The idea of a golf course at RAF St Athan was the brainchild of MTSO Chief Technician Denis Archer (subsequently the head green-keeper at Whitchurch Golf Club, Cardiff) in the 1970s. He envisaged it’s location at Picketston in the North-side of RAF St Athan, but was told by Station officials that this would not be possible because there was another purpose planned for that area. However, it was suggested that he could have a look at the old hospital site to the east of RAF St Athan, to ascertain if that would suit his purpose. At that time the area was more like a WW2 bomb-site, with rubble, brickwork and scores of foundations with very little room in between for tees and greens. The challenge was there and Denis accepted it!
Permission was given from Station officials for Denis to ‘scratch around’ and make what he could of it. He was told in no uncertain terms that there would be no help (either monetary or physically) from the Station – he was on his own.
Denis’ initial plans were to establish a pitch and putt course of 3 or 4 holes. However, it was not long before 9 very short holes were cut out within the confines ofthe hospital site. The work was carried out with garden forks and rakes brought from home by Denis and a small party of friends. This, however, was only the beginning and from that point in 1976 the RAF St Athan Golf Club was born.
The course, inaugurated in 1977, has since been through many developments, introducing new and modified holes, trees, irrigation and drainage systems, and building a sizeable Clubhouse and green-keepers facility. Throughout much of its history the Club has been administered through the Royal Air Force non-public accounting systems as a lodged fund and has been sited upon MOD land. However, 2003 saw the MOD lease the land to the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) and the RAF request that the Club leave RAF administration. In Jan 2004, the Club made the first step into commercial business and became a Company Limited by Guarantee.