Archie Simpson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archie Simpson
Archie Simpson.jpg
Personal information
Full name Archibald Simpson
Born (1866-03-14)14 March 1866
Earlsferry, Scotland
Died January 1955 (aged 88)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality  Scotland
 United States
Spouse Isabella Leslie Low
Children 4
Status Professional
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament DNP
U.S. Open DNP
The Open Championship 2nd/T2: 1885, 1890
PGA Championship DNP

Archibald "Archie" Simpson (14 March 1866 – January 1955) was a Scottish-American professional golfer. He was also a golf course designer and a superb club maker. He was runner-up in The Open Championship in 1885 (won by Bob Martin), and 1890 (won by John Ball).

Early years[edit]

Simpson was born on 14 March 1866[1] in Earlsferry, Fifeshire, Scotland, to Alexander Simpson and Mary Simpson née Stewart.[1] His was a notable golfing family, which included an elder brother, Bob Simpson, a Carnoustie-based club maker.[2] His cousin was the golfer James Braid.[3] As a boy, Simpson was the favourite caddy of Sir Alexander Grant, principal of Edinburgh University and a regular at the Elie Golf Club course in Earlsferry, where Simpson grew up.[4]


On 28 April 1891, he married Isabella Leslie Low in Edinburgh at the Court House by warrant of Sheriff Substitute of the Lothian and Peebles. The Simpsons had four children—Archibald, Mary, Isabella and Grace. All of their children were born between 1893 and 1906. His wife Isabella was born at Panmore Works Cottages, Barry, Carnoustie, on 21 July 1867. In the 1920s he applied for, and was granted, American citizenship.

George Low Sr. apprenticed under Simpson in his club-making business.[5]

Golf career[edit]

Simpson in the follow through, c. 1895

Fellow professional and golf historian Horace Hutchinson speculated that Simpson was first engaged in golf at Bembridge, before removing to Carnoustie, and then several years at the end of the 19th century at Balgownie, near Aberdeen, where he partnered with Ben Sayers.[3] He was a professional and greenkeeper at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club course between 1894 and 1911,[6] during which he designed the new Murcar Links course to the north in 1909.[7] He is credited with building at least two other golf courses at Aberdeen city's Deeside Golf Club, the Blair's Course as well as the Haughton Course.[8]

Later years[edit]

He was later a professional at Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club from 1890–91, Prestwick Golf Club from 1892–93, and Carnoustie Golf Links in 1891–92, 1893–94 and again in 1921, after spending 10 years in Detroit, Michigan, US.[4] In Scotland, aside from the Murcar Links course, he designed the courses at Balgownie Golf Club, Nairn, and Cruden Bay Golf Club (with Braid).[9]

He returned to the United States in 1922, where he designed the Vincennes Country Club course in Indiana, and became a professional member there. He later moved to Tam O'Shanter in Detroit and Clovernook Golf Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as working in Illinois,[2] but retired in Detroit.[4]

Death and legacy[edit]

Simpson died in 1955 in Detroit, Michigan. He was undoubtedly a fine golfer but is primarily known for his club-making skills[5] and golf course architecture.[7][8]

Results in major championships[edit]

Simpson is on the tee box and in position to hit his drive while Douglas Rolland (left) prepares to hit next (c. 1894).
Tournament 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
The Open Championship ? DNP DNP 2 T4 T5 T15 12
Tournament 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship T2 T12 9 14 T13 5 T12 T7 T15 T16
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906
The Open Championship T7 DNP T30 T30 CUT T18 T35

Note: Simpson played only in The Open Championship.
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
? = competed, finish unknown
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10

Team appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Births in the District of Kilconquhar in the County of Fife". Statutory Births 436/00 0009. ScotlandsPeople. Retrieved 19 February 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ a b "Archibald (Archie) Simpson". The Editors of The Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Hutchinson, Horace Gordon (1900). The Book of Golf and Golfers (Public domain ed.). Longmans, Green, and Company. p. 128. 
  4. ^ a b c "Archie Simpson". Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Brown, Dick. "George Low: One of Baltusrol's Best Kept Secrets". Baltusrol Golf Club. 
  6. ^ "The Pioneer: Archie Simpson". Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Murcar Links Golf Club". Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Archie Simpson – Courses Built". World Golf. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Sieg, Terence (3 November 1997). Golf travel's guide to the world's greatest golf destinations: the ultimate resource for the discriminating golfer. Broadway Books. p. 20.