The prestigious Simpson Cup makes a welcome return to the golf calendar this week, the annual tournament between teams of injured Service members and veterans from the USA and their British counterparts.
Inaugurated in 2012, the Simpson Cup pits 13 injured Service members and veterans from both sides of the Atlantic against one another in an annual, Ryder Cup-style tournament that raises funds and awareness for On Course Foundation – a charitable organisation which is registered in both the USA and the UK.
The R&A provide £10,000 in funding to the On Course Foundation that runs the event, with The Creek in Locust Valley hosting this year’s contest from 10-13 October.
After last year’s event was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ninth edition of the Simpson Cup will proceed as planned, much to the excitement of players and supporters alike.
All competitors involved are members of the Foundation, which helps men and women who were injured, sick or wounded in combat rebuild their lives; both through being given the opportunity to play the game and attaining employment in the golf industry.
Nick Kimmel from the USA will be making his Simpson Cup debut, becoming the first triple amputee in the event's history.
The tournament is named after its founder, John Simpson, former Senior Vice-President of International Management Group. Simpson, who himself only has one fully functioning leg as a result of suffering polio as a child, is also the Chairman and Founder of On Course Foundation, and has managed players such as Sir Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Vijay Singh and Bernhard Langer.
“I’m delighted that the Simpson Cup is set to return, and what a privilege it is for all of us to be staging it at The Creek,” Simpson commented. “This has been an incredibly challenging 18 months for all of us, and especially so for charities like On Course Foundation.
“But it’s thanks to the hard work of our staff and supporters in both the US and Britain that we’ve been able to remain on solid footing, and the opportunity to rekindle the magic of this fine competition is due reward for everyone involved.
“The Simpson Cup has enjoyed an amazing journey over the years, and the players are looking forward to writing the next chapter. With the series evenly poised, I know both teams will be determined to press for victory and stake their claim at this year’s event.”
The event has previously been held at TPC Sawgrass, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Congressional Country Club, Royal St George’s Golf Club, Oak Hill Country Club and, most recently, St Andrews Links in 2019. Team GB are currently in possession of the trophy, having secured a memorable win at the Home of Golf two years ago to leave the series in the balance at four wins apiece.
Located just over 30 miles from New York City, The Creek’s original architect, Charles Blair Macdonald, modelled the course on some of the great holes he played and studied in Scotland over a century ago. The course underwent a major restoration in 2017 but remains true to the vision of Macdonald, offering a variety of spectacular holes hugging the Long Island coastline.
“Once we were approached about the possibility of the Simpson Cup being played at The Creek, we were all hands-on deck to get involved and support the tournament,” said Linda Riefler, President of The Creek.
“We are profoundly grateful to these men and women for the sacrifices they have made for our country, and it is so uplifting to see the difference the game of golf can make in their lives.
“While we were disappointed not to host the event last year as planned, the excitement among our members has grown all the more, and we’re thrilled to welcome the two teams.”
The Simpson Cup commences on the evening of Sunday 10 October with the Opening Ceremony and subsequent fundraising dinner. The following day sees the traditional player/sponsor competition taking place, before the tournament proper begins on the morning of Tuesday 12 October, with six four-ball matches (two against two, better ball). The competition then concludes the next morning with 13 singles matches.