Well-known Forfar couple Dave and Margaret Valentine are teeing up a new business venture which they hope will boost the tourism industry in Angus.
The couple have acquired the iconic Golf Shop in Carnoustie, known affectionately to golfers the world over as Simpsons, in a move which has been welcomed by the shop’s three employees as well as by leading business representatives and golfing organisations in Carnoustie.
Mr Valentine, who built up strong business relations with Angus and China whilst head of economic development and environment and consumer protection at Angus Council, said they aimed to develop and promote the ‘Simpsons’ brand abroad.
He said: “We will start by telling the story of Simpsons in China where I have extensive golf industry and media connections. There is a huge interest in the Scottish culture and heritage of golf amongst the growing numbers of Chinese golfers and I feel sure they will warm to the authenticity of the Simpsons story.
“This year is the 30th anniversary of golf in China and my intention is to co-produce a Simpsons book with a Chinese golf writer and at the same time introduce hickory golf tournaments as a marketing platform for Simpsons-branded heritage products. A number of venues with links-style courses are already interested in the concept. Of course the foundation for the brand is the shop which, having been established in 1883, is reckoned to be the second oldest golf shop in the world. Frankly, if we hadn’t stepped in and bought the shop it would most likely have closed and this would have been a disaster for Carnoustie’s golf heritage as well as for the employees and everyone concerned. Keeping and sustaining this iconic shop is, in my view, the foundation for telling the Simpsons story and developing what will hopefully become a major heritage golf brand for Carnoustie in the future”.