360 Golf - Europe's leading golf course development and construction company - is close to completing a series of significant modifications to the famous links course at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club.
The 111-year-old club is working hard to preserve its status as the premier golf course in Wales and 360 Golf have liaised with golf course architect David Williams on a range of subtle improvements following a detailed course audit a year ago.
Experts from the Ripley, Surrey-based course construction and management company have been revamping the 467-yard par 5 12th hole, extending the fairway by 100 metres and building a brand new green.
The extended fairway, which made use of a flat field beyond the original tee, has been crafted into a rolling landscape, complete with swales, and is true to the links land surrounding the course.
Peter Orpen, from 360 Golf, said: "We are delighted to have helped Royal Porthcawl Golf Club make improvements which are designed to maintain its status as the premier golf course in Wales.
"As with many courses built over 100 years ago, technological advances in golf equipment have reduced the challenge presented by many par 5s - and Royal Porthcawl GC has embraced the need to make improvements to keep up with the times while remaining sympathetic to its original design."
The Par 5 12th is the first hole to be extended at Royal Porthcawl by 360 Golf, but the club's own green keeping team have lengthened several other holes by moving the back tees on the 6,829 yard, par 72 course.
Architect David Williams said: "Royal Porthcawl is a renowned high-quality championship course, but needed to present a much stiffer challenge on some holes.
"By extending the 12th and adding a new green, protected by three revetted bunkers, we believe we have managed to do that while staying true to the course's original links layout and subtle shaping."
Final earth working and top soil return was being undertaken early this week on the hole, with seeding on the new green to be completed in a fortnight.
Royal Porthcawl Golf Club will host the British Boys and the Glenmuir British PGA Club Professionals Championships next year and has hosted the Amateur Championship six times, the Walker Cup, the Curtis Cup, the European Team Championship, the Home Internationals, the Jacques Leglise Trophy, the Vagliano Trophy, the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, the Dunlop Masters, the Penfold and the Coral Classic three times.
King Edward VII bestowed the honour of Royal status on the club in 1909 and in 1932 The Prince of Wales (afterward the Duke of Windsor) visited the club with some of his friends who were members. One of the many interesting objets d'art in the Club House is the full length picture of the Prince.
Golfers are able to see the sea from every hole and to enjoy memorable views south to Somerset and Exmoor, and northwest across Swansea Bay to the Gower Peninsula.
Royal Porthcawl GC secretary John Dinsdale said: "The Club is committed to presenting the course as a true championship links capable of hosting top amateur and professional events.
"If there is any weakness in the course it has been on the par 5's which in calm conditions can be reached in two shots by the top players. But the 5th hole now measures 611 yards and the current development being undertaken by 360 Golf on the 12th hole will deliver another stunning and challenging hole.
"In just under two weeks 360 Golf have transformed the new area, keeping it in harmony with the remainder of the course. They are very industrious, nothing is too much trouble and are a pleasure to work with."