THE LEGACY CONTINUES
Diablo Member Trevor Williamson appointed an Ambassador and Champion of the Carnoustie Way.
JACK, ARCHIE AND ROBERT SIMPSON
Entered The Open Championship over two dozen times
8 Top Five Finishes, 1885 Runner Up, 1884 Champion Golfer of the Year
Founder, Robert Simpson of Carnoustie
1883 - 1923
Succeeds his father in Simpson's
1923 - 1978
Grandson of Robert Simpson
Starts as a Clubmaker in Simpson's 1958 - 1984
If you live here in Carnoustie, you fall in love with the game, immerse yourself in it. But it wasn't always exactly that way. My Grandfather Robert arrived here in 1883, and became one of the most prominent club makers in the game's history. But even more importantly, with his arrival came the inspiration to a generation of young school boys to make the sport of golf their own. My Great Uncles Jack and Archie joined with Robert to work as a club makers the same year, and the very next season, older brother Jack earned the title, CHAMPION GOLFER OF THE YEAR, The Open Champion of 1884.
Jack's championship medal captured the imagination of young boys in the neighborhood who used to prefer a good game of football to golf. Names like Alex Smith, his brothers Willie and Macdonald, George Low, Davie Bell, Robert Harris, Jimmy and Stewart Maiden took notice. With the speed of a lightning bolt, championship golf arrived at Carnoustie.
Over the next four decades, Robert's business thrived, and when his top apprentice club makers earned his prized letter of recommendation from Robert, this essentially guaranteed them a top position with the best clubs in North America, Australia, and South Africa. The rest, as they say, is history, and golf spread like a wildfire across the globe in large part attributable to the leadership of over two hundred Carnoustie Golf Professionals.
Janie Sutherland married Robert Simpson in 1899, and the couple raised five children in Rockcliff, their home on Links Parade, overlooking the course to this day. Sadly for oldest child Bob Simpson and his brother and sisters, their father Robert Simpson passed away in 1923. With the untimely passing of father, Uncle Bobby was the natural choice to take over the famous family golf business, he remained there the rest of his life, apart from serving his country in the Royal Air Force during WWll.
Formally trained as a lawyer, Robert was exceptionally clever and had a vast knowledge of politics, poetry and local history. He was a quality club golfer, and a member of The Carnoustie Golf Club and Caledonia Golf Club. Club making evolved by 1923, and under young Robert's leadership, the Simpson tradition navigated the invention of steel shafts, a global depression, the Second World War and post war mechanisation.
When I was 15 years old it was him that started to teach me the art of golf club making. I learned to make clubs when it was a hard job, how to rivet heads, fit wind on grips and whippings, finish woods and so on. At the time I would have rather been playing with my mates on the beach or on the golf course, but all these years later I am so grateful that Uncle Bob taught me, and now I am one of the few people who can still work on golf clubs in the traditional way.
My vivid memories of every Open since 1953 have helped shape my passion for the links, served on the committee to re-secure The Open in 1999, and proudly told my family story as the NBC Network feature story for the 2018 Open.
Being appointed an Ambassador to Carnoustie Golf Links is a tremendous honour for me, I hope my Simpson family are looking down with a sense of pride!