Golf Memories Project
This is the Carnoustie Golf Memories Group, launched in 2015. Other groups springing up at golf facilities across the country include Noah’s Ark in Perth, and in St Andrews. The British Golf Museum, which is part of The R&A’s group of companies, and Alzheimer Scotland have also come together to run a new monthly social group at the Home of Golf.
The groups are part of the overall Golf Memories Project, which in turn is part of the wider Sports Heritage Scotland network helping those living with dementia and memory loss.
Scotland currently leads the world in reminiscence therapy. Football, cricket, curling, rugby and shinty are among the sports also involved, a collaborative effort of reminiscence groups to stir memories, fulfil lives and also encourage participants back into the sports they love.
“Through reminisce, we are reconnecting the members with their passion for golf through spending meaningful time with other golfers and enjoying the friendly banter”, says Lorraine Young, a key driving force for the golf group in Carnoustie. “After a diagnosis, it can very much feel like a loss of life, however this programme is helping people change their attitudes by demonstrating that you can live well with dementia or memory loss.
“Staff working at Carnoustie Golf Links have also participated in Dementia Friends Awareness Sessions, as have a number of other businesses throughout the town. Ultimately the aim is to make Carnoustie a truly Dementia Friendly Community.”
A former Chief Social Work Officer for Angus and a Rotarian, Lorraine chose to commit her free time to creating and supporting the development of Golf Memories. The group is ably supported by a committed and dedicated team of local volunteers, such as David Taylor, Trevor Williamson and Margaret Muir.
“As well as reminisce, they are also getting back into the physical act of playing golf,” explains Lorraine. “For many, when they have a diagnosis of dementia, they believe they can’t play golf anymore or have a place in clubs. What we’re trying to do is show that physical activity and social interaction are very important by supporting members to reconnect with what for many has been a lifelong passion.”
Recently, the world-famous TPC Sawgrass course saw the launch of the Pete Dye Chapter Golf Memories group, inspired by the pioneering work being achieved at Carnoustie Golf Links.