Growing the game of golf is “happy families” for Neil and Debbie Casling – the only married couple in England to both be county golf development officers.
Neil has just taken on the role for the Wiltshire Golf Partnership, following in the footsteps of Debbie, who is in her fifth year as CDO for the neighbouring Gloucestershire Golf Partnership.
“I have picked up lots of hints and tips over the years,” said Neil, who works side-by-side with Debbie in their converted garage. “Now I look over her shoulder and ask lots of questions, because she’s got the experience.”
Working together holds no fears for the Caslings, who used to own several removals businesses before they started their family.
The England Golf Partnership’s network of county partnerships work to grow the game and they support the national Get into golf campaign with taster and low-cost opportunities to get started.
Neil has started his new role by visiting all the golf clubs and driving ranges in Wiltshire to make and develop contacts. He’s also planning a Golf Week for the summer half-term holiday which will highlight opportunities for all to get into golf.
“This is a great job and I’m really enjoying working with all the golf facilities in Wiltshire to encourage more people to take up and stay in the game. Golf is a great sport for everyone who enjoys friendship, fresh air and exercise,” he said.
Neil’s own background in golf is extensive. He’s a 17-handicap member at Brickhampton Court Golf Club in Gloucestershire, where Debbie also plays and where their daughter, Jamie Lee, is a PGA professional and their son, Andy, is a four-handicapper.
Neil is the Gloucestershire U14 team manager and sits on the county committee; he has recently retired after five years as the Brickhampton junior organiser.
Debbie, meanwhile, has just taken over as the Gloucestershire ladies’ secretary, in addition to her Partnership duties.
To find out more about Get into golf opportunities across the country visit www.getintogolf.org and click on the activity map.