The R&A, the game’s ruling golf organisation, has confirmed its continued backing for the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG).
News of The R&A’s extended support comes in the wake of an outstanding set of results by the latest batch of greenkeepers from Malaysia to sit the certification.
“Our gratitude and appreciation goes to The R&A for its commitment to the Certificate in Greenkeeping programme,” said Richard Walne, the AGIF’s President.
He added: “The success of the programme in Thailand and Malaysia has been overwhelming, as evidenced by the outstanding results of those who have participated.
“Over the next three years, we’re looking at expanding the CIG into new markets and also introducing a new format that will combine on-line and practical sessions during Covid-19 restrictions.
“We very much look forward to seeing more superintendents joining the CIG in the coming years.”
Aimed at supporting education among golf course superintendents and improving conditioning of golf courses, the benefits of the CIG are clear for all to see, said Walne.
“The Certificate is providing 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,” said Walne, who praised those who have successfully completed the CIG.
High grade students
Two students received High Distinction grade (96% or better):
- Muhammad Izhaq Hafeez bin Badrul Hisham (Kelab Golf Negara Subang)
- Mohd Khamirul Hijaz bin Md Harullah (The Els Club Desaru Coast)
A further 16 students were bestowed with a Distinction grade (90% or better):
- Mohd Azuhan bin Ibrahim (Danau Golf Club)
- Arrifin bin Alias (Kelab Golf Seri Selangor)
- Saifullizan bin Sam (Royal Selangor Golf Club)
- Aliza binti Johan (Royal Selangor Golf Club)
- Siti Nurfarhana binti Bahoudin (Kota Permai Golf & Country Club)
- Sivakumar Balakrishnan (Palm Garden Golf Club)
- Johan Fariz bin Mohamed Salleh (Danau Golf Club)
- Shahriman bin Hassan (Kota Seriemas Golf & Country Club)
- Abas bin Ismail (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
- Mohamad Fadzil bin Shaari (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
- A. Collins Welensky (TPC Kuala Lumpur)
- Mohammad Fairuz bin Ahmad (Saujana Golf & Country Club)
- Norulazwar bin Mohd Zukhi (Saujana Golf & Country Club)
- Mohamad Farid bin Mohamad Fauzi (The Els Club Teluk Datai)
- Mohamad Hazlamy bin Mohamad (The Els Club Desaru Coast)
- Muhamad Syekhree bin Zainuddin (The Els Club Desaru Coast).
Walne said: “All the participants should be extremely proud of the results they accomplished. Their dedication to completing the Certificate was commendable.
“We had hoped to host a celebration event, but due to the on-going Covid situation this has not been possible. As soon as we are able to have an in-person celebration, an event will be arranged at which we will formally acknowledge those who have gained their Certificate.”
Chris Gray, Head of Sustainable Golf – Asia-Pacific at The R&A, said: “The R&A has agreed to continue supporting the AGIF Certificate in Greenkeeping as part of our greenkeeper education programme. This has been a positive development for the golf industry in Asia and we are excited at being involved with this initiative.”
Driven by the education platform of the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute (NZSTI), education partners in the programme are Jacobsen, Jebsen & Jessen, John Deere, Syngenta and Toro, all Executive Members of the AGIF, a not-for-profit organisation boasting more than 100 member companies from all areas of the golfing industry.
Olivier Ducrocq, Managing Director of the NZSTI, said: “The continuous success of the CIG, despite Covid-19, is a testament to the quality of the programme NZSTI has developed, and to the flexibility of our tutors who have been consistently engaging with the learners remotely.
“All of our staff at NZSTI, including myself, congratulate the students for achieving a very high rate despite the challenges they have faced.”
World-class education opportunities
Over the past decade the AGIF has evolved from a small, industry-led group to over 100 members representing companies, golf facilities and individuals involved in the Asian, and global, golf industry.
In recent years, the AGIF has introduced world-class education opportunities to Asia through its CIG programme, as well as partnering with the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) to run their BMI Club Management courses, which allow individuals to achieve the highest level available in club education status, the Certified Club Manager (CCM).
“With new initiatives always being sought by our Board to broaden our reach and familiarity across Asia, the coming years will offer even more new initiatives that we will participate in, or develop,” said Walne.