Tom Simpson

Full Name
Thomas Simpson
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Year of Birth
1877
Year of Death
1964 (aged 87)
Place Born
Prestwich, Lancashire, England
Place Died
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England

"It is only the mad masterpieces of the world that live in one's memory, such as holes 12, 13, 14, 16 and 17 at St Andrews, Sea Headrig at Prestwick, the 4th at Woking, the 14th at Liphook, the 13th at West Sussex and the 8th at Addington, to mention but a few of the classics." Tom Simpson

In 1895, Tom Simpson matriculated into Trinity Hall College, Cambridge to read Law before being admitted to the Bar a decade later. Strangely, there’s no record of him playing golf competitively whilst at university, though he was subsequently elected to the Oxford & Cambridge Golfing Society in 1934.

A biography of Tom Simpson was published in A Century of Golf at Cruden Bay: "A scratch golfer, he played most of his golf at Woking, and became interested in golf course design as he observed the remodelling of Woking's course by club members John Law and Stuart Paton."

Simpson, the only son of mining and printing magnate William Simpson and his wife Mary, spent only five years as a barrister in the legal profession before leaving behind the stifling offices at the Temple in London for a career as a golf course architect with Herbert Fowler in 1910.

The outbreak of World War I curtailed much of Simpson’s design efforts whilst employed with the Ministry of Munitions during hostilities but his architectural talents were put to full use when he became a partner in the Fowler, Abercromby, Simpson and Croome design firm in 1920.

Simpson handled most of the company’s business in Europe, mainly in Belgium and France, where he laid out or refashioned some of the finest courses on the continent, including Fontainebleau, Chantilly and Morfontaine, which is widely regarded as his architectural pièce de résistance. He also designed quite a few private courses for the likes of Lord Louis Mountbatten, Sir Mortimer Singer and the Rothchild family.

By the end of the 1920s, his association with Fowler, Abercromby and Croome had ended but he engaged Philip Mackenzie Ross to wo...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Tom Simpson

Ashridge

2nd Hertfordshire - Best in Area 73rd England Ranking

The enchanting Ashridge Golf Club is set amongst thousands of acres of National Trust-owned woodland. The scene is set as you drive to the clubhouse.

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Barrière de Deauville (Rouge & Blanc)

9th North West France - Best in Area 55th France Ranking

The 18-hole layout of first choice at l’Hôtel Barrière de Deauville comprises the 9-hole Rouge and Blanc nines, with the 9-hole Bleu as an additional playing option. The club hosted two editions of the French Open here in 1931 and 1956.

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Blackwell

1st Worcestershire - Best in Area 89th England Ranking

Six times an Open Championship Regional Qualifying course, Blackwell Golf Club is the quintessential English gem and has a proud history dating back to 1893.

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Chantilly (Vineuil)

2nd North East France - Best in Area 2nd France Ranking 5th Continental Europe Ranking

According to the old Big Bopper song, "Chantilly Lace had a pretty face and a wiggle in her walk". Golf de Chantilly is far more than a pretty face; it’s one of Europe’s most glorious courses.

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Chiberta

3rd South West France - Best in Area 14th France Ranking 62nd Continental Europe Ranking

Golf de Chiberta is a monument to one of the world’s greatest architects, Tom Simpson, and it is also one of the few links courses on the French Atlantic coastline.

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County Louth

1st Louth - Best in Area 10th Ireland Ranking 54th Britain & Ireland Ranking

The approach road to the links of County Louth Golf Club, or Baltray as it is better known, named after the local fishing village, is especially uplifting.

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Cowdray Park

18th Sussex - Best in Area

Originally designed by Herbert Fowler and J. F. Abercromby, the course at Cowdray Park is set in a massive 16,500-acre estate where golfers enjoy wonderful views across the South Downs National Park.

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Cruden Bay (Championship)

3rd North East Scotland - Best in Area 11th Scotland Ranking 24th Britain & Ireland Ranking 71st 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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