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Golf Industry Mourns Passing of Neil Haworth

POSTED ON June 22, 2024 @ 11:08 am

Singapore: Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) Board members have paid tribute to acclaimed golf course architect Neil Haworth, who passed away yesterday in Ottawa after a tough battle with cancer.

Canadian Haworth, aged 63, was Chairman of Nelson & Haworth Golf Course Architects since 2000, having overall responsibility for the company’s operations outside of the United States.

Elected a full member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 1999, over the past quarter of a century, Haworth sculpted many prominent golf courses in China and around Asia.

Among his body of work was Shenzhen Golf Club in Guangzhou, and Sheshan International Golf Club near Shanghai, home to the HSBC Champions tournament.

Other notable projects included Shan Shui Golf Course in Sabah, Malaysia and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, surrounded by Himalayan peaks in Li Jiang, Yunnan, China.

It was in 1985 that Haworth joined the respected Canadian Golf Course Architecture firm of Graham Cooke and Associates. After several years of intensive work in the cool Canadian climate, Haworth made the leap across the Pacific to Singapore, establishing the Asian offices of what was then the respected firm of Nelson & Wright in 1990. Haworth became a director of the new firm in 1992.

Brett Mogg, Haworth’s partner at Nelson & Haworth, said: “Neil was a talented golf course architect who lived a rich and interesting life, full of love, laughter and travel.

“Neil lived in Asia for much of his professional life, designing some of the region’s best known golf courses. I had the privilege of working closely with Neil for over 30 years, first as his colleague, then as his partner in business.

“More importantly, I enjoyed a long personal friendship with Neil, a friendship that many in the golf design and construction business also enjoyed.

“Neil was universally well liked, by clients and construction workers alike. His essential goodness shone through in almost every situation, from the boardroom to the work site.

“Neil was always very humble, honest and forthright. Like many others that Neil knew, I am going to miss him terribly and his absence will leave a void that is hard to fill.”

Mogg will continue to see through the completion of the Island Course at Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), on which Neil had been the lead designer.

AGIF Board members added their tributes.

AGIF President Chris Gray said: “Very sad news. The SICC Island Course project will be his final design legacy.”

Past AGIF President Richard Walne said: “When I last met him, he was so happy to be back in Asia for the SICC project. He will be sorely missed.”

Green Dynasty’s Owen Hester said: “Neil has such a great footprint in Asia and was a wonderful person to work with. He will be truly missed.”

Rain Bird’s Mark Donohue said: “Neil’s legacy and impact on the industry will never be forgotten.”

Sustane’s Henry Ng added: “We have lost another great steward of the golf industry.”

Haworth is survived by his wife Masha, and daughters Vivienne and Sophia.

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