Together with Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor James Braid formed the Great Triumvirate, which dominated the game for twenty years before the 1914-18 war. In a ten year period he became the first player in the history of the event to win The Open five times. He also finished second on three occasions.
He was professional at Romford when he won the first of his five Open championships at Muirfield in 1901. He also won in ’05, ’06, ’08 and ’10, while playing out of Walton Heath. He was the last European to defend the title until Padraig Harrington repeated the feat in 2008.
Among his fifteen tournament victories was the News of the World match play four times and the French Open. He was a tall powerful player who hit the ball hard but always retained an appearance of outward calm. Braid was professional at Walton Heath golf club for 45 years.
He was one of the founder members of the Professional Golfers Association and did much to elevate the status of his fellow professionals. He was also an honorary member of the R & A.
After a very successful playing career, Braid became one of the most prolific course designers of all time, being involved with over 250 courses, (including one in New York, which he designed from pictures of the terrain as he was averse to sailing).
Braid, one of the foremost course designers of the time, who was credited with being the inventor of the dog leg, was invited by our club committee to look at a property in Belvedere with a view to designing and building a golf course. After a quick scan of the property, Mr Braid asked for a map of the field and some stakes and pegs – the stakes for the greens and the pegs for the tees. He told the committee members to meet him later that evening and when they returned they were shown the skeleton outline of the course. Braid returned some time later to inspect the outcome of his planning and said he felt that he regarded Mullingar as one of the best jobs he had ever done.
On a plaque to his memory in his home village, Elie, Fife was written,
“..he had many opponents but no enemies – We salute his memory…”
David Jones had a successful career as a professional golfer with many fine performances to his name including all the Irish domestic pro events and 31 international course records.
He combined his position as club pro in Bangor with a short, but successful career on the British and European tour winning the British Pros and The Kenya Open. David Jones, commenced his career in the field of golf course architecture when he was approached to do some work updating Killarney golf course to bring to a level to host the Irish Open.
From there his reputation grew and has been involved with course redesign projects such as Bangor, Killarney, Balmoral to name a few plus completion of almost twenty golf courses in Kenya, Tanzania, Turkey and Finland. He is equally at home working to improve a green at a small members’ club as he is taking on a huge tract of land in Africa.
Prior to that David Jones had been Irish National coach, working with the likes of Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, and Darren Clarke in their formative years. In 2006 he was appointed Ireland’s only PGA Master Professional for his contribution to the game. He is a director of the Board of the European tour serving as Chairman of European Tour Properties.