James Braid is one of the finest golf course designers of all time and was one of the leading golfers of his generation.
Open Championship success
Born in Earlsferry in Fife in 1870, Braid was a founder of the world's first PGA 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 aluminium 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 angles of his courses, as well as the pot bunker. His legacy lives on in over 200 courses across Scotland and the UK. However, due to his dislike of travel, he designed only one course in the United States, and never actually visited the site in person.
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. Follow the James Braid Highland Golf Trail and discover seven of his magnificent courses in the north of Scotland.
Although prestigious courses, such as the King's and Queen's at Gleneagles and Carnoustie, are often the most talked about James Braid designs, he actually designed and remodelled over 200 courses throughout the UK. You might have played a James Braid course and not even known it!