PGA NovaWorld Phan Thiet has announced a new partnership with Golf Genius and Tagmarshal, becoming the first golf course in Vietnam to install an integrated software system of this kind.
By implementing both Tagmarshal and Golf Genius software, the highly-rated new golf destination continues to develop and improve the overall player experience with benefits such as live scoring and leaderboard technology to its members and guests. The new system will help optimize the pace and flow of play across the two Greg Norman-designed courses through a state-of-the-art GPS system provided as part of the Tagmarshal technology.
Full, real-time operational oversight and reporting provides the tools to manage on-course operations effectively, resulting in enhanced player experiences and increased efficiency as the resort continues to build its reputation as one of Asia’s most sought-after golf destinations.
“Enhancing the player experience is important to us. We’re proud to partner with PGA NovaWorld Phan Thiet, helping them to use Tagmarshal’s optimization technology to create truly exceptional player experiences at their course," said Bodo Sieber, Chief Executive Officer of Tagmarshal. "We’re also thrilled to work with integration partners, Golf Genius Tournament Management software, and look forward to bringing the synergies of these two technologies to golfers in Vietnam.“
Peter Shaw, Golf Genius' Director of Sales Asia Pacific, added: “From the outset, the team at PGA NovaWorld Phan Thiet has always strived to be an industry leader. As the only course in Vietnam utilising Golf Genius Software, our team is excited to work with their team and assist them to deliver best-in-class golf events for their customers.
"Golf Genius will help engage customers from the start of a tournament right through to communicating with them post-event. Adding an integrated solution for scoring with Tagmashal streamlines the player experience. PGA NovaWorld Phan Thiet is the first with the Tagmarshal/Golf Genius integrated solution in Vietnam which is very exciting.”
PGA NovaWorld Phan Thiet's 36 holes of championship golf offer stunning ocean vistas alongside a rich and varied test. As the only PGA of America accredited venue in the region, the resort offers the next generation of local talent the opportunity to train and develop their games.
Andrew Bowles, Nova Golf Clubs – Managing Director, commented: “Becoming the first golf course in Vietnam to implement these integrated software systems is a signal of our commitment to providing world-class service to all guests of PGA NovaWorld Phan Thiet.”
The venue forms part of the wider NovaWorld Phan Thiet resort, located 200km east of Ho Chi Minh City. The 1,000 hectare oceanside city project aims to become one of Asia-Pacific’s leading tourism destinations, recently opening a 25-hectare NovaDreams Adventure World theme park, in addition to a 16-hectare sports complex
The Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) is committed to growing its Danang Conference into the region’s premier gathering of the golfing industry.
“The overwhelming feedback from our inaugural AGIF Danang Conference is that Asia needs a credible annual event that unites the industry,” said Chris Gray, President of the AGIF, the umbrella body for the golf industry in the region.
Staged in partnership with the BRG Group and Danang Tourism, the first edition of the AGIF Danang Conference attracted more than 100 delegates from across Vietnam as well as from India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Held at the BRG Group-owned Sheraton Grand Hotel, the conference formed part of a week-long golfing festival that is also seeing BRG Da Nang Golf Resort play host to a 54-hole event on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), the Asian Tour’s feeder circuit.
Gray said: “Our thanks go to the BRG Group and Danang Tourism as well as gold sponsor Toro and silver sponsors John Deere and RainBird. Without their support, putting together the AGIF Danang Conference at such short notice would not have been possible.
“Based on the immediate feedback we’ve received from delegates, speakers and sponsors, we’re already looking at ways in which we can enhance the event in 2023 and make it more attractive.
“We firmly believe that the AGIF Danang Conference and the Danang Fantastic City tourism programme will combine to unite the golf industry in Asia and establish themselves as ‘must attend’ events on the Asian golf industry calendar.”
During their welcome addresses, Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, Founder and Chairman of the BRG Group, both spoke bullishly about the future prospects for all elements of the Danang Golf Festival.
In addition to focusing on the state of golf in Vietnam and golf tourism recovery in the post-Covid 19 era, the topics of women in golf, and sustainability in golf course design, golf course maintenance and operations, featured on the agenda.
