AGIF Has Found its Niche, Says Founding Board Member

Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club, Sabah

Mark Adams.

Singapore: Industry stalwart Mark Adams has praised the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) for its proactive response in taking a leadership role during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’ve been impressed with the way the AGIF has reacted and is supporting the golf industry in these difficult times,” said Adams, one of the Federation’s founding Board Members in 2010.

Adams, who served three two-year terms on the Board as IMG’s representative, said: “At the original founding we had a Board and we had volunteers, but there wasn’t a Chief Executive Officer and there were no staff. So, it was more challenging getting things done.

“But the AGIF has been able to bring people on board and create a management team, which has been a great thing. What I’ve seen recently in terms of what the Federation has been doing with online content, with podcasts and webinars, especially these past few months when we’ve all been forced to go online, has been impressive.”

Currently Director at Faldo Design, Adams described the creation of the AGIF 10 years ago as ‘very revolutionary’.

He said: “At that time, people like Toro and Rain Bird would not sit down in the same room. And maybe at the time I was with IMG, we might not sit down with Nicklaus Design in the same room.

“The idea of setting up the AGIF was that with all of us co-operating and being open, we could help develop the golf industry as a whole – and all of us would benefit. The founding ethos of the AGIF was really to try and come together as an industry to promote the virtues of the golf industry.

“I think it still happens today, but at that time there was a lot of negative publicity about golf, especially at that time in China where golf was getting a bad name. We wanted to get together and sing the virtues of the golf industry in terms of job creation, in terms of environmental benefit and not destruction.

“The idea was to bring in everyone from all parts of the industry. We had some representatives from the manufacturing side and golf maintenance equipment people like the Toros and Jacobsens, and irrigation as well. It was really a broad array of everybody in the golf industry.

“It was a good thing to get everyone involved at the start, but also it was a bit of a challenge because in the first few years, the AGIF was really trying to find itself, what it was all about.

“It was challenging because, for example, the head of Acushnet in the region had a very different mission on what was going to bring value than the head of Toro. I think the AGIF went in a lot of different directions in the early years.

“Now the AGIF has found its niche in terms of education, in terms of focusing on certain aspects of the golf industry, which I think was a necessary move. I’ve been very impressed with what’s happened with the AGIF in terms of the professionalism.”

*To listen to the full interview with Mark Adams, please visit https://agif.asia/agif-podcast/

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