This club is famous for… being James Braid’s final courseJuly 12, 2018 Courses and Travel
The great man designed or revamped around 400 courses during his life and Stranraer was his last
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.