The Porthcawl Hotel was made the HQ for the aspiring club and H.J. Simpson was appointed 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.