Glowing Tributes to Industry Trail-Blazers

AGIF President Chris Gray (right) with Andy Johnston and Karen Proctor, who excelled in 2022.

Singapore: Chris Gray has paid tribute to a quartet of Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) stalwarts who excelled in 2022.

“The immediate post-Covid period saw many memorable achievements and milestones by individuals and companies aligned with the Asian Golf Industry Federation,” said AGIF President Gray, speaking during the Federation’s annual general meeting.

In particular, Gray highlighted the feats of AGIF Board members Andrew Johnston, Karen Proctor and Sean Thornberry and past President Richard Walne.

Gray said: “Special congratulations are in order to Andrew, Karen, Sean and Richard, all of whom have served the AGIF with distinction.

“In 2022, they enhanced their reputations as leaders and trail-blazers for the golfing industry. Their achievements are an inspiration to all of us within the AGIF.”

  • General Manager, Director of Agronomy and Resident Golf Course Designer at Sentosa Golf Club, and a driving force behind the golf industry’s response to climate change, Johnston was recognised for his work when named one of the ‘Most Innovative People in Golf’. Featuring in an exclusive list by Golf Inc. magazine containing just nine people, Johnston was credited for his culture-building leadership, pioneering methodologies in waste management and an agronomic best practices strategy, all of which have helped Sentosa Golf Club become recognised as the world’s most sustainable golf club.
  • Director of Sales – APAC with Textron Specialized Vehicles, Proctor continued to blaze a trail for women in the Asian golf industry. At last year’s annual general meeting, she was elected to the role of Secretary, become the AGIF’s first female office bearer. She also participated as a keynote speaker at various high-profile conferences and forums, including the first R&A Women in Golf Forum.
  • Thornberry was promoted to the position of Director of Global Development with the PGA of America, a role which sees him continuing the mission of the PGA of America to serve its members and grow golf around the world.
  • A linchpin of the AGIF since its inauguration more than a decade ago, Walne was one of the Federation’s founding members and was an-ever present on the Board from 2009 to 2021, acting as President for the last four years. Although he stood down from his post at the 2021 annual meeting, Walne has continued to play an active role in the AGIF, most notably in regard to the Certificate in Greenkeeping initiative which he was instrumental in launching. In recognition of his service, Walne has been given the title as President Emeritus and made an honorary Individual Member of the AGIF.

In his President’s report for 2022, Gray also mourned the passing of a number of respected figures from the industry who had ties with the AGIF, either as individuals or through the companies or organisations they were associated with.

  • John Pryor, Managing Director of Hydrogold and Hydroscapes;
  • Kyi Hla Han, Asian Tour Order of Merit champion in 1999 who went on to serve as Chairman of the Asian Tour;
  • Tom Weiskopf, 16-time PGA Tour winner, Open champion in 1973 and acclaimed golf course architect;
  • Tony Cundall, long-time employee at Campey Turf Care Systems;
  • Sandy Jones, a key architect in the evolution of The PGA of Great Britain & Ireland, the Ryder Cup and growth of the game worldwide

“As we enter a New Year, our thoughts are with their families and friends,” said Gray.

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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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