Successful Return of AGIF Certificate in Greenkeeping

AGIF Certificate in Greenkeeping participants at The Els Club in Johor Bahru.

Johor Bahru, Malaysia: The Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) ground-breaking Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG) programme has made its much-anticipated resumption.

Following a 2½-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, unfinished courses were completed and new intakes welcomed during a gathering at The Els Club Desaru in Johor Bahru, the southernmost State in Malaysia, across the causeway from Singapore.

“You could sense the excitement that everyone felt at finally being able to get back into a face-to-face learning environment. There was a fabulous atmosphere and camaraderie throughout,” said Henry Ng and James Gordon, members of the AGIF’s Education Committee.

“After the frustrations we’ve all had to endure these past couple of years we were delighted to be able to get our Certificate in Greenkeeping programme back on track,” added Ng.

The outstanding Confirmation Classes in Malaysia took place from August 15-17. Meanwhile, beginner courses for new intakes in Malaysia commenced concurrently.

In partnership with the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute (NZSTI) and with backing from The R&A, the CIG was launched in 2018 with the specific aim of improving the professional knowledge of greenkeeping staff and providing an educational framework for the golf greenkeeping industry in the region.

“From day one, the idea was that the CIG would enable greenkeepers across Asia to develop their careers and gain certification,” said Gordon.

The CIG 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 CIG is a 12-month programme with five modules.

To date, the courses have attracted students from China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand with 18 individuals completing the programme. Currently, 31 are part way through and a further 30 waiting to sign up.

Staging of the latest modules had to be placed on hold in 2020 following the imposition of travel restrictions and size of gatherings during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “The safety of all involved has always been our number one concern. That’s why we were unable to proceed with the planned programme during Covid,” said Richard Walne, Chairman of the Education Committee.

Recognising the positive sustainable impact of this programme, The R&A was a founding supporter of the CIG. AGIF members Jacobsen, Jebsen & Jessen, John Deere, Syngenta and Toro are Education Partners in the programme.

*For further details on the CIG, please contact PK Ong at or visit 

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AGIF is a not for profit industry federation with members and partners involved in all facets of the golf industry throughout Asia to assist them to take the next step in development toward a sustainable industry.


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