Golf Holidays in Wales – Porthcawl Golf Club
The Porthcawl Hotel was made the HQ for the aspiring club and H.J. Simpson was appointed the captain for the first 2 years. The following year, Charles Gibson, the professional at Westwood Ho!, was asked to lay the course out and work started on clearing the common, which was covered in gorse and bracken. The club grew quickly and ground for a further nine holes was sought and in 1895 a lease was signed with the Margam estate on what is now, in principle, the site of the present course. Having built a further 9 holes and therefore creating South Wales’ first 18 hole golf course, albeit, with quite a walk between the two nines it was soon decided to abandon the original nine holes and build 18 holes and a clubhouse on the recently acquired land. The club called upon the services of Ramsay Hunter, a Scottish greenkeeper who had earlier laid out Royal St Georges, to design the new course. The club received its greatest honour in 1909, it was bestowed the rare privilege to use the prefix “Royal” and became the second course in Wales and only one of 66 clubs in the world to have that mark of distinction.
The course underwent a number of alterations in the period between the Wars, nevertheless, following a visit from The R & A Championship committee with a view to adding the club to the Championship rota, in 1933 J Simpson was asked to bring about some major alterations. No sooner had the alterations bedded in than WW2 broke out, and there must have been a degree of anxiety within the club that, once again, the course was going to be appropriated for agricultural use. Fortunately, that was not the case but, no doubt, for many members the bigger problem of rationing, in particular, whisky, was introduced. Members were only allowed one tot per day, although this was very much at the discretion of the secretary, who must have enjoyed the sort of popularity never experienced before or, indeed, in the future.
The Club didn’t really establish itself after the war until 1950 and hosted its first major tournament, The Amateur Championship in 1951. This brought about a real enthusiasm for the game and, under the watchful eye of the Head Greenkeeper, Marcus Geddes, the course improved dramatically and this was quickly reflected with a raft of high calibre championships held at the club in the early sixties, both amateur and professional, including various International Matches and the Curtis Cup. More recently, extensive improvements to the clubhouse, offices and pro shop, as well as alterations to the course, have ensured Royal Porthcawl is still as challenging and hospitable a club as you will find in the British Isles.
More information about Porthcawl Golf Club can be found by visiting their website www.royalporthcawl.com
We are members of the Travel Trust Association so all bookings made with us are secure and your money is always safe, something we think is very important in the current economic climate. We are also members of IAGTO, the InternationalAssociation of Golf Tour Operators who support golf tourism worldwide.
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