Certificate in Greenkeeping’s Thailand Return

Richard Walne making his presentation at the Thailand Golf Course Superintendents Association’s Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia seminar in Pattaya. Picture by Yothin Phakphaeng.

Bangkok, Thailand: Moves are afoot for the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) to resume its ground-breaking Certificate in Greenkeeping (CIG) programme in Thailand.

Following a prolonged hiatus prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a new Introductory Course in the Land of Smiles has been pencilled in for August.

Since resuming the CIG programme some 18 months ago, the AGIF has taken the programme to India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

Richard Walne, Chairman of the AGIF’s Education Committee, is now focusing his attention on adding Thailand to the list of participating countries in 2024.

Speaking at last week’s Thailand Golf Course Superintendents Association (Thai GCSA) Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia seminar in Pattaya, Walne said: “Thailand has a special place in the history of the Certificate in Greenkeeping as we staged Introductory and Progression courses there in 2019.

“Notwithstanding the enforced break during the Covid period, the CIG, with the unstinting backing of The R&A, has flourished, enabling us to take it into new markets. Now we’re hopeful to return to Thailand this year.”

Walne praised the Thai GCSA for the success of the Sustainable Turfgrass Management in Asia seminar which attracted more than 260 delegates to the Amari Pattaya.

Walne said: “Congratulations to the Thai GCSA for staging such a well-attended event, which is well-deserving of being described as ‘the biggest turfgrass event in Southeast Asia’.

“The AGIF has a long-standing relationship with the Thai GCSA and our thanks go to them for presenting us with an opportunity to speak at their seminar and to spread the word that the Certificate in Greenkeeping is making a welcome return to Thailand.”

Walne said a new Introductory Course is being planned for August with a minimum class size of 20 required. The programme will be delivered in English with simultaneous Thai translation.

The Introductory Course spans five days and covers:

  • Module 1: Golf Course Ecology.
  • Module 2: Lead Greenkeeping Staff.

A complimentary 90-minute Workplace Mentor Workshop is also included.

Some four months later there will be a five-day Progression Course covering:

  • Module 3: Surface Management on the Golf Course.
  • Module 4: Rootzone and Soil Water Management on the Golf Course.
  • Module 5: Manage Golf Course Pests and Diseases.

The programme concludes with a three-day Confirmation Course which comprises practical and written assessments, and oral presentations.

Following last week’s Confirmation Course for the fourth Malaysian cohort at Forest City Resort in Johor Bahru, the total number of CIG graduates has risen to 80 with a further 60 part way through the programme.

More than 260 delegates attended the seminar in Pattaya. Picture by Yothin Phakphaeng.

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

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.

“Thanks to The R&A and our Education Partners – Jacobsen, Jebsen & Jessen, John Deere, Syngenta and Toro – for their continued support. Their backing and encouragement is crucial in allowing us to expand the reach of the CIG,” said Walne.

*For further details about the CIG and to receive a registration form for the Introductory Course in Thailand in August, 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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