This club is famous for… being James Braid’s final course
The sumptuous 5th hole at Stranraer would be a fitting legacy for any golf course architect.
The par 4 sweeps round the shore of Loch Ryan, with gorse framing the left and the massive swathe of water on the right making it look like you’re trying to hit a pinprick of a fairway from a tee high in the clouds.
That James Braid followed up with a gorgeous short hole – a small green protected by half a dozen bunkers – was further evidence of his genius.
Stranraer’s place in the five-time Open champion’s story is secure. The Dumfries & Galloway course was the last he designed before his death in 1950.
He visited the course in the February of the year before.
Braid had actually retired – having just turned 79 – but was tempted back to Creachmore for one last commission.
Stranraer’s previous site had been claimed during the Second World War but the features of the Loch proved a more than adequate replacement.
Although the course is a parkland, the trees frame the layout rather than coming into play and Braid certainly made the most of the picturesque loch.
The par-5 14th, with the water as a companion down the left, is just as spectacular as its equivalent on the front nine.
The 18th, the last hole he designed, is a doglegged par 4. It’s the finale to a tough finish that includes a fiendishly difficult par-3 15th and a tough penultimate hole into the wind.
Stranraer’s logo now incorporates the ‘Braid’s Last’ insignia in commemoration of their connection with the golfing great.