Vietnam superintendents band together for new association

SINGAPORE – Superintendents from the expanding golf-course industry in Vietnam now have their own organization – the Superintendents Association in Vietnam – to call home.

"Establishing best practices for greenskeeping and turf management in a relatively new golf environment is a formidable task," said Lucas Skelton, superintendent at Montgomerie Links Vietnam in Danang. "Sharing information provides an immense advantage, both to expert superintendents grappling with issues specific to the region and to their Vietnamese counterparts, for whom standardized education in golf-course agronomy is previously unfamiliar territory."

Started by Skelton and Australian compatriot Rob Weiks, superintendent at Chi Linh Star, near Hanoi, the SAV also is reaching out to turf suppliers and irrigation-equipment manufacturers.

SAV formed a partnership with Chisholm TAFE Institute, in Melbourne, to offer online training to Vietnamese golf-course managers and superintendents that can lead to full certification in “Level 11 Turf Management.”

"Starting with a virtually clean slate in Vietnam, agronomically speaking, has its intimidating elements," Skelton said, "but we're also unencumbered by entrenched, regressive practices, which is great. SAV will offer technical assistance, but also moral support. In that respect, it's the perfect example of — sorry, I can't resist — a grassroots effort."

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