19th Hole: Scott Simpson

By |  August 26, 2021 0 Comments
Photo of Scott Simpson by Diane Simpson

Photo of Scott Simpson by Diane Simpson

Scott Simpson

Superintendent // Benton (Ill.) CC

You had to carry me all round, drinks are on me. What would you like? I’m having a cold Bud Light.

Tell me about your family. My wife Diane, we just celebrated our 10-year anniversary last weekend. We have a little boy, Brendan. He’s 7. And I have two older boys: Thomas is 27, and Andrew is 25.

Tell me about Benton CC. Our golf course is nine holes, chartered in 1919. The greens we’re taking care of today were built in 1946: 75-year-old pushup greens. As you can imagine, it’s a lot to deal with in the summer months.

How did you get to be superintendent there? I was on the board of directors and was the greens chairman. The person who was taking care of the golf course left, and the board said, you need to give it a shot and see what you can do. I said, I’ll try it. If I can’t make it better, then I’m going to step back. I had no experience, and I knew just enough to ask a lot of questions to the right people. That was 15 years ago. I’m still going strong.

What were you doing at the time? I had a sales job with a company in St. Louis, and then I went out on my own. I was in the rubber industry — O-rings, gaskets and so on. I’m actually still in it today. It was a side job I kept going.

You’re a former greens chair turned super. I like that. I was crazy enough to take the challenge, and here I am.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on the course? It was April of this year … we had a massive flock of white pelicans. They took over the lake, and they were feeding all over. There were thousands! In 15 years here, it was the only time I’ve seen them.

What sports teams do you root for? I’m a lifelong St. Louis Blues fan. I’m also a Cardinals fan. My son Thomas went to Mississippi State, so going down and seeing him at school got me hooked on Mississippi State and particularly SEC football.

What’s the best sporting event you’ve seen in person? That’s a tough one. I have three, maybe four. I’ve been to two Kentucky Derbys, both an unbelievable time. I’ve been to four Wednesday practice rounds and the par three tournaments at Augusta. Two years ago, I did a football doubleheader with my son. At 1 p.m., we saw Alabama play at Mississippi State. After that game, we drove up to Oxford and saw LSU play Ole Miss. At the time, LSU and Alabama were No. 1 and No. 2. But, hands down my best sporting event wasn’t even a real sporting event — it’s the 2019 St. Louis Blues parade through downtown St. Louis. A few thousand people and I having a great time.

As interviewed by Seth Jones, July 6, 2021.

This article is tagged with and posted in 19th Hole, Featured, From the Magazine, People

About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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