Golf Architect Tom Simpson was a wealthy Cambridge-educated Lawyer. He was on hand at Woking Golf Club to witness John Low and Stuart Paton make successive alterations to the course. Inspired, Tom Simpson penned a series of letters, appearing in Golf Illustrated in 1908 and 1909, describing the merits of golf course architecture and the placement and design of features.
Tom Simpson's Partnerships & Collaborations
In 1910, Tom Simpson began to focus on design by joining Herbert Fowler's architectural firm. In 1923, the partnership expanded to include J.F. Abercromby and Arthur Croome. Although they collaborated on several projects in the UK, Tom Simpson's work focused on continental Europe.
Between 1919 and 1931, Tom Simpson laid out Chiberta (1925), Morfontaine Grand Parcours (1928), Chantilly New (1929), Chantilly du Lys (1929), Deauville (Biarritz) (NLE) (18 Holes & 9 Holes in 1929), Hardelot (with P.M. Ross 1931). He also revised Morfontaine Valliere (1913), Fontainbleau (1919) and Chantilly Old (1927).
Simpson & Co was established in 1931. Molly Gourlay became a partner in 1936. Ken (C.K.) Cotton and Javier Arana would later become apprentices and associates.
Golf Architect Tom Simpson was thought to be eccentric with an artistic flair. He was a consummate writer, drew with pen and ink, painted with watercolour, and had a passion for needlework. Perceived to be opinionated and self-promoting his outward appearance was balanced by admiration for others' work and contribution to the craft of golf course design. The evidence of such a conclusion? He was a mentor to others, sharing his wealth of wisdom and vision. Besides, he favourably mentions Colt, Abercromby, and Fowler with saving golf from the Dark Ages.
A Closer Look at Tom Simpson
We wish to thank friend of Evalu18 and collaborator, Keith Cutten, for the material for this short biography. For a more detailed account, you can find his book, The Evolution of Golf Course Design.
Read More About Tom Simpson
The Tom Simpson Society was founded to further the knowledge of his life and work.