We talk to Dave Valentine, owner of the second oldest and most recognisable golf shop in the world...
Simpsons Of Carnoustie – The World’s Second-Oldest Golf Shop
With its iconic dome and painted veranda, Simpsons of Carnoustie is famous around the world.
It all started when Robert Simpson was employed by the Dalhousie Club when he was just 20 years old. He travelled from St Andrews to become a keeper of the green and a club maker. He established his club-making business in 1883 and this became Simpsons Golf Shop.
We’ve seen over previous pages what a significant contribution Simpson, his brothers and their proteges made to the world of golf. Dave Valentine, current owner of the shop, explains more: “Together with brother Archie, Robert laid out the wonderful course over the links at Royal Aberdeen,” says Dave. “The Simpsons perhaps don’t receive the acknowledgement they deserve as course designers. Other layouts they had an involvement in were Murcar, Cruden Bay, Crieff and Edzell.”
Today, the shop offers a wonderful array of equipment, apparel and memorabilia. Especially popular are the hickory golf clubs, made exactly as they were 100 years ago by the St Andrews Golf Company. “The world’s oldest golf equipment business supplying the second oldest,” as Dave puts it.
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Simpsons has many customers from the UK, some from the USA and a growing number in China. “I have experience working in China so it makes sense to build the brand there,” he says. “I established a ‘Simpsons Heritage Lounge’ at Zhongshan International Golf Resort and my vision is to have five or six across China.”
Another attraction is the collection of bag tags, gifted by visitors from all over the world, that hang from the rafters – Valentine estimates over 2,500.
No trip to Carnoustie would be complete without a visit to Simpsons, to soak up the incredible character the old building has to offer and to collect your very own piece of history.
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