AGIF Honours Madam Nga and Walne

Richard Walne makes his acceptance speech after being named the recipient of the AGIF’s Lifetime Contribution to Golf Award.

Danang, Vietnam: Madam Nguyen Thi Nga and Richard Walne, two titans of the region’s golfing industry, have been honoured by the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).

In recognition of their contributions to golf over the course of many decades, Madam Nga and Walne were feted during this week’s second AGIF Danang Conference.

Madam Nga, Founder of the BRG Group, was named as the first recipient of the ‘Contribution to Growing Golf in Asia Award’.

Walne, who is into his 44th year with The Toro Company and has been a linchpin of the AGIF and a champion of education for greenkeepers, was presented with the Federation’s first ‘Lifetime Contribution to Golf Award’.

“Congratulations to both Madam Nga and Richard Walne. We could not have come up with more worthy and deserving winners of these new accolades,” said Chris Gray, President of the AGIF.

“They have both been immensely influential figures in the golf industry in this part of the world for an extended period of time.

“Between them, their efforts have not only had a hugely positive effect on the industry as a whole, but also a profound impact on many thousands of individuals,” added Gray.

It was in 1993 that Madam Nga founded BRG – an abbreviation of banking, real estate and golf, presenting the three strategic fields that the company focuses on. Today, the company employs a workforce of 22,000.

After three decades of construction and development, BRG’s multi-field eco-system has reached a number of important milestones to position the company as one of the leading private multi-sector economic groups in Vietnam.

Among other things, BRG Group is a pioneer in the development of golf and golf tourism in Vietnam with the company’s continuous innovation and promotion of the sport being key to Vietnam’s rapid rise on the global golfing map.

Currently, the BRG Group owns and operates eight international golf courses in Vietnam.

In addition to his responsibilities with Toro, for whom he has been Managing Director Asia-Pacific and Australia since the turn of the century, Walne was involved in the inception of the AGIF in 2009, serving as President for four years. 

Now President Emeritus and an honorary individual member of the Federation, Walne continues to be a driver of education as chairperson of the AGIF Certificate in Greenkeeping committee.

Flanked by AGIF Board member Karen Proctor and AGIF President Chris Gray, BRG’s Mark Reeves receives the Contribution to Growing Golf in Asia Award on behalf of Madam Nga.

Walne said: “Everyone associated or connected with the AGIF – the Board, Members and staff – should be proud of the representation we have across the region.

“My thanks to everyone who has been involved in the AGIF since our inception. I’m proud that the Federation has developed and grown and look forward to seeing this trend continue in the coming years.”

Due to urgent commitments, Madam Nga was unable to be present to collect her award which was received on her behalf by Mark Reeves, who heads up the BRG Group’s Golf and Property sectors.

Gray said: “It’s the intention that these awards will be made annually by the AGIF, honouring individuals who have been dedicated and devoted to growing golf and serving the industry in our region.”

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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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