Speakers included Adam Calver (Laguna Golf Lang Co), David Dale (Golfplan), James Gordon (Profile Products), Chris Gray (The R&A), Andrew Johnston (Sentosa Golf Club), Eric Lynge (Sports Marketing Surveys Asia), Henry Ng (Sustane Natural Fertilizer), Nguyen Thai Duong (Vietnam Golf Association), Nguyen Xuan Binh (Danang Department of Tourism), Eric Pfeifer (Greg Norman Golf Course Design), Andrew Price (Toro), Karen Proctor (Textron Specialized Vehicles) and Paul Stringer (Nicklaus Design).
Spencer Robinson, the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s Chief Communications Officer, acted as Master of Ceremonies and moderator for panel sessions.
Other highlights of the week included a trade exhibition at which member companies of the AGIF, along with other golf-related organisations, showcased their wares, and the announcement of the launch of the AGIF’s Certificate in Greenkeeping programme in Vietnam.
Gray said: “As a not-for-profit organisation, the AGIF is motivated by bringing the industry together with a view to growing all aspects of golf in our region.
“And there could be nowhere better to do that than Vietnam, arguably the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic emerging golfing market.”
Eddy Putra, one of Asia’s most respected golfing officials, has been appointed to the role of General Manager of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC).
A prominent rules official and instructor, Putra has acted as the APGC’s Chief Referee since 2016 and been an Advisory Member of The R&A Rules Committee (2016-2021). He’s also been the Indonesian Golf Association’s Head of Rules for more than a decade.
Taimur Hassan Amin, Chairman of the APGC, said: “We’re delighted to be able to call on the experience and expertise of Eddy, with whom we’ve been closely associated for many years.
“As well as his refereeing duties, Eddy has acted as the APGC’s Technical Delegate at both the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the Asian Games.”
The APGC is the representative body for 46 male and female national golf associations. As well as acting as the hosting partner for major amateur events in the region, the APGC supports member organisations in the development of golf in their respective countries.
The APGC also works to ensure adherence to the Rules of Golf as approved by The R&A, and partners with The Masters Tournament and the International Golf Federation in the promotion of golf.
“Given the increasing activity in golf across the Asia-Pacific region, the APGC believes the time is now right to bring in a General Manager to oversee the many exciting developments that are taking place. Eddy is the ideal man for that role,” noted Hassan.
As well as being a Rules Official at events for the Asian Tour and European Tour since 2009, Putra officiated at The Open Championship between 2013 and 2019.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the APGC at such an exciting time,” said the 52-year-old Indonesian. “It’s been wonderful to see how the APGC’s relationship with The R&A and the Masters Tournament has been strengthened over the past decade though the launch of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific.
“Not only have these events, with their incredible rewards, set the benchmark for players around the region, but they’ve proved to be a pathway to global success for the likes of Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith, Atthaya Thitikul and Yuka Saso.”
The APGC’s growing roster of events also includes junior and senior tournaments for males and females.
Putra noted: “Golf is continuing to gain in popularity in Asia – and there is still so much more room for growing the game at all levels.
“I’m looking forward to working with our affiliated golfing associations and federations and further cementing the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation’s reputation as one of the foremost golfing bodies in our part of the world.”
Foresight Sports co-president and co-founder Jon Watters believes that technology-driven indoor golf is the future of the sport.
"When you look at the global landscape of golf - resources, land availability, etc - there isn't going to be a lot of room left to develop green-grass golf courses. And when you look at stadium golf, which is popular and an important part of golf, there's only so many stadiums that can be built," said Watters.
"Having a tech-infused experience that can be plugged into existing locations is how we are going to grow golf globally," he added.
Founded in 2009 by Watters, Scott Werbelow and Scott Wilson, Foresight Sports has grown into a world leader in performance analysis and game enhancement technology. The San Diego-headquartered company has thousands of its cutting-edge launch monitors and simulation solutions in use worldwide, from retail stores and driving ranges to indoor golf centres and homes.
Watters stressed that Foresight Sports aims to help drive golf's growth by developing technology that is accessible and affordable. "t's very important that we continue to develop technology that is more accessible for all levels of golfers. It's important that we are good stewards of our technology, and that we continue to innovate so that it can be more affordable.
