The much-anticipated launch of the R&A-backed Certificate in Greenkeeping will rank among the highlights of a productive year for the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF), the region’s umbrella golfing organisation.
Addressing members at the Annual General Meeting at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, President Richard Walne hailed the Federation’s continued progress.
“The AGIF has recorded another successful year,” said industry veteran Walne, Managing Director, Asia Pacific & Australia, Toro Company. “We have seen progress with the programmes presented as we continue to strive to be one of the leading golf organisations within the region.
“The success of our education programmes continues to improve each year as the AGIF increases its focus on education,” added Walne, who highlighted more than a dozen events staged across six countries during the past year.
As well as six Turfgrass Management Seminars and Field Days, the AGIF organised seven Mini Summits and three Business Management Institute (BMI) modules.
Walne said: “This past year marked the third year of our landmark agreement with the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) to utilise the CMAA’s acclaimed BMI curriculum which delivers classroom learning to club managers across the Asian region.
“In line with our license agreement we are permitted to run these programmes throughout Asia excluding China and to date we have brought in 50 managers from clubs in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Thailand, India and the United Arab Emirates to our programme.
“The broad pool of prospects is enlarging, and we expect to be running events in Indonesia as well as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand in the future. We are looking at a handful of our first intake testing and hopefully obtaining their Certified Club Manager (CCM) degree in 2019.”
Walne said the Federation, led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Lynge, was especially proud to see the Certificate in Greenkeeping come to fruition with the inaugural event set to be held in Kuala Lumpur from November 26-30, in partnership with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Malaysia.
Walne said: “With input from the national turfgrass partners and AGIF members, the Federation determined that we should develop and own a baseline education series which can be developed with a reputable turfgrass management institution, administered in partnership with local superintendent groups and will be recognised by other international turfgrass associations.”
In early 2018, the AGIF reached an agreement with The R&A and supporting sponsors Toro, Syngenta, John Deere, Jacobsen and Jebsen & Jessen Technology to fund the roll out of this programme with the education partner New Zealand Sports Turf Institute.
Walne said: “We have been refining the Certificate in Greenkeeping structure and content with the education partner for the launch of the programme.
“In 2019, we expect to roll out the programme in Thailand and one other market. Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan have all expressed an interest in the programme as well as professionals from Singapore, Hong Kong and India.”
Asian Golf Industry Federation www.agif.asia
Pictured above: Eric Lynge (left), The R&A’s Dominic Wall (centre) and Richard Walne at the launch of the Certificate in Greenkeeping (Picture by Paul Lakatos/Lagardére Sports