James Braid & Dr Alister Mackenzie

Course Architects of Branshaw Golf Club

Not many golf courses can boast that James Braid was their designer and even fewer can also claim that Dr Alister Mackenzie was involved in the design of their golf course. The course at Branshaw Golf Club is in a very rare category that can claim that both these world famous course architects / designers were responsible for the fantastic golf course we have here in the heart of Bronte Country.

James Braid

Course Architect of Branshaw Golf Club

James Braid was a Scottish professional golfer and a member of the Great Triumvirate of the sport alongside Harry Vardon and John Henry Taylor. He won The Open Championship five times. He also was a renowned golf course architect.

Braid was born in Earlsferry, Fife, Scotland, the son of James and Mary. He played golf from an early age, working as a clubmaker before turning professional in 1896. Initially his game was hindered by problems with his putting, but he overcame this after switching to an aluminum putter in 1900. He won The Open Championship in 1901, 1905, 1906, 1908 and 1910. In addition, Braid won four British PGA Matchplay Championships (1903, 1905, 1907 and 1911), as well as the 1910 French Open title. He was also runner-up in The Open Championship in 1897 and 1909. His 1906 victory in The Open Championship was the last successful defence of the title by a European until Pádraig Harrington replicated the feat in 2008.

In 1912, James Braid scaled back his tournament golf, and became a club professional at Walton Heath. He developed a very successful career in golf course design, and is sometimes regarded as the "inventor" of the dogleg, although holes of similar design had been known for centuries (for example, the Road Hole at the Old Course at St Andrews). Among his designs are the "King's Course" and the "Queen's Course" at Gleneagles, and the 1926 remodelling of The Open Championship venue Carnoustie Golf Links.

Stranraer Golf Club's course was the final one that was designed by Braid in the year that he died, 1950. He was called out of retirement to plan Creachmore, which was to be his last commission. Braid never lived to see the course completed. He died in London on 27 November 1950.

Dr Alister Mackenzie

Golf Course Architect of Branshaw Golf Club

When the world’s best golfers arrive at the majestic Augusta National for the U.S. Masters, they will tread fairways and fire into greens created by a Yorkshire born Scot called Dr Alister MacKenzie. Between 1907 and his death in 1934 he became one of history’s most skillful and prolific golf course architects.

Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1870, MacKenzie attended Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Wakefield then Cambridge University from where he graduated with degrees in chemistry, medicine and natural science. He joined his father’s medical practice but was soon called away to serve in the second Boer War. During the posting MacKenzie developed an aptitude for camouflage – a skill he would go on to use with some aplomb as a golf course designer.

Upon returning from the trenches of southern Africa, MacKenzie briefly went back to his duties as a doctor before embarking on a career in golf course architecture. He was originally inspired to change tack because he was convinced of the benefits golf provided to patients.

“How frequently have I, with great difficulty, persuaded patients who were never off my doorstep to take up golf, and how rarely, if ever, have I seen them in my consulting rooms again.” He said.

MacKenzie cut his teeth as a course architect at The Alwoodley Golf Club in his native Yorkshire. In 1907 MacKenzie was one of the club’s founding members and, having already made outline sketches for a course, he was tasked with laying out 18-holes across the moorland.


We are proud to be a member of 'The Association of James Braid Golf Courses'. Members of Branshaw Golf Club receive a very special benefit which allows them a special privilege to play at any other golf course in the Association of James Braid Golf Courses' at a reduced green fee rate.

There are in excess of 230 golf courses in this association below or just a few courses that Branshaw Golf Club members can play at a reduced green fee rate:

Alloa Golf Club, Alloa
Belleisle Golf Club, Alloway, Ayr
Bentra Golf Club, Whitehead, Northern Ireland
Budock Vean Golf Club, Falmouth, Cornwall
Colchester Golf Club, Colchester, Essex
Copthorne Golf Club, Copthorne, West Sussex
East Brighton Golf Club, Brighton, East Sussex
Herefordshire Golf Club, Raven's Causeway, Herefordshire
Hull Golf Club, Kirk Ella, East Riding of Yorkshire
Kirkistown Castle Links, Cloughey, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
Kirriemuir Golf Club, Kirriemuir, Angus
Porthmadog Golf Club, Morfa Bychan, North Wales
Northcliffe Golf Club, Shipley, West Yorkshire
Ludlow Golf Club, Shropshire
Musselburgh Golf Club, Musselburgh, East Lothian
Neath Golf Club, Neath, Wales
Newton Green Golf Club, Sudbury, Suffolk
North Shore Golf Club, Skegness, Lincolnshire
Oswestry Golf Club, Shropshire
Perranporth Golf Club, Perranporth, Cornwall
Royal Blackheath Golf Club
Worsley Golf Club, Greater Manchester
Saint Enodoc Golf Club, Wadebridge, Cornwall
St Austell Golf Club, St Austell, Cornwall
Stranraer Golf Club, Stranraer
Tiverton Golf Club, Tiverton, Devon, England
Theydon Bois Golf Club Epping Essex 1897
Verulam Golf Club, St. Albans, Hertfordshire
Charnwood Forest Golf Club, Leicestershire
Boat of Garten Golf Club, Inverness-Shire, Scotland
King's and Queen's Course, Gleneagles Golf Club. Perthshire, Scotland.
Erskine Golf Club, Erskine, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Fraserburgh Golf Club, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Renfrew Golf Club, Renfrew, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Howth Golf Club, Howth, Dublin, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Charnwood Forest Golf Club, Woodhouse, Leicestershire the oldest golf club in Leicestershire
Wrexham Golf Club, Wrexham, Wales
Eaglescliffe Golf Club, Stockton-on-Tees
Middlesbrough Golf Club, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough
Peterborough Milton Golf Club, Cambridgeshire
Littlehill Golf Course, Glasgow

Click anywhere on this page to see the full list of clubs in the association.
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