Essex home for one of Scotland’s greatest golfers

Golf course architect James Braid, who designed Wivenhoe House’s partner golf course at Colchester Golf Club, is one of Scotland’s most famous golfing sons, but has more in common with Essex than you might think.

One of the Great Triumvirate, including JH Taylor and Harry Vardon,  Braid won the Open five times, a record equalled by the legendary Tom Watson, and only beaten by Harry Vardon. Braid’s 1906 win at Muirfield earned him £50 – the 2017 winner at Royal Birkdale will take home £1,175,000.

Born in Fife in 1870, his pursuit of golfing glory and his talent as a carpenter, led him to a job at the Army and Navy department store in London where he made golf clubs.  He was then recruited by Romford Golf Club in South Essex in 1896 as their Professional where he stayed until 1903.

His vast experience of tournament play and his keen eye and understanding of design and construction set the standard for golf club design. He is credited with inventing the dogleg, which might not win him favour in some golfers’ eyes!

He designed Colchester’s course in 1907 and also worked on Boyce Hill, Benfleet, Theydon Bois at Epping, Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club and The Rochford Hundred, near Southend-on-Sea. They are all very different courses in varied settings within the county of Essex, showing his consummate skill as a course designer.

All is all he was involved with the design of around 400 courses, only one of which is the United States, which he did by remote as he had an intense dislike of travel. One has to wonder if he would have featured on the list of the best golfers of all time, if he had been happy to voyage around the golfing globe.


find us, however you travel
By car:

When using a SATNAV please enter the location WIVENHOE, Colchester (do not use a postcode as this will direct you to the wrong side of Wivenhoe Park).

Take the exit marked Colchester (A133)
Follow the A133 towards Clacton
Please follow signs for WIVENHOE
You will see a black sign on your right which says, ‘Wivenhoe House & The Brasserie’, turn right here into PARK ROAD
The entrance for Wivenhoe House is shared with the University of Essex, but PARK ROAD leads you through Wivenhoe Park and you will be able to see our beautiful house from the road on your right
CONTINUE to follow the signs for WIVENHOE HOUSE and it will lead you to us.

If you would like any help with directions, please do call us on 01206 863666 and a member of our team will be able to assist you.

By train:

Colchester station, Colchester Town station, Wivenhoe station and Hythe stations are all between 10-15 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Trains run between London (Liverpool Street) and Colchester station every 10-20 minutes. The journey takes around an hour. Also connect with Colchester from Norwich, Ipswich, Felixstowe & Harwich. Some trains from London (Liverpool Street) also stop at Wivenhoe Station. When travelling from the Clacton/Walton direction, alight at Wivenhoe or Hythe Stations.

By plane:

Stansted airport is approximately 45 minutes from Wivenhoe House by car. Helicopter pad coordinates are 603200/223900.