James Braid

James Braid, the son of a ploughman from Elie in Fife, was said to play golf with a “divine fury” yet became so successful he was rated as one of the Great Triumvirate alongside Harry Vardon and JH Taylor.
  • Played a role in the 1926 remodelling of Open venue Carnoustie

    Did you know?

  • 19

    Professional wins

  • He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1976

    Other accolades

James Braid, the son of a ploughman from Elie in Fife, was said to play golf with a “divine fury” yet became so successful he was rated as one of the Great Triumvirate alongside Harry Vardon and JH Taylor

A tall man, he hit the ball huge distances but struggled with his putting until adopting a heavy aluminium-head putter.

From his debut in The Open in 1894 until 1912 he was never out of the top-ten. But it took him until 1901 at Muirfield to win for the first time, beating Vardon and Taylor, who had won six of the previous seven Opens between them.

But the first decade of the 20th century belonged to Braid. In ten years he won The Open five times, was runner-up three times and was fifth on the other two occasions. He was the first player to win The Open five times, a tally soon matched by Taylor and later by Peter Thomson and Tom Watson but only ever exceeded by Vardon.

He won back-to-back titles in 1905 and ’06 and is the only Champion to win twice at both St Andrews and Muirfield. At Prestwick in 1908 he won by eight strokes and set a new Championship record total that was not beaten until 1927.

He also won the British Professional Matchplay title four times in nine years. Braid was the professional at Walton Heath from its opening in 1904 until his death 45 years later. He was a noted designer of golf courses, with the Kings and Queens at Gleneagles among his creations, while he remodelled Carnoustie prior to its Open debut in 1931.

A reserved man who did so much to raise the standing of the game and his fellow professionals, he was described as “an immensely painstaking man of few words, a warm and true friend.

Venue
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Royal St George's 1938
M/C
74
78
-
-
-
M/C
Royal St George's 1928
41
80
79
81
76
316
-
St Andrews 1927
30
75
77
76
78
306
-
Royal Lytham & St Annes 1926
28
82
75
75
79
311
-
Royal Liverpool 1924
18
80
80
78
76
314
-
Royal Troon 1923
49
79
85
79
74
317
-
St Andrews 1921
16
77
75
78
76
306
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1920
21
79
80
79
82
320
-
Prestwick 1914
10
74
82
78
82
316
-
Royal Liverpool 1913
18
80
79
82
80
321
-
Muirfield 1912
3
77
71
77
78
303
-
Royal St George's 1911
5
78
75
74
78
305
-
St Andrews 1910
1
76
73
74
76
299
-
Royal Cinque Ports 1909
2
79
75
73
74
301
-
Prestwick 1908
1
70
72
77
72
291
-
Royal Liverpool 1907
5
82
85
75
76
318
-
Muirfield 1906
1
77
76
74
73
300
-
St Andrews 1905
1
81
78
78
81
318
-
Royal St George's 1904
2
77
80
69
71
297
-
Prestwick 1903
5
77
79
79
75
310
-
Royal Liverpool 1902
2
78
76
80
74
308
-
Muirfield 1901
1
79
76
74
80
309
-
St Andrews 1900
3
82
81
80
79
322
-
Royal St George's 1899
5
78
78
85
81
322
-
Prestwick 1898
10
80
82
84
75
321
-
Royal Liverpool 1897
2
80
74
82
79
315
-
Muirfield 1896
6
83
81
79
80
323
-
Royal St George's 1894
10
91
84
82
84
341
-

Latest on James Braid