Golf World's Eyes on Course Designed by U of G Grad

November 08, 2010 - News Release

Among golf fans watching for their world to change during "Asia's major" this past weekend, University of Guelph professor Robert Brown had one eye on the action and the other eye on the TV images of the course itself. That's because the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai — site of this year’s World Golf Championship — was designed by one of his landscape architecture graduates.

The course is the handiwork of Neil Haworth, a two-time provincial varsity golf champion who completed his bachelor of landscape architecture in 1986 and now chairs Nelson and Haworth, a top course design architecture firm based in Singapore.

“He is regarded as one of the top golf architects in Asia, and his Sheshan course is really quite spectacular,” Brown said. “He designed the course around two 1,000-year-old ginkgo biloba trees and a 50-metre-deep rock chasm.”

Italy’s Francesco Molinari beat out Britain’s No. 1-ranked Lee Westwood at the HSBC Champions on the weekend.

Organizers announced that the Sheshan course will be the long-term home of the tournament.

“The golf world is going to change," said Brown. "For years, Tiger Woods has been the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world. This weekend, any one of four golfers could emerge as the No. 1 golfer in the world.”

Referring to this weekend’s tournament course, he added: “Anybody who’s anybody in the golf world wants to be in it and really wants to see it — and it was designed by a graduate from Guelph.”

He notes that dozens of golf architects have graduated from U of G and have designed hundreds of golf courses, mostly in North America but also around the world. Brown has never designed one himself, but he's consulted on microclimate redesign for some courses. And he taught many of those former students. That includes Haworth, who planned to spend this weekend — where else? — at that world-changing course in Shanghai.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, at 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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