James Braid

Full Name
James Braid
Website:
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Year of Birth
1870
Year of Death
1950 aged 80
Place Born
Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland
Place Died
London, England

World Golf Hall of Fame – Class of 1976: “James Braid’s worst finish in The Open Championship from 1901-1910 was fifth. In 1904, he was also the first player in an Open to break 70, shooting 69 in the third round at Royal St. George’s.”

James Braid was born in 1870 in Earlsferry, the adjoining village to Elie in the East Neuk of Fife, leaving school at the tender age of thirteen to train as a joiner’s apprentice. He became a member of Earlsferry Thistle two years later, playing on what was then an 11-hole course at Elie, and was down to scratch by his sixteenth birthday.

Braid moved to St Andrews in 1889, playing in matches against Andrew Kirkcaldy and his brother Hugh, then moved to Edinburgh two years later, joining the Edinburgh Thistle Club which played on the Braids municipal moorland course overlooking the capital. He spent another two years working there before heading south of the border.

His friend Charles Smith, the foreman clubmaker at the Army and Navy Stores in London had notified Braid of a vacancy that had arisen. So, although Braid had never made a club in his life and knew nothing about the process, he set off for the Big Smoke with at least an understanding of how to work with wood and tools.

From late 1893 until the summer of 1896, Braid’s time away from his London day job saw him practice at a number of clubs, including Chiswick, Sudbrook Park and Mid-Surrey. He also assisted at Hastings in 1895 before becoming the fulltime professional at Romford a year later.

Braid laid out the course at nearby Theydon Bois in 1898, receiving £4.13s.6d for his efforts. It was a 9-hole affair (which Fred W. Hawtree extended to eighteen holes in 1971), most of which is still intact. It would be the first of many courses he’d design but his professional playing career was also in full swing.

Three years after winning his first Open in 1901, Braid moved to Walton Heath and he would remain Head Prof...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by James Braid

Alloa

3rd Central Scotland - Best in Area

Situated in 150 acres of beautiful parkland estate in the shadow of the Ochil Hills, the 6,200 yard layout at Alloa Golf Club is a fine test of golf.

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Alyth

7th Perth & Kinross - Best in Area 89th Scotland Ranking

Alyth Golf Club, in the Vale of Strathmore, is a little off the main Scottish golfing tracks, but is well worth the deviation away from other more well known courses.

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Arbroath

10th Angus & Dundee - Best in Area

Home to Arbroath Artisan Golf Club, Old Tom Morris designed Arbroath Golf Links in 1877. This little known course lies a mere five miles up the North Sea coast from Carnoustie.

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Bangor

9th Down - Best in Area 17th Northern Ireland Ranking

Bangor Golf Club still retains the original Braid design hallmarks that have delighted generations of local golfers.

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Banstead Downs

38th Surrey - Best in Area

Designed by James Braid, Banstead Downs Golf Club was inaugurated in 1890 and this natural, recently extended, 6,581-yard, lie-of-the-land course is routed over free draining chalk downland.

Belleisle

16th Ayrshire & Arran - Best in Area

Ayr Belleisle is one of the best public golf courses in Scotland... designed by the great James Braid.

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Berkhamsted

6th Hertfordshire - Best in Area

If you like golf as Nature intended, or if sand bunker play is not a strong part of your game, you’ll love it here at Berkhamsted Golf Club...

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Bishop's Stortford

24th Hertfordshire - Best in Area

Established in 1910, the gently undulating parkland course at Bishop’s Stortford Golf Club was originally designed by James Braid and later altered by Harry Colt.

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