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Nelson & Haworth
The company was hit by a very heavy blow in late 2012 when founding partner Robin Nelson passed away after a long battle with ALS. Partners Neil Haworth and Brett Mogg decided to carry on with the business and to best preserve Robin’s legacy they have kept the Nelson & Haworth name intact.
Robin Nelson, Senior Partner in the Nelson & Haworth design firm, died after a long illness with motor neurone disease aged 61 in 2012. He’s survived by his wife Aniko and daughters Briana and Taylour.
As a young man, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and joined the design firm of Robert Muir Graves in 1973, where he remained for three years before teaming up with Ron Fream at Golfplan to supervise construction on golf course projects in Asia like the Tanah Merah Country Club Garden course in Singapore.
In 1982, he joined Belt Collins and Associates, a large landscape design company based in Hawaii, setting up a golf course division that became Nelson & Wright in 1987, working alongside design partner Rodney Wright until he left to form his own independent company (Wright Golf Design) in 1996.
Robin helped transform the golfing landscape of Hawaii, becoming its most prolific golf course designer with many well-respected resort layouts such as Mauna Lani and lots of other lesser-known gems to his name.
Neil Haworth attended McGill University for a couple of years then studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph outside Toronto, where he graduated in 1986. He worked for a short time with Graham Cooke before leaving for Singapore in 1990 to set up the Asian office of what was then the firm of Nelson & Wright, part of the Belt Collins group of companies.
At the start of the new millennium, Neil, Robin and Brett acquired the Belt Collins interest in the design firm that then became Nelson & Haworth. For many years Neil looked after operations in Asia, and at one time it was reckoned nearly 10% of all the courses in China were Nelson & Haworth designs.
Neil has been a full member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects since 1999. After residing in Shanghai since 2002, he returned to Canada in 2013, leaving David Young to look after local golfing interests from his base in Hong Kong.
Brett Mogg started out in his design career as a landscape architect, working mainly in resort master planning and design for Belt-Collins in Sydney. He joined up with Robin Nelson and Neil Haworth as a golf course architect in 1992, based in Singapore, becoming a director in the company five years later.
Brett has designed courses all over Asia, from China to Pakistan, and he specializes in modern layouts like Suzhou Sun Island, in China as well as renovations and remodelling, such as the revered Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur.
Brett became a full member of the Australian Society of Golf Course Architects in 1999. After more than twenty years living in Singapore, he returned to his home city of Brisbane in 2013.
Nelson & Haworth
The vast majority of the company’s American output is located in Hawaii but there are a few exceptions to that general rule, including the Creek course at Moose Run in Anchorage, Alaska; Casa Linda Oaks Golf Course in Jacksonville, Florida; and Ravenwood Golf Club in Rochester, New York.
In southeast Asia, the firm has produced around twenty layouts in half a dozen countries but it’s probably best known for the work conducted in Malaysia, where it designed both the courses at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in the early 1990s then renovated the Old and New layouts at Royal Selangor Golf Club in the new millennium.
Further afield, there have been new build projects completed at Gunsan Country Club in South Korea (which features a par 7 hole at the 3rd) and the Defense Raya Golf Resort in the Punjab region of Pakistan. In Mumbai, India, the Bombay Presidency course was renovated in 2009, as was the Rouville course at La Vallée du Richelieu in Montreal, Canada three years later.
Around fifty Chinese commissions have been carried out in China, the most high profile of which is the 18-hole layout at Sheshen International Golf Club, host venue to the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament ever since 2005, except for one edition when the event moved to Mission Hills Shenzhen in 2012.