King, Fred (1998)

About King, Fred (1998)

No tribute video has been produced.

1922-1972. Fred B. King served Middle Atlantic PGA and the U.S. Air Force with great distinction. In the MAPGA his reputation as a teacher and charity fundraiser won him respect throughout the golf community.

Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Fred played many sports, but could swim particularly well. As a swimmer and diver, he finished first in the 1939 AAU Louisiana District Swim Meet for “Men’s Fancy Diving” and third in the 100-yard breast stroke. Fred’s golf career golf began as a caddie at the Lafayette City Golf Course with the Herbert brothers, Jay and Lionel. He enrolled at the University of Southwest Louisiana on a football scholarship, but during World War II enlisted in the Army Air Corps. While in flight training, doctors diagnosed “discoid lupus erythematosus.” The illness did not stop him, however, from completing the training and serving the country for twenty years. As an Air Corps pilot, he flew in British Guiana, Puerto Rico, Korea, Guam, and Japan. He retired his wings in 1963.

In 1962, the Air Force awarded him the Airman’s Medal. The citation reads “distinguished himself by heroism involving risk of life in the Intracoastal Waterway…upon seeing a youth struggling in the water…immediately dove into the water to help him…succeeded in getting the victim into a boat…and then revived the unconscious boy.”

Upon leaving the military Fred King accepted the head professional position at North Augusta Country Club in 1964. In 1968, he came to Washington, D.C. to run the Air Force’s premier golf complex at Andrews Air Force Base where he presided for twenty years. Even in retirement he couldn’t stay away. He worked as a teaching professional at his son’s Lakeview Golf Club in South Carolina for several years.

Immediately after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Fred began running an annual one-hour-per-week golf clinic for children at no charge. Fred and his assistants spent one day a week working with children on the fundamentals throughout July and August. By the mid 1970s, more than 100 kids would participate each summer. He also maintained a golf academy for the military personnel’s children and was a keen supporter of ladies’ day at the club.

Within the MAPGA Fred held the Secretary’s position and served on the Club Relations Committee in 1973 and 1974. In 1982, his peers recognized him as the MAPGA Professional of the Year and oftentimes referred to him as one of the region’s greatest ambassadors for The PGA and the game of golf. All the while, he maintained his game well enough to compete in PGA Club Professional Championships.

His outgoing personality, sense of humor, and genuine interest in people were rewarded by an outpouring of response when he hosted charity events. It was widely known that Fred would seldom turn down a public speaking date for civic clubs or charity and golf groups where he regaled them with his humorous stories in his Louisiana Cajun dialect.

Fred King founded the Lupus Foundation Tournament in the late 1970s where the yearly contribution reached nearly $15,000. The tournament has raised $200,000 by the mid 1980s for research to cure the anti-immune disease. He conceived, and in 1979 established, the annual clinic and tournament for residents of the U.S. Soldiers and Airmen’s Home in Washington D.C. This event continues to this day through the efforts of Quin Sullivan, head PGA Professional at Springfield Golf and Country Club.  (rev. 2004)