Braid (6 February 1870 27 November 1950)
James Braid the five-time Open
Champion made more visits to Ireland after his retirement in
1912 as a course designer as he ever did as a professional golfer.
In the early 1900s it is believed he travelled to Rosapenna
to suggest alterations to lengthen the course and improve the
bunkering. In 1910 he was due to return with Tom Ball, Harry
Vardon, George Duncan but pulled out of the exhibition match
perhaps due to a fear of travelling by sea and was replaced
by Sandy Herd.
1902: The professional tournament
held on 20-22 May 1902 at Greenore organised by the Railway
company which attracted Vardon, Taylor, Braid, Taylor and White.
Braid won the tournament beating Vardon en-route.
1903: Played at Portmarnock
Golf Club at the Lord Lieutenant's Golfing Party in Easter 1903
where he finished in first ahead of luminaries like Vardon,
Herd, Taylor, Aucterlonie, Massey and Sayers.
1907: Braid played an exhibition
match against Harry Vardon on 23 May 1907 to commemorate the
opening of Malone's new eighteen holes. During the practice
round Braid shot a 71 to beat Harry Kidd's course record 72.
1928: Arrived at the Grange
Golf Club in January 1928 to redesign the golf course for a
fee of 35 guineas which had to be paid upfront before he would
make the journey. During his stay he resided at Marlay Grange
as a guest of R.K. Love.
1928: Howth Golf Club offered
Braid the contract for laying out their new course, after a
further 42 acres were acquired by June of this year, at a cost
of 28 guineas plus living expenses and together with Stutt,
the Paisley based contractors, they set about building their
1933/34: Braid laid out the
extended eighteen-hole course at Waterford Golf Club.
1934: Braid was engaged to plan
and layout the new course at Bangor Golf Club at a cost of c.£21
plus travelling expenses. As always Braid visited the course
for a single day, 19 February 1934, and drew up him recommendations
on the journey home and was assisted by John R. Stutt Ltd. a
Scottish based contracting firm which would put his plans in
1934: Braid was engaged by Kirkistown
Castle on 26 September 1934 to suggest alterations to the course
and spent the day placing tees, greens and suggesting alternative
positions and shapes for bunkers.
On seeing the location of the
course for the first time he was heard to exclaim "If only
I had this within 50 miles of London".
1934: In late 1934 Braid made
suggestions for improvements at the Dundalk Golf Club all of
which were being carried out in their entirety and likely to
effect all holes on the course.
1935: Arrived to layout the
Mullingar golf course on 5 June 1935 at their tract of land
in Belvedere and with 18 pegs and 18 stakes he laid out the
course in a single day. His fee was £21 and travelling
1937: Braid returned to complete
an eighteen-hole course at Howth Golf Club. <Click
1938: Arrived at Tullamore Golf
Club on 3 August 1938: to make suggestions as to how their course
might be improved. All his suggestions were accepted.
Course Designs: Rosapenna,
Mullingar, Tullamore, Kirkistown Castle, Bangor, Dundalk, Grange,
Howth, Waterford, Newlands.
connection with Ireland were rumours of a legal action against
him by Thomas Hood, the Royal Dublin professional, who had designed
a high quality club which he allowed Braid to use for demonstration
purposes but Hood claimed copies were made and sold which infringed
his copyright. What kind of club or what was the ultimate outcome
remains a mystery.
Brian Treston and Michael Forde:
Golf in the Foothills - A History of Grange Golf Club
Jeremy Stanley and Paul Campbell:
Bangor Golf Club - One Hundred Years
John Hanna: Malone Golf Club