AGIF Certificate in Greenkeeping Expands to Vietnam

James Gordon and Henry Ng making a presentation on the Certificate in Greenkeeping at the AGIF Danang Conference.

Danang, Vietnam: The Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) acclaimed Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG) programme will expand into Vietnam this year.

News of the programme’s move into Vietnam in the fourth quarter of 2022 was announced during this week’s AGIF Danang Conference.

Since launching in 2018, CIG courses have been staged in Malaysia and Thailand. To date, the courses have attracted students from Cambodia, 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.

Henry Ng from Sustane Natural Fertilizers and Profile Products’ James Gordon, members of the AGIF’s Education Committee, which oversees the implementation of the CIG programme, said: “From day one it was the intention of the AGIF and our partners to take the programme to as many countries as possible.

“After enduring a 2½-year hiatus during to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re now forging ahead. During August, unfinished courses were completed and new intakes welcomed during a gathering at The Els Club Desaru in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

“Now we’re excited about bringing the CIG to Vietnam, which is without doubt one of the most dynamic golfing markets in the world.

“Vietnam is also among the most active countries when it comes to golf course construction, which emphasises why it’s so important that the country has its own qualified course superintendents. Through the CIG, which is being translated into Vietnamese, we look forward to contributing.”

In partnership with the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute (NZSTI) and with backing from The R&A, the specific aim of the CIG has always been to improve the professional knowledge of greenkeeping staff and provide an educational framework for the golf greenkeeping industry in the region.

“From the outset, the idea was that the CIG would enable greenkeepers across Asia to develop their careers and gain certification,” said Chris Gray, the AGIF’s President.

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 which is targeted at individuals with a minimum two years’ experience in the turfgrass industry who are currently employed at golf clubs and who aspire to progressing their careers.

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.

Held in conjunction with Danang Tourism and the BRG Group, the AGIF Danang Conference focused on sustainability in golf course design, golf course maintenance and operations, golf tourism recovery in the post-Covid era and women in golf.

One of the highlights of the programme was a presentation on the Certificate in Greenkeeping programme by Ng and Gordon.

“The immediate response we have received is very encouraging and shows that there’s a strong demand in Vietnam for the CIG programme,” said Gray.

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

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