Simpsons of Carnoustie welcomes Chinese pilgrims


24th April 2015

The first of this year’s Chinese visitors were welcomed to Carnoustie last week by Simpsons Golf Shop in Carnoustie. The group from Guangzhou and Shenzhen in southern China had heard about Simpsons of Carnoustie due to the growing publicity being promoted in China by Dave Valentine who bought the shop over a year ago.  Dave met the group’s leader during a recent visit to the China Golf Show in Beijing organised by Scottish Development International when around 18 Scottish companies and golf resort venues promoted their golf travel packages and other products to the ever growing China golfing community.

The Chinese visitors are in discussion with Dave about developing a Simpsons Hickory Golf format for corporate and club golf tournaments in China. Dave confirmed he has received similar interests from other parties around China and he hopes to encourage more Chinese golfers to play Carnoustie and make a pilgrimage to Simpsons which is recognised the world over because of its iconic multi-coloured dome that is so often featured in global TV coverage when major tournaments are being staged from the Championship course.

Dave added that “March saw the commencement of our campaign to promote the golf heritage of Carnoustie and Simpsons in the China golf market. In February, Valentine International - the sister company of Simpsons Golf Shop Ltd - co-produced ten films in partnership with the China Golf Channel bringing the Simpsons of Carnoustie story to a viewing audience of over 20 million golf fans. Dave explained that through his longstanding personal friendship with the owner of the China Golf Channel, he was fortunate in bringing over their most famous celebrity host Mr Li Weijian together with anchor-man Clement Zhang and film director Mr Wu. They visited Scotland in February 2015 with the intention of producing 3 ten minute films to screen at the China Golf show in March. The weather was superb and Scotland provided enough content for ten, ten-minute films. These will be broadcast as a series over the coming months.

The films feature some of Scotland’s iconic venues and brands such as Selkirk based Lochcarron of Scotland – the producer of the Ryder Cup tartan – Peter Scott knitwear in Hawick and The Macallan Distillery in Aberdeenshire. It also featured some of Scotland’s great golf courses including the Old course St Andrews, Kingsbarns Golf Links and the Old course Musselburgh. Panmure Golf Links, Carnoustie were also featured in an 11 minute film showing the celebrity host teeing off in his Ryder Cup tartan kilt and cap.

Dave whose company Valentine International LLP financed the enterprise said \"the Chinese golfing community looks to Scotland as the Home of World Golf and is keen to learn about our golf culture and heritage. My aim is to make Simpsons a “must see” pilgrimage so that when Chinese golfers visit St Andrews they will also choose to play our Championship course and visit the shop where Robert Simpson had established his business\". 

\"The fact that Simpsons is the second oldest surviving golf business in the world has a great resonance for Chinese golfers who are fascinated by the story of this iconic golfing family. The film tells the story and also introduces Trevor Williamson - Robert Simpson\'s grandson - who owned the shop until the mid-eighties. The Simpson brothers arguably contributed more to the development of competitive golf than any other family and, as owner of the Simpsons Golf Shop, my intention is to tell the story locally, nationally and internationally. The Simpsons story will not just feature in the film. The story has already been featured on “Golf Tips” a social media channel with 150,000 subscribers and two of China’s major golf magazines will be covering the story too. In July we will be bringing Travel TV with an audience of over 1 billion free to air viewers in the Far East including India and China.”

Dave continued “Instead of competing, I believe our aim locally should be to collaborate with the aim of increasing the number of visitors to Carnoustie. China is a lucrative market and we could all do worse than focus on encouraging more Chinese golfers to come here.  By working together in this way I’m sure we can bring added benefits for the whole community. Through collaboration with the Carnoustie Links Board, with Angus Council’s Carnoustie country initiative and the local town and trade I feel sure we can do more to promote Carnoustie\'s fantastic heritage. We all know that on average Chinese golfers spend at least five times more than any other visitor.  So by telling the story about Carnoustie\'s contribution to the development of golf globally I feel sure we can work together in bring even more Chinese visitors to the town and increase the benefits for everyone locally.\"

A copy of the film is available on Youtube or search for “Simpsons of Carnoustie”

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