He swung with a divine fury and putted like a demon. Without him, there would not have been a Great Triumverate. But James Braid’s contributions to golf are not just based on his five Open Championship victories and his place in history next to Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor.
He was a man of great character, who was a friend of princes, peers and commoners. He also left behind one of the world’s great golf courses and was a pioneer in elevating the status of professional golfers by helping to form the British PGA.
As a golfer, Braid was considered to be a late bloomer. He did not win his first Open Championship until Vardon and Taylor had already won three each. But once Braid won his first in 1901, there was no stopping him: He captured the Open again in 1905, 1906, 1908 and 1910, thus becoming the first man to raise the old claret jug five times.