James finds his range in driving series opener

James Tait
James Tait

It’s safe to say that being able to blast it unbelievable distances off the golf tee runs in James Tait’s blood.

While most amateurs are content with a reasonably straight drive, measuring up at a couple of hundred yards, the Tait family have always been leaders at hammering it far and true.

St Andrean James currently leads the Long Drive World Series, a thrilling competition which brings together 16 ‘golfing gladiators’ who each get three minutes to hit eight balls as far as possible in four sudden death knockout rounds.

Sky Sports is heavily behind the series, and viewers across the weekend watched on as James won stage one of the planned 10 events with a 386-yard drive, six yards clear of defending champion Tim Burke of America, in the final.

James only took up distance driving last year after having been persuaded by his sister Camilla, also a keen golfer, to take part in a qualifier at a local American Golf store for their UK Championships.

He easily progressed with a drive of 384 yards and made it to the finals.

The rest is history and James made the decision to focus on the distance game having been playing as a pro golfer on the American circuit.

He said: “Going into the event I felt good and wanted to get off to a good start.

“It’s all going to get quite exciting now and as a sport it’s going from strength to strength in the same way as 20/20 did in cricket. It’s great for golf.”

“I’d been working in retail in London but now have a couple of sponsors so I can breathe a bit and concentrate on it as a career.”

James, a former St Andrews GC Junior captain, comes from terrific stock with his great, great uncle, two time British Amateur Champion Freddie Tait, also well-known for his long ball, famously hitting it a record 341 yards in 1893.

“He was a big hitter in his day and a distance like that back then was pretty special,” added James.

The next series event is on March 15 in Mexico.