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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
William Sime
Elie/New York/Chicago
William Sime came from Elie. I know that because he was back visiting home before he sailed to America in 1903 and, from that, he could either be William Overstone Sime or William Brown Sime both born in 1877 in Elie and Earlsferry respectively! Graham Johnston of the Elie and Earlsferry Historical Society has done some research based on papers received from the family so identifies the subject of this sketch as William Brown Sime born on 17 November 1877. He was playing as an amateur for the Earlsferry Thistle club in the mid-1890s.

I find no direct record of him as a professional for him in Britain but suspect he was one of the two ‘W Simes’ (the other presumably being W Overstone Sime) playing with the affiliation of Hastings in the three-day Carnoustie professional tournament of 1898. My guess is there was an Elie connection at Hastings: Douglas Rolland and James Braid went to play exhibition matches around the time of its opening and it’s first professional was J Keddie, (described variously as John and James and, on another occasion with a reference to ‘the brothers Keddie’!) who may well be the Elie clubmaker of the same name.

The news of Sime’s departure from Scotland described him as a clubmaker and this is where he found his first employment in America at BGI in Bridgeport, CT until 1904 when the company ceased production. Between 1907 and 1908 he was professional at the New York club and played in the Van Cortland Park “Open to the World” championship and in the 1908 US Open at Myopia.

In 1910 he went west to become J S Peabody’s assistant at the new Lake Shore Country Club in Glencoe, Illinois. He joined the MacGregor company in 1912. He was laid off by MacGregor at one point and started making clubs on his own account before working for Wilson between 1917 and 1920. He rejoined MacGregor in 1920 ultimately becoming their head of club design.

He moved to California after retirement and died there in 1949.

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