Edzell golf course - One of Bob Simpsons real triumphs!

Few people know that Bob Simpson and his brother Archie were not just great golfers and craftsmen but also famous throughout Scotland as golf architects.

The Dundee Courier of 14th January 1897 had an article about the Forfarshire elections when the candidate Mr Ramsay  was asked a question about the problem experienced in Edzell with people playing golf on Edzell Muir. A Mr Duncan asked him if he approved of documents submitted by the Dalhousie Estates office seeking to ban the playing of golf on the Muir. Mr Ramsay wasn't sure if Mr Duncan was one of the people who had already approached hm about the "absolute" necessity of having a proper golf course at Edzell. In any case Mr Ramsay replied that there was a serious proposal to establish a golf course and that "they had got the best man possible in Forfarshire, Mr Robert Simpson, Carnoustie, to examine ground and find out where the most sutable course could be had." Everyone agreed this would prevent the situation with "balls flying about" on the Muir.

The rest is history and the Edzell Golf Club website http://www.edzellgolfclub.com/aboutus/  states  that "the course was designed by top golfer architect Bob Simpson. The 18-hole par 71 course at The Edzell Golf Club was originally laid out in 1895 and amended some thirty-nine years later in line with recommendations from the legendary James Braid. With a virtually unchanged layout it is now complemented by a 9-hole West Water Course which was brought into play in 2001.

Bob and Archie  were  involved  in  the  design  and  establishment  of  many  courses  in the North East of Scotland.  Stonehaven  is a "Simpsons" course which was laid out over  a  ten  year  period  (1896  a  1906)  and   it  proved  to  be  a  "tour  de  force"  fitting  in  the  eighteen  holes  amongst  the  rugged  cliffside  coastline. In 1898, With  help  from  old  Tom  Morris  and   brother  Bob, Archie laid out the  the  first  rendition  of  Cruden  Bay  which  he  considered  his  “masterpiece”.  Having  also  had  a  hand  in  the  development  of  Royal Aberdeen  (where  he  was  the  professional)  it  was  clear  that  this  point  in  time  was  seminal  in  golf  course  architecture.  

When Bob Simpson was employed by the Dalhousie Club of Carnoustie in 1883, he was just 20 yrs old but already greatly accomplished as a club maker, ball maker, teacher and great golfer. He was joined by his brothers Archie and Jack. Later by his brother Charles. Together they began the Simpsons business which was the original official Carnoustie Golf Pro Shop. Many of the 300 golfers who left Carnoustie during 1890 to 1930 had learnt their trade employed by Bob Simpson.

Bob was in charge of the Carnoustie links which became the home of 7 Opens and which is the host venue for the Carnoustie 2018 Open.




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