James Braid (golfer)

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James Braid
James Braid golf 1904.jpg
Braid in 1904
Personal information
Full nameJames Braid
Born(1870-02-06)6 February 1870
Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland
Died27 November 1950(1950-11-27) (aged 80)
London, England
Sporting nationality Scotland
Professional wins19
Best results in major championships
(wins: 5)
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1976 (member page)
Braid in 1927
Braid caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1907

James Braid (6 February 1870[1] – 27 November 1950) was a Scottish professional golfer and a member of the Great Triumvirate of the sport alongside Harry Vardon and John Henry Taylor. He won The Open Championship five times.[2] He also was a renowned golf course architect. Braid is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Braid was born in Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland, the son of James and Mary (née Harris). He played golf from an early age, working as a clubmaker before turning professional in 1896. Initially his game was hindered by problems with his putting, but he overcame this after switching to an aluminium putter in 1900. He won The Open Championship in 1901, 1905, 1906, 1908 and 1910. In addition, Braid won four British PGA Matchplay Championships (1903, 1905, 1907 and 1911), as well as the 1910 French Open title. He was also runner-up in The Open Championship in 1897, 1902, 1904, and 1909. His 1906 victory in The Open Championship was the last successful defence of the title by a European until Pádraig Harrington replicated the feat in 2008.[3]

In 1912, Braid scaled back his tournament golf, and became a full-time club professional at Walton Heath; he had begun a relationship with that London-area club more than a decade before. He developed a very successful career in golf course design,[4][5] and is sometimes regarded as the "inventor" of the dogleg, although holes of similar design had been known for centuries (for example, the Road Hole at the Old Course at St Andrews). Among his designs are the "King's Course" and the "Queen's Course" at Gleneagles, and the 1926 remodelling of The Open Championship venue Carnoustie Golf Links.

Stranraer Golf Club's course was the final one that was designed by Braid in the year that he died, 1950. He was called out of retirement to plan Creachmore, which was to be his last commission. Braid never lived to see the course completed. He died in London on 27 November 1950.[6]

Harry Vardon and Braid collaborated on several editions of Spalding Athletic Library "How to Play Golf".[7] Braid also wrote "Advanced Golf, or, Hints and Instruction for Progressive Players" in 1911. There is also a book about all the courses Braid designed as an architect titled "James Braid and his 400 courses."

Tournament wins (19)[edit]

Note: This list may be incomplete.

Major championships are shown in bold.

Major championships[edit]

Wins (5)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1901 The Open Championship 5 shot lead 79-76-74-80=309 3 strokes Jersey Harry Vardon
1905 The Open Championship (2) 6 shot lead 81-78-78-81=318 5 strokes England Rowland Jones, England J.H. Taylor
1906 The Open Championship (3) 3 shot deficit 77-76-74-73=300 4 strokes England J.H. Taylor
1908 The Open Championship (4) 6 shot lead 70-72-77-72=291 8 strokes England Tom Ball
1910 The Open Championship (5) 2 shot deficit 76-73-74-76=299 4 strokes Scotland Sandy Herd

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship T10 6 2 T10 T5
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
The Open Championship 3 1 T2 5 T2 1 1 T5 1 T2
Tournament 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
The Open Championship 1 T5 3 T18 T10 NT NT NT NT NT
Tournament 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
The Open Championship T21 T16 T49 T18 T28 T30 T41
Tournament 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938
The Open Championship CUT

Note: Braid only played in The Open Championship

  Top 10
  Did not play

NT = No tournament
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Team appearances[edit]

Golf courses designed by Braid[edit]

Braid designed[8] over 200 courses including the following:

Singapore designs[edit]

Braid disliked travel overseas, very rarely left the British Isles, and never traveled outside Europe. But he did design two 18-hole golf courses for the Singapore Island Country Club in Asia, using topographic maps to plan his layouts there, which were then constructed to his orders.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Births in the Parish of Kilconquar in the County of Fife". Statutory Births 436/00 0009. ScotlandsPeople. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
  2. ^ "James Braid". The Open. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Harrington sets 'exclusive' goals". BBC News. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  4. ^ "The James Braid Golf Trail". Visit Scotland. Archived from the original on 19 May 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  5. ^ The Golf Courses of James Braid by John F Moreton, Grant Books, 1996.
  6. ^ "History of Stranraer Golf Club". Archived from the original on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  7. ^ "How to Play Golf". Hathitrust. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  8. ^ The Golf Courses of James Braid by John F Moreton, Grant Books (1996)
  9. ^ a b Tremlett, Sam (1 November 2019). "What Courses Has James Braid Designed?". Golf Monthly. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Home". Kirkhill Golf Club. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  11. ^ "The Golf Course", by Geoffrey Cornish and Ronald Whitten, 1981, 'James Braid' in golf course architects section

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]