2017 was a difficult year for Webb Simpson and his family. Simpson lost his father, Sam Simpson, in November after he battled Lewy Body Dementia. Simpson’s mother, Debbie Simpson, admitted it was challenging for the family.
“He’s a hard one to lose,” Debbie told Golf Digest. “For my children and me.”
Simpson has tried to replicate the principles he learned from his father in his marriage and with his four children. Webb Simpson’s wife, Dowd Simpson, explained why she fell in love with her husband.
“Webb is so rare,” Dowd told Walter Magazine. “He is so kind and gentle, and yet he’s a fighter, and has such ambition, and he does such a great job of balancing that.”
Simpson comes from a family of five siblings. Webb’s sister, Natalie, spoke with WRAL about her brother’s work ethic.
“We would go to tournaments when we were in middle school,” Natalie told WRAL. “We did not want to go, and they would take us and we would get back at 5 p.m. on a Sunday and he’d go out there and keep practicing.”
Here’s what you need to know about Webb Simpson’s family:
1. Webb Simpson’s Mom, Debbie Simpson, Dropped Him Off at the Golf Course ‘Rain or Shine’
Debbie Simpson believes her son was able to become a professional golfer after all the hours he put in at the golf course when he was growing up. Debbie Simpson noted to Walter Magazine that Webb Simpson was not quick to make excuses, even if it was raining. She would drop him off early in the morning with very few people at the course, and pick him up late at night.
“I would drop him off in the summers at seven in the morning, or before, and sometimes the course wasn’t even open, and he’d get there when the bag boys would get there,” Debbie Simpson told Walter Magazine. “And then one of us would pick him up at dark. During the school year, after school we’d go get a snack, and I’d drop him straight off. Same thing. Rain or shine. He wanted to learn how to play in the rain.”
Debbie Simpson was also quick to credit her late husband for teaching her son how to play the game with class, and develop character along the way.
“He learned the integrity, he learned the honesty, he learned the sportsmanship from these men and his daddy,” Debbie Simpson told Walter Magazine. “He learned how fun the golf game could be, but he learned to want to win.”
2. Webb Simpson’s Father, Sam SImpson, Introduced Him to Golf & His Wife, Dowd
According to Golf Digest, Sam Simpson first introduced his son to golf, and would later play matchmaker as his son began college at Wake Forest. Golf Digest described Sam Simpson’s approach to golf and easing his son into the game.
Sam was a good club golfer who usually shot in the high 70s and always played to scratch as a guy you’d want in your foursome—or at your table afterwards. As Webb’s interest in the game grew, the golf course became a natural place for father and son to bond, whether it was Carolina C.C., the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C., or the C.C. of North Carolina in Pinehurst. Sam never pushed, taking the approach that he wanted golf to be fun for Webb.
In an interview with Raleigh-based publication Walter Magazine, Sam Simpson complimented his son, and explained that his accomplishments are thanks to the work he has put in over the years.
“He did not inherit any talent,” Sam Simpson told Walter Magazine. “His hard work is what did it. His hard work did it for him, and his love of the game.”
Sam Simpson ran into Dowd at a party at Wake Forest, and offered her $100 to go on a date with his son. It took months for the two to actually meet, but Dowd finally took Sam Simpson up on his offer.
3. Webb Simpson’s Dad Died From Lewy Body Dementia in 2017
According to Golf Digest, Webb Simpson’s father was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, the same thing Robin Williams was diagnosed with after his autopsy. The disease is a form of Parkinson’s, and Sam Simpson died on November 26, 2017 after fighting the disease. Debbie Simpson explained why the disease was so difficult.
“The double whammy,” Debbie Simpson told Golf Digest. “Parkinson’s and dementia. It’s very hard to diagnose.”
Sam Simpson was Webb Simpson’s caddie during one of the Masters Par 3 Contest, an annual event for golfers and their families on the eve of the tournament. Webb Simpson admitted to the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis that he thinks of his father “all the time” on the golf course, noting he still feels his father’s presence after his passing.
As Webb Simpson was with his father over his final days, he noted there was so much about his dad he was learning thanks to friends and family retelling memorable stories about Sam Simpson.
“The last few days, friends have been coming in, telling stories,” Webb Simpson told Golf Digest. “There are so many things about him I didn’t know. He was so humble, he didn’t tell us. I’m so thankful to be here to have heard these stories.”
4. Thanks to His Dad’s $100, Webb Simpson Is Married to Dowd Simpson & the Couple Has 4 Children
The story of how Webb met his wife Dowd Simpson has become a legendary tale. It was his father that met Dowd Simpson first at a party, and offered her $100 to go on one date with his son. Dowd Simpson had a perfectly endearing response.
“If he’s half as cute as you, I’ll do it for free,” Dowd quipped as Wake Forest Magazine recounted the tale.
Wake Forest Magazine explained how Webb and Dowd finally met.
Dowd and Webb never met that night, but a couple of months later Webb thought he had spotted this mystery girl at a party (based on descriptions from his father, he was on the lookout). Sure enough, it was Dowd. Their relationship started out as bantering in the dorm room with friends, then progressed to dating as a full-fledged couple. And yes, says Dowd, Webb’s father paid up the $100. The young couple used it for a steak dinner at Ryan’s, their favorite restaurant.
After a year-long breakup, the couple would eventually rekindle their relationship after college, and get married a few months later. The couple now have three daughters and a son: Mercy, James, Willow & Wyndham
5. Webb Turned Around on His Way to the 2016 THE PLAYERS Championship, Just in Time for the Birth of His Youngest Daughter, Mercy
Back in 2016, Webb was on his way from their Charlotte home at the Quail Hollow Club to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida where we was planning on competing in THE PLAYERS Championship. The only catch was Dowd was due with their fourth child, but the couple agreed the birth was at least a week away.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Webb was praying on his way to play at Sawgrass when he decided he wanted to turn around to be with his wife. Shortly after Webb arrived back home, Dowd began having contractions, and the couple went straight to the hospital. The Charlotte Observer detailed how Webb arrived just in time.
“I had woken up that morning and didn’t feel really good about leaving, although the doctor and Dowd said it was fine,” Simpson said. “I spent my first hour on the road praying about it.
“Then I finally turned around. I was a wreck. I’m a big believer in the power of prayer. I didn’t want to miss the birth. It was a big deal.”
Simpson waited until he was within 30 minutes of Charlotte before calling Dowd to tell her he had turned back.
“It didn’t matter what I said,” Dowd Simpson said. “He was coming back. I said, ‘OK, hey, I’d love to have you another week before the baby gets here.’ ”
Then Dowd Simpson began having contractions.
When Webb Simpson arrived , they immediately drove to Carolinas Medical Center.
“We left for the hospital at 10 (a.m.),” Webb said. “We got to the hospital at 10:30. By the time I parked, it was 10:40. Five minutes later, the baby was out.”
The couple has their hands full with four small children, but Webb Simpson is used to having a large family. Dowd Simpson grew up in Charlotte, while her husband is from Raleigh.