Golf is a Happy Game!


8th - 11th August at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

From our CDO Debbie Casling

The South West team of County Development Officers worked together at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta – and more than 1200 people took part in our Get into Golf Activities.

It was a slow start to the first day and then the crowds (expected around 150,000) hit us and we were off! No time for breaks with a continuous stream of children and adults keen to try for the first time plus some who had played before and were eager to pick up useful tips from our Professionals on hand.

I usually carry around a very large box of leaflets that our clubs have given to be distributed on their behalf plus loads of Get Into Golf flyers….. all disappeared quite quickly!

Running our stand at huge events like the Bristol Balloon Fiesta can only take place with a good team all working together.  The County Development Officers of Cornwall (Simon Wood), Somerset(Paul Barrington), Devon (Craig Townsend), Wiltshire (Neil Casling), Gloucestershire (Debbie Casling) and Dorset(Dee Wood) were all involved plus PGA Professionals, Steve Scott Bowen (The Bristol), Adrian Smith (Windmill Academy), Jamie Casling (Brickhampton Court), Sarah Claridge (The Kendleshire), Mark Boscott (Golf Foundation R.O.), and PGA Level 1 Volunteers Dan Hale (The Bristol), Dave Owen (Knowle) and Rob Knapper (Windmill Academy)

Our stand held two large scale blow up nets, target golf, putting and a two hole challenge.

There were some really talented youngsters who are now keen to take up golf, with many taking up the offer of free golf and junior Summer holiday activities all promoted on and our own website



During the Olympics and Paralympics last year the South West Region’s County Development Officers joined forces on Weymouth beach in Dorset and, whilst the competitive sailing went on, offered the public a chance to Have a Go at golf.

 It was a tremendously successful venture and started a series of joint events which has just grown and grown in strength.

Jamie Woodford, SW Region Development Officer, commented: “ It isa great story of collaborative success between the CDOs and CGPs .”

The team’s latest ventures have been County shows in Devon and Cornwall, and the next will be at Bristol’s International Balloon Festival in early August,where there will be three inflatable nets and a whole range of games for adults and children to enjoy.

Gloucestershire’s Development Officer, Debbie Casling, told of the help and support given to each other when organizing a large public venue event. “It gives a bigger impact when we have much more equipment available for members of the public to have a go.  We all muck in with the jobs that need doing! We also meet up on a regular basis and share best practice with one another.”

Her husband, Neil, who has just taken over as Wiltshire CDO, saw the team in action for the first time at the recent Cornwall County Show: “Without the support of all the S.W counties’ development officers an event on this scale would be almost impossible to achieve --   to be able to get 1500 or so people into the golf area just would not happen.”

As well as offering great opportunities to the public, there is little doubt – from the comments of all six CDOs – that this close-knit team enjoys great fun being together. Such happy enthusiasm can only rub off onto those trying golf for the first time.

At the Cornwall County Show


2012 News


3rd November 2012

Cheltenham kicked off its Inspire Month by giving everyone a chance to try all sorts of different sports at their centre close to the centre of town.

Of course we would like many to choose GOLF as the sport to try ..... but any sport is fine!!

Some who enjoyed Getting Into Golf at the start of Cheltenham's Inspire Month

Parents with our CDO .... and they

had a go too!

                                 Lining up!  
  Competitive Friends!  

This is the story behind the event:

After the exciting Olympic and Paralympic summer, the Partnership is teaming up with The Sport, Play & Healthy Lifestyles Teams at Cheltenham Borough Council and proposing that we use November this year, as our 'Inspire Month'.

Our Development Officer, Debbie Casling, explains: “The basic idea of 'Inspire Month' is to carry on the legacy of the Olympic Games in Cheltenham and encourage people of any age to pick up that club and try golf.

“Although we are focussing on adults with Inspire Month, we feel strongly about making everything as family orientated as possible, so we'd like to see Grandparents playing with children and seeing those generations playing together. After all, the London 2012 motto was to "Inspire a Generation" - we feel it's important that this current generation feel inspired by the Games and continue to encourage their children and families to take part in sport.

“So what are we proposing for November's Inspire Month?

“It will kick off with  an action packed day -- November 3rd -- at Leisure@, Cheltenham to enthuse, tempt and encourage people to come along and take part in something they have been inspired by at the Games in London. And we will be part of that day.

“The idea behind the day is to drum up that initial interest, then use November as the month that they take up that sport or activity and clubs and their professionals have been asked for ideas to carry this forward.”

Find out more by clicking on this link:


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