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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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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