James Braid: in his words


Sean Dudley
By James Braid

Routing "It is both necessary and desirable that the holes should be laid out as suggested by the lie of the land, every natural obstacle being taken advantage of" "There should be a complete variety of holes...not just length, but in their character – the way in which they are bunkered...the kind of tee shot that is required...the kind of approach and so forth" Strategy "There should be as frequently as possible (at least) two possible alternative methods of playing the hole...an easy one, a difficult one...and there should be a chance of gaining a stroke when the latter is chosen" "The bunkering and general planning should be carried out with the specific object of making it necessary not only to get a certain length, but more particularly to gain a desired position...and the player who does not gain his position should have his next shot made more difficult" Hazards "When the inland course is being laid out on which there are natural hazards such as trees...the general aim will be to make the best use of them as hazards...for the more natural hazards there are on a course, whatever their character (trees, grasses, scrub, hills and valleys...dew ponds) the more interesting the course ought to be, and generally is" "As a general rule simple cross bunkers right across the course...should be avoided. A few of them are desirable and necessary" "Long bunkers right in front of a green are not a good form of hazard" "Bunkers are not placed on a course haphazard but they are made of particular places to catch...defective shots" "At the long holes...the bunkering should not be too severe" Tees "There should be alternative tees, in order that the course may be adapted to varying winds, dry weather, when there is more run on the ball" "There should be two stiff carries on the course" "You may give the man a carry at the second hole" Doglegs "Everybody knows what are the distinguishing and excellent qualities of a good doglegged hole...the player has to carry from the tee the hazard (tree, bunker, whatever)...so that he can choose his line of carry" Greens "The greens should be well guarded" "At long holes you might have a saucer green that tends to draw the ball towards the hole so that the player may reap the fullest advantage from a long and straight shot up" "The general shape of a green...should be governed by the kind of approach shot" "As to the undulations, they may be of all kinds, and a pronounced knob, not in the very centre of a green but a few yards to the side, is an excellent thing" "When the run up shot is encouraged instead of the player being asked to pitch nearly everything...an effort should be made to make the ground...in front of the green slightly undulating so that more things than the mere strength of the stroke will need to be taken into consideration.

This makes the most fascinating kind of play" Finishing holes "The last two, or three holes, should be of good length in order to induce a good finish" "A short hole for the last is to be avoided" "The [final] hole should be of two full shot length and the green should be thoroughly well guarded" "Although the concluding hole must be difficult I would not give a long carry from the tee...but bunker it so the player would be punished for the least deviation from the straight line" Short holes "There should be the greatest variety (length, height, direction) in the short holes" "In the case of the shortest of the short holes I would have no cross bunkering but bunkers all around it" "The shorter the hole, the smaller the green, the more closely guarded"