BROOKFIELD, Wis. – Robin Nelson, an American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) member and senior partner of the design firm Nelson & Haworth, died Nov. 19, 2012. He was 61.
Nelson worked with fellow ASGCA member Neil Haworth, and Brett Mogg at Nelson & Haworth. The company operates from offices in Singapore, Shanghai, China and San Francisco.
Nelson was the lead architect on newly designed and remodeled courses around the world, including more than three dozen in Hawaii. His name also appears on projects in Australia, Canada, China, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Nelson’s layouts included Mauna Lani Golf Courses, Kohala Coast, Hawaii; Bali Golf & Country Club, Nusa Dua, Bali; Shenzhen Golf Club, Shenzhen, China; Ravenwood Golf Club, Victor, N.Y.; and The Dragon at Gold Mountain, Portola, Calif.
An environmental design graduate from the University of California-Berkeley, Nelson began his career as a golf course architect in 1973. He worked with ASGCA Past President Robert Muir Graves and then Ronald Fream. Nelson became an ASGCA Associate Member in 1984 and a Regular Member in 1987.
Nelson described his design philosophy in a 2000 interview with the website Golf.com. “My main idea is to let the site speak for itself, to take whatever the site has and transform it into a golf course, if at all possible,” he said. “I hope to achieve the combination of variety, fairness, presentation and a challenge to the player.”
Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a non-profit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. ASGCA members are experienced golf course architects, able to counsel in all aspects of golf course design and remodeling.