Bangkok, Thailand: Industry stalwarts Laurie Walsh and Henrik Friis have been elected to the Board of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).
Walsh is the Golf Area Manager, Southeast Asia with Rain Bird International while Friis is Regional Director, Turf & Irrigation with Jebsen & Jessen Technology.
The appointments were confirmed at the AGIF’s Annual General Meeting at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit, during which Richard Walne was re-elected as President and will serve a second two-year term.
“We’re delighted to welcome Laurie and Henrik to the AGIF’s Board of Directors,” said Walne. “Both have been outstanding supporters of the Federation and are widely respected within the golf industry in Asia.
“Their insights and wisdom will, I am sure, prove invaluable over the next two years as the AGIF continues to expand and extend its influence on the game in this part of the world.”
With a background in agronomy and golf course construction, Walsh has more than 30 years of experience in planning, designing, developing and constructing high-profile golf course projects internationally.
Prior to joining Rain Bird in mid-2016, he was Senior Design Associate with IMG, where he worked for many years in golf course design and development in the Asian region.
For his part, Friis has more than two decades of experience working with technical support and sales and management of companies selling capital equipment and services to the industry.
The last 19 years, he has worked in Asia. In his current role, his key responsibilities are managing Jebsen & Jessen’s activities in Southeast Asia and developing strategies for further developments in the region.
Rudy Anderson, President and CEO, Pacific Links International, will remain as Vice President of the AGIF.
Paul Burley, Senior Vice President and Global Head – IMG Golf Course Services – continues as Treasurer while Mick McLaughlin,
Commercial Head Turf, Landscape & Ornamentals Asia Pacific, Syngenta Asia-Pacific, stays on as Secretary.
Retaining his place on the Board is Bruce Williams of Brandt Consolidated and a Past President of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, while Singapore Island Country Club’s Chris Gray returns to the Board after a one-year absence.
Standing down after completing their two-year terms are Troon International President Bruce Glasco and John Deere’s Sid Bardwell.
TPC Kuala Lumpur Chief Executive Steven Thielke, Riverside Golf Club General Manager Wee Peng Siong, Sentosa Golf Club General Manager Andy Johnston and Anchalica Boriraj, Business Development Manager – APAC, Ransomes Jacobsen, all have one more year to serve.
“We thank Bruce and Sid for their staunch support. We look forward to their continued input to the AGIF via our numerous committees,” said Walne, one of the original Board members when the AGIF was inaugurated in 2009.
For almost four decades, Walne has worked with The Toro Company, holding sales and marketing positions in Europe and the United States and, from 1991, within the Asia region.
He was based in Singapore for more than 10 years during this time, taking up his current role as Managing Director, Australia & Asia Pacific.
Additionally, Walne has acted as Chairman of the AGIF’s Education Committee.
British-born Walne, who was re-elected unopposed, took over the reins as President from Tim Trinka in 2016.
Walne said: “I’m honoured to continue in the role of President of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. Under the leadership of Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, and his team, the organisation has evolved and become an ever-more important player in the Asian golfing industry.
“With various exciting expansion plans in the pipeline, I’m confident that this upward trend will carry on with the AGIF’s influence as the umbrella organisation for the golf industry in this part of the world continuing to grow.”
A not-for-profit regional organisation, the AGIF has a distinguished member roster representing leaders in the Asian golf industry including golf course and club suppliers and professional support services, and golf course architects to golf real estate and development companies.
Walne said he is keen to see the AGIF continue to develop strong relationships with key global and regional golfing bodies.
“It is necessary for the AGIF to collaborate with established golf associations and organisations for the benefit of the Asian golf industry,” said Walne, pointing out that the tie-up with The R&A has made it possible to launch Asia’s first Certificate in Greenkeeping.