CIG Progressing Positively in Vietnam

Quang Nam, Vietnam: The Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) has teed-off its 2024 Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG) programme.

A total of 18 students from Vietnam are attending this week’s Progression Course at Hoiana Shores Golf Club’s Golf Course Maintenance Department’s Compound.

“The CIG’s debut in Vietnam last year was a huge success and we’re delighted to be back in the country with our second Vietnamese cohort,” said Richard Walne, Chairman of the AGIF’s Education Committee.

“It’s fabulous to see such enthusiasm and desire to gain knowledge among the students,” added Walne.

The Introductory Course for Vietnam’s second CIG cohort was held at Vinpearl Hai Phong last September. Since then, students have completed two online assignments, consisting of various tasks which had to be verified by their workplace mentors.

“It’s a blended workplace learning, allowing the students to apply the technical skills and processes they’ve learned to a variety of turf situations under the supervision of a qualified workplace supervisor,” said Walne.

This week at Hoiana Shores, the students are being trained in three more modules:

  • Module 3: Surface management on the golf course.
  • Module 4: Rootzone and soil water management on the golf course.
  • Module 5: Identifying and controlling common golf course pests, weeds, diseases and disorders.

When they return to their respective clubs following the Progression Course, the students will have to complete three more online assignments over a six-month period before attending their Confirmation Course, set for the second half of 2024.

The Introductory and Progression courses are both held over five days while the Confirmation Course is staged over three days.

“Our programme uses three different locations during the 12-month programme, allowing students to see different turf conditions and maintenance practices,” said Walne.

“We great appreciate the support Hoiana Shores Golf Club has given to the Certificate in Greenkeeping initiative, allowing us to use the facility for learning and training purposes this week,” added Walne, of the acclaimed Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed 18-hole links-style course that boasts views of the Eastern Sea and Cham Islands.

Hoiana Shores Golf Club is part of the Hoiana Integrated Resort and last September raised more than VND130 million from a charity golf tournament named ‘Greenkeepers Revenge’ to support under-privileged children.

In partnership with The R&A and delivery from the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute (NZSTI), 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.

As well as Vietnam, the CIG programme has already made its mark in India, Malaysia, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

With the India launch last December, the total number of students who have enrolled in the programme has broken through the 165-barrier with individuals from clubs in 12 countries – Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the UAE and Vietnam.

A total of 64 individuals have now completed the programme and more than 75 are currently part way through.

This week’s gathering in Vietnam has been notable also for the addition of a Certificate of Participation.

Walne said: “Recognising that some attendees are not current golf course employees and, therefore, cannot take part in all course modules to receive pass marks, we are adding a Certificate of Participation, allowing knowledge to be shared and encouraging people to get started in a career of turf management.

“With our 2004 programming under way, our thanks for their continued support goes to The R&A and our Education Partners – Jacobsen, Jebsen & Jessen, John Deere, Syngenta and Toro. Their backing and encouragement has given us the impetus to expand the reach of the CIG significantly.”

*For enquiries about 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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