie, club chairman, said: “We believe that sport is essential in encouraging people to take the first steps towards a more active and healthy lifestyle.

“Park Gowf, which is supported by the Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund through Fife Voluntary Action and the Scottish Government, gives people the opportunity to do something lightly physical outside.

“The sport is very simple, it only uses one club and one ball. No experience is necessary and it helps people engage with others while having fun and achieving something.

“This in turn reduces loneliness, isolation and anxiety and helps participants improve their overall well-being and confidence.”

Already more than 100 people from Alzheimer Scotland, Fife Chamber of Commerce, Nourish Support Center Kirkcaldy, The Salvation Army and Sporting Memories Clubs Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes are taking part.

Yvonne Bryce, Alzheimer’s Scotland Community Connections Coordinator in Fife, said: ‘We can see the huge benefits this will have for the people we support.

“Park Gowf provides us with a dementia friendly environment, no experience or knowledge of the game is necessary and we have already scheduled a weekly session.

“Participants will enjoy the exercise, fresh air, social interaction, peer support, and increased confidence, leading to positive wellness and outcomes.”

Jamie Moffatt of Active Fife said: “The game is manageable, scalable and portable and is an amazing and innovative way to get more people active.

“Golf has become more accessible for more groups of people, especially older people and those with physical challenges.”

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