"I believe that Foresight Sports will be the leader in this tech-infused revolution, because we're going to continue to make it more accessible through manufacturing efficiences and cost reduction," he noted.
Getting such technology into the hands of the young, Watters added, is crucial. "If you try to learn another language late in life, it's very difficult to do so. But when you pick it up early, it's almost intuitive.
"If we're going to continue to grow, we've got to figure out a way for chidren to get access to golf. Making it more affordable, having more indoor golf locations with technology that really gives you a benchmark or feedback - that's the way we'll grow. As the young generation grows up with golf, they'll take that and expand upon it, and we'll have massive growth worldwide."
Looking back to the company's formation in 2009, Watters noted that they had little inkling of the exponential growth that Foresight Sports would experience. "We had big ideas and big visions, but I don't think we saw them quite as big as they became. It's been very gratifying."
Watter singled out the revoutionary four-camera GCQuad launch monitor, unveiled in 2017, as the product that propelled Foresight Sports into "hypergrowth".
"The GCQuad was the first product that we were able to engineer from the ground up. After that, it led to much stronger brand presence in the world ... and that was only the beginning," he shared.
The new, three-camera GC3 launch monitor, meanwhile, marks the first step in making Foresight Sports' technology more affordable.
"The GC3 represents the next generation of products that uses our patented methods and imagery, but in a package that is more affordable. This was an attempt for us to make a product that had the best of the professional grade features, but priced so that average golfers can use it to improve their games," said Watters.
Watters was speaking to Golf Matters during a visit to the 40,000-square foot MST Golf Arena at The Gardens Mall in Mid-Valley City, the region's largest indoor golf centre with 20 tech bays equipped with Foresight Sports' GCHawk technology, along with food, entertainment and retail.
"This facility is truly spectacular ... I've never really seen anything like it before! I think the people of Malaysia should feel very fortunate because this is the pinnacle of an indoor golf facility across the globe," enthused Watters.
"It's truly remarkable what MST Golf has done and I think this will be the one from which others will copy."
The second MST Golf Arena outlet has opened for business at Tropicana Gardens Mall in Kota Damansara, offering an enticing mix of indoor golf, retail, entertainment and dining.
Owned and operated by MST Golf, the region’s largest golf retailer and golf services provider, the sprawling, 36,000-plus square foot facility is located on the ground floor of the mall.
MST Golf Arena has 13 tech bays and five private rooms, each featuring Foresight Sports’ cutting-edge GCHawk launch monitors. Guests can choose to tee off at some of the world’s top golf courses, work on your swing, or just have fun with your friends playing one of the many beginner-friendly carnival-style games.
The facility also boasts huge, contoured putting green which features the state-of-the-art Puttview system, where guests can test their putting skills or just indulge in some fun putting games.
There are three F&B areas, the White Tee Restaurant, the Blue Tee Sports Bar and the Black Tee Lounge which doubles up as a corporate and private event space. Guests can also order their food at the designated table at their bays or in one of the private rooms and the staff will bring it there.
The Tee Box menu served up by Golf Arena’s skilled culinary team is simply stunning and includes a wide range of appetizers such as the popular Mezze platter, Chicken Karrage, Loaded Dirty Fries, and the unique Jalapeno Bomb which comes steaming hot in a box on a bed of heated stones.
Popular mains include the signature Arena Burger and its juicy 200g Black Angus patty, Fisherman’s Catch for seafood lovers, Oxtail Asam Pedas, Bibimbap Bowl for a Korean meal, and – for meat lovers – the humungous Ribeye Steak with a 500g Black Angus cut.
MST Golf Arena also serves a wide range of beverages, including top-class coffee, sodas, smoothies, fizzy drinks, fresh juices and alcoholic drinks
For those who catch the shopping bug, the interconnected MST Golf Super Store offers the latest products from the leading golf and athleisure wear brands.
Golf lessons are available at the state-of-art Golf Lab Performance Centre, equipped with the latest technology to deliver world-class custom fitting and golf learning programs.