Simpson, Tom

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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, he 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.

Partnerships & Collaborations

In 1910, Simpson began to focus on design by joining Herbert Fowler's architectural firm. Although they collaborated on several projects in the UK, Simpson's work focused on continental Europe. In 1923, the partnership expanded to include J.F. Abercromby and Arthur Croome. In later years, he would mentor and work alongside Philip MacKenzie Ross, Molly Gourlay, Ken Cotton and Javier Arana.


Golf Architect Tom Simpson was thought to be an 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 with 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

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 by clicking here. Golf Architect Tom Simpson is perhaps best known for his book, The Architectural Side of Golf. Also, the book Simpson & Co provides an excellent overview of his life and work.

Further Reading

The Tom Simpson Society was founded to further the knowledge of his life and work.

Architectural Hallmarks

Tom Simpson was known for:

Routings often contain sets of triangles.

Strategic placement of minimal amounts of lace edged bunkers.

There should be infinite variety in design.

Holes should accept multiple routes from tee to green. Options should abound!


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