Royal Colombo Golf Club was founded in 1879, achieving its royal title from King George V in 1928. The club moved to its present location in 1896 when Sir Joseph West Ridgeway, governor of the Crown Colony of Ceylon, gifted a sufficient acreage of farmland for the use of the members.
The course has changed much over the years. The grounds were used by the military during World War II so a great deal of effort was required to allow play to resume when hostilities ceased with Dick Greenway, club professional from 1920 to 1968, borrowing a bulldozer to assist with the endeavours.
Martin Ebert, when he was working with Donald Steel at the time, carried out an 18-month renovation project at the start of the new millennium when he rebuilt bunkers and re-layed greens with Bermuda grass. The old-fashioned routing remains the same as before, involving crossover holes, shared fairways and a railway line as a hazard.
More recently, Neil Haworth produced a report for the club in which he recommended installing a modern irrigation system, reshaping the existing water hazards, removing unwanted trees, constructing greens to USGA standard and replacing fairway turf and putting surfaces with paspalum grass.