James Braid
Course Designer and 5 time Open Champion

James Braid (6 February 1870 27 November 1950), along with Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor, formed Britain's Great "Triumvirate" of early 20th-century golfers. Vardon won 6 Open Championships and Braid and Taylor 5 each.

Braid took up the game as a young child and won his first local tournament at age 8. His game developed along with an interest in clubmaking, and in 1893 he took a position as clubmaker in London.

Braid turned pro in 1896. His play, prior to the turn of the century, was marked by long driving but inconsistent putting. While Vardon and Taylor were already winning Opens, Braid's putter kept him from breaking through.

He switched to an aluminum-headed putter in 1900 (from a wooden-headed model) and his putting improved. In 1901, he won his first British Open, and he won five more by 1910 - reaching 5 before either Vardon or Taylor.

Through 1911, Braid also won the British Professional Match Play four times and the French Open once. He retired from competitive golf in 1912, joining Walton Heath as its club professional. He remained at Walton Heath until his death.

Braid's great passion after his retirement was course design. It it estimated that he designed or re-designed more than 200 courses around Great Britain (fear of flying and motion sickness on boat rides prevented him from ever working in the U.S.). Among the courses he helped remodel are Carnoustie, Troon, Prestwick and Ballybunion.

Many of Braid's best courses were inland parkland tracks (as opposed to seaside links), and some of these courses contain the earliest known uses of the dogleg. In fact, some have postulated that Braid "invented" the dogleg hole.

Braid was a founding member of the British PGA and authored an instructional book entitled "Advanced Golf."

Association of James Braid Courses

Members of Neath Golf Club can enjoy the benefit of being attached to a James Braid designed course with discounted green fees at other James Braid designed courses.

Discounted Green Fees at other James Braid Designed Courses can be seen by clicking here.


Open Championship Winning Record
1901 - Muirfield
1905 - St. Andrews
1906 - Muirfield
1908 - Prestwick
1910 - St. Andrews

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