With independence coming to the Transkei in 1976, the traditional support for golf in the town was bought out and moved away from Port St Johns. This saw the Golf Club and course slowly deteriorating until 1993, when the Cape Hermes Hotel, which traditionally contributed to the welfare of the club and course, finally closed its doors. This saw the club without the traditional golf playing clientele of the Cape Hermes and the facility became unkempt and unplayable. During this period local residents tried their best to preserve what they could, using personal finances.
Various threats to the property itself were averted through their combined efforts, but the club remained an
eye-sore to both local residents and tourists. Port St
Johns is an extremely poor community, income is restricted and money for luxuries is scarce.
The period after the 1994 elections in our country saw the gradual re-growth of tourism in this area. Government, local government and private investment increased dramatically, thereby creating new employment opportunities. Port St Johns is now en-route to becoming an economically independent town. There was, however, no improvement to the country club and golf course. During February 2002 this situation prompted three local residents, Mr. Ken Matoti, Wella Pantswa and Dries van der Merwe, to have a planning session, resulting in requests to various organizations for the funding of a program regarding vital upgrading.
As a direct result of this effort the Port St Johns Municipality answered the call and funded the first stage of the upgrading process. The upgrading process implemented since July 2002 has involved the cleaning of underbrush and invading plants, bush and trees from the roughs and fairways. Due to financial restraints, only basic and mostly secondhand equipment was bought; the total replanting of the putting greens and a basic tidying up of the clubhouse facility.
Dries van der Merwe continued to dedicate himself to the club. Because of the love of the course and the game, he single-handedly kept the club alive and the course maintained, sometimes self-funding the maintenance.
Only toward the end of 2015, did a few more golf enthusiasts join together with Dries and formed a formal committee and have done extensive fundraising to keep the course well maintained.