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After our smug bragging about warm, sunny days in our last newsletter, winter came barging through the door like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Terminator movie. Four days of steady, thick rain and heavy gusts of winds saw us closing the course as holes 13, 15 and 16 especially, were totally flooded.

By noon on Wednesday, Mike Tiffin, a member and local resident, measured 140mls of rain and it continued into the night, with loud claps of thunder easily confused with the gusts of wind. Our course staff were unable to cut due to water saturation and the damage that could occur and instead, they focused on removing debris from the Silvermine River and other waterways and rebuilding bunkers that had been washed away.

Despite the continuance of the cold front, the volume of rain has lessened and we have even had a ray or two of sunshine between the showers. We were able to open a 10-hole course yesterday and today we returned to all 18 holes, although the use of carts is not permitted.

Hanko captured the below photos – a stark difference from the photo above, taken by Kevin Gleeson eight days ago. Magnificent!

Penny Price, our resident environmental scientist and alien vegetation clearing expert, often gives us the most charming and insightful articles about our little part of the world. After slipping a disk in her back she has been unable to get out much, but she did manage a walk along the river and popped us the below message;

“With all the rain we received this week, the Silvermine River is in full flow. Although evidence abounds of Brian and his ground staff having taken many measures to keep the river in its course, water is not easily confined. The rising water table filled bunkers and the fairways next to the river became a swampland. The pump worked valiantly to ensure a separation between the river and the pond on Hole 16. As a non-golfer, I must admit that I love the course when it is like this – the flooded, desolate landscape takes on a bit of wild nature and reminds me of how lucky we are to be almost surrounded by a national park and bounded by what is described as one of Cape Town’s more pristine rivers.

I took the picture below on an extremely windy day (30 June), and from the unsmoothed caverns around the tree’s roots and the looseness of the grass around the mound, I gathered it had been recently upended.  A pair of yellow-billed ducks were enjoying the shelter this relatively calm corner by Hole 16 affords.”

Extreme weather is not all we have had to contend with this past week. On Sunday evening President Ramaphosa announced that we were returning to Alert Level 4, although thankfully adjusted to include golf amongst other things. Gyms and restaurants were closed, alcohol was banned, and a curfew from 9:00pm to 4:00am was imposed.

With immediate effect, the following protocols were put in place at Clovelly:

  • all timesheets reverted to one-tee-starts
  • our bar, upper floor, deck and showers were closed and seating removed from the halfway house
  • the halfway house became strictly grab & go
  • golfers were asked to arrive no earlier than 30 minutes before their round and strongly discouraged from lingering after their round
  • staff were split into two non-contact teams and other staff were asked to work from home
  • we continue to hold club competitions, however, there are no prize-givings. Results are posted to the Spotlight Social app
  • only one scorecard is required per fourball, despite the format, and only one signature is required. All players must ensure that their scores are recorded correctly.
  • rakes have been removed and we have introduced one club length placing in all bunkers, regardless of footprints
  • we are in the process f installing pool noodles into the cups to reduce the risk of contamination

We have a few lockdowns under our belt and our team has been able to take this one in their stride. Our thoughts are with business and staff not as easily able to weather the storm. We are anxiously awaiting the pass of the third wave of COVID infections and hope you are able to get onto your feet soon!

To help us through the next few weeks, we have alcohol-free beers available from the halfway house (try hard enough and you can almost imagine they’re the real deal!) and Craig has some delicious winter-warming frozen meals available. Please order by noon tomorrow!

Please remember that food and drinks can only be consumed on the golf course, with adequate social distancing between