Thailand and Malaysia will tee-off the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s eagerly-anticipated Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG) programme.
Aimed at supporting a formal education programme for golf course maintenance in the region, the initiative is backed by The R&A, which as well as in Asia, governs the sport worldwide, outside the United States and Mexico. The inaugural event will take place in Thailand in late October with Malaysia to follow at the end of November.
Richard Walne, AGIF President, said: “When we announced the development of this programme in January we said that the objective was to be able to offer an accessible, affordable and internationally recognised certification for superintendents.
“Thanks to the support of The R&A, we have succeeed in those objectives and have put together a programme that we look forward to rolling out across Southeast Asia in the coming months.”
Walne, who is also Toro’s Australia and Asia Pacific Managing Director, added: “The feedback we received from turfgrass management organisations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam was overwhelmingly positive.
“There is no doubt that the Certificate will provide a much-needed education path for turfgrass professionals in Asia, which already exists in North America, the United Kingdom and Europe and Australia and New Zealand.”
Steve Isaac, Director – Sustainability at The R&A, said: “This is a positive development for the golf industry in Asia and The R&A is excited at being involved with this initiative, which is part of our global greenkeeper education programme.”
Education Partners and Sponsors of the programme are Jacobsen, Jebsen & Jessen, John Deere, Syngenta and Toro, who are all Executive Members of the AGIF, a not-for-profit organisation boasting more than 100 member companies from all areas of the golfing industry. The Education Provider for the CIG is the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute.
The CIG will be a 12-month programme with five modules.
An initial Workplace Supervisor Course will be held in Bangkok from October 24-26. That will be followed by a five-day Introductory Course (October 27-31) which will incorporate the first two of the modules – (1) Supervise Greenkeeping Staff; (2) Golf Course Ecology and Turf Science.
A five-day Progression Course will follow in February, focusing on the three other modules – (3) Sports Turf Surface Management; (4) Sports Turf Rootzone and Soil Water Management; (5) Pest, Weed, Disease and Disorder Identification and Control.
Education will continue through distance learning and will conclude with a three-day Confirmatory Course, which will involve practical assessment and completion of the final exam.
In Malaysia, the Workplace Supervisor Course will be held in Kuala Lumpur from November 26-28 with the Introductory Course from November 29-December 3.
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “For some time now, there have been requests from golf course superintendents around the region for certification which they can work towards, and better their education as well as their standing and compensation within their golfing community.
“That’s why we’re pleased, in conjunction with The R&A, to launch the Certificate in Greenkeeping, aimed at golf course staff who may not have had an opportunity for formal education.
“The programme focuses on the core knowledge and skills required to operate safely and efficiently as a greenkeeper on a golf course, and in a way that protects the turf, prevents damage to the reputation of the course and improves productivity.”
The launch of the CIG complements the educational undertakings in club management of the Federation, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019.
As well as running Turfgrass Management Seminars and Field Days and Club Management Mini Summits, Lynge said the AGIF will continue to roll out Club Management Association of America’s (CMAA) respected Certified Club Manager (CCM) degree via its Business Management International (BMI) modules throughout Asia.
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Asian Golf Industry Federation www.agif.asia