Frederick (Freddie) Guthrie Tait

1870 - 1900

Golfer. The third son of the Peter Tait (1831 - 1901), Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, the young Tait was playing golf on the links at St. Andrews at seven years of age. Always an amateur, he was attaining remarkable scores on the St. Andrews course by the time he joined the Black Watch regiment and left for officer training at Sandhurst in 1889. At that time the game was unknown at Sandhurst but Tait laid out a small course and taught several of his contemporaries to play. Keeping his form while serving in the army proved difficult until he was posted to Barry Buddon Camp (Angus) where he managed to play each afternoon and broke the course record at Carnoustie (1894). In the same year he broke the course record at St Andrews and won the Calcutta Cup. He won the Amateur Championship in 1896 and again in 1898. Tate also held the record for a drive of 312m (341 yards), remarkable with the old-fashioned balls available at the time. Tait used his swing to the benefit of science allowing his father to conduct experiments on the flight of a golf-ball.

He volunteered to serve in the Boer War, was wounded at Magersfontein (1899) and killed at Koodoosberg Drift the following year. Tate has a street in St Andrews named after him.

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