Open Championship success
Born in Fife in 1879, he became a professional golfer in 1896 and won the prestigious Open Championship an impressive five times.
He was a tall, powerful player who was well known for striking the ball with considerable venom, but he always maintained an appearance of outward calm. Though Braid started his golfing life with putting problems, he pioneered the use of aluminum headed putters - and became lethal on the greens. He became one of a group of golfers (alongside JH Taylor and Harry Vardon) known as the ‘Great Triumvirate’ who dominated the game during the early 20th century.
With his vast experience of tournament play and his keen eye and understanding of design and construction, Braid was perfectly placed to move into golf architecture. He set the standard in golf course design that the rest of the world would follow.
Braid was a pioneer in his field and was renowned for the dog-leg or angles to his courses, as well as the pot bunker. His legacy lives in over 200 courses across Scotland and the UK. However, due to a dislike of travel, he designed only one course in the United States, but never actually visited the site.
To fully understand why James Braid is considered one of the finest golf course designers of all time, you simply have to see his work for yourself. From the stunning King’s and Queen’s courses at Gleneagles in Perthshire, to the last course with his stamp on it at Stranraer in Dumfries & Galloway, his legacy lives on.
Only then will you realise why his designs, and legend, have stood the test of time.
Discover the James Braid Trails which were established as a tribute to the man’s immense contribution to the game as both a champion golfer and a golf course pioneer.