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Antique Golf Clubs from Scotland
R H Henrit
Arbroath / Queensland
Born on 15 August 1877 Robert Hutchison Henrit was appointed professional at Arbroath in September 1908 having been previously supervisor of the ladies’ course in his home town of St Andrews.

The 1911 census shows him living with wife Margaret and three young children at Queen Street, Arbroath. He entered the 1912 Open at Muirfield but did not get past qualifying, He produced clubs using an ovoid hickory shaft but I have not established whether he held a patent for this design. He was still in Arbroath in 1914, having played in a foursome against Ben Sayers that year, but returned to St Andrews after serving in the First World War as a deckhand with the Naval Reserve. He met with regular success in local competitions and it was ‘where he spent many years before Mr J A Walshe discovered him’ as a later Australian newspaper report has it. Making Mr Walshe sound like an intrepid zoologist, his discovery sailed for Brisbane, Australia aboard the Orsova on 19 March 1921 to become the professional at Queensland (now Royal Queensland) GC. He remained for three years, the Brisbane Courier describing his last match in May 1924. During that time he played in the 1922 Australian Open in Sydney finishing tied for 16th.

He returned to St Andrews. Perhaps he picked up on the apparent fondness for sledging down under but none of the namby-pamby name calling associated with disputes between modern golf professionals, he was in court in St Andrews in 1931 for assault having punched his fellow golf professional, Thomas Blair, in the face a couple of times after using ‘most filthy language’. He was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months.

This was no isolated incident. He had been before the court in September 1929 charged with assaulting his son, a caddy, and causing a breach of the peace. Admitting five previous convictions, he was sent to prison for twenty days.

He died in St Andrews in 1967.

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