The Club's first Honorary President was His Grace William John Arthur Charles James, The 6th Duke of Portland K.G., P.C., G.C.V.O. By 1880 the Club had six holes, and by 1888 these had been extended to eighteen holes measuring 3 miles, 1 furlong and 156 yards.
George Strath was the first Professional to the Club and to date only five other Professionals have held the position. He was substantially involved in the design of the 12 and 18 hole Courses prior to leaving in 1887.
His successor Willie Fernie, by the following year, had implemented further changes to the layout of the 18 hole course. By the time of the 1997 Open Championship the Course stretched to over 7000 yards.
The Portland Course was opened in June 1895 although it was only in 1924 that the name was changed from the Relief Course. In more recent times, the qualifying rounds for the European Open in 1979 were played over the Portland Course.
The first Clubhouse of a substantial nature was completed in 1886 and additions and alterations over the years have provided the Members with a building of character and considerable charm.
In the Centenary Year, 1978, the Club was proud to receive the Royal Accolade.
Dr John Highet