Archie Simpson

Full Name
Archibald Simpson
Year of Birth
Year of Death
1955 (aged 88)
Place Born
Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland,
Place Died
Detroit, Michigan, USA

Archie Simpson is the player, teacher, clubmaker and golf course designer that nobody remembers. Bernard Darwin reckoned, “He had one of the most graceful swings of all players of his day.”

Archie Simpson was born to brick masons and weavers in Earlsferry in Fife in 1866. “Though the world of golf in general may have been but a small one in 1870,” wrote Bernard Darwin in James Braid’s biography, “Earlsferry was a very busy little golfing world on its own account… There were doubtless some who were fine golfers though little known outside their own parish, but there were other’s who carried the fame of Earlsferry far and wide, in particular the Simpson family, six brothers, headed by Jack and Archie.”

Archie’s older brother, Robert Simpson (fifth eldest of the six boys), moved to Carnoustie in 1883 when Archie was seventeen and opened The Simpson's Golf Shop, which has been trading continuously ever since and is believed to be the second oldest golf shop in the world. Archie joined his brother in Angus, where he quickly became an expert player, club maker, teacher and golf course architect.

Jack Simpson (Archie’s other older brother) won The Open in 1884 at Prestwick, the only one of the six male golfing siblings to lift the Claret Jug. However, Archie Simpson’s record in The Open is remarkable. In sixteen consecutive Open appearances (1885 to 1900) he came runner-up twice and never finished outside the top twenty. “And then there was Archie Simpson…” continued Darwin, “he had one of the most graceful swings of all players of his day.”

Richard Goodale, writing in Golf Course Architecture, takes up the story: “As a teacher, Archie was the model for the famed ‘Carnoustie Swing.’ Youngsters would follow him like puppies around Carnoustie, trying to copy his swing. That swing was then exported around the world, including by ...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Archie Simpson


15th North East Scotland - Best in Area

Aboyne Golf Club has been described as a course of two halves with the front nine played as parkland golf with tree-lined fairways and the homeward half proving a sterner test over heathland terrain.


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Cruden Bay (Championship)

3rd North East Scotland - Best in Area 11th Scotland Ranking 25th Britain & Ireland Ranking 70th World Ranking

Cruden Bay is an inspirational golf course, regarded by some as quirky and considered by others as a masterpiece. Either way, this is a thrilling place to play golf because the designers used the original lie of the land to fantastic effect.


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Duff House Royal

8th North East Scotland - Best in Area 93rd Scotland Ranking

Duff House Royal Golf Club is a beautiful parkland course with large double–tiered greens (Alister MacKenzie design features) and well positioned bunkers...


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Murcar Links

4th North East Scotland - Best in Area 34th Scotland Ranking

Murcar Links Golf Club is located on a classic stretch of links land with huge sand dunes, crumpled fairways, whins, burns and heather.


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Peterhead (Old)

6th North East Scotland - Best in Area 60th Scotland Ranking

Butch Harmon declared to those members present when he visited the golf club in 2005 that Peterhead Old course was a "hidden gem" which he really enjoyed playing.


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Archie Simpson Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Mike Macleod Courses Played 7
= Steven Hulse Courses Played 7
= Martin Jordan Courses Played 7
= Jim McCann Courses Played 7
= Jim Robertson Courses Played 7
= Robert Mcallan Courses Played 7
7 Ralph Wardlaw Courses Played 6
= Antony J A Gill Courses Played 6
= Michael Lumsden Courses Played 6
= Clyde Johnson Courses Played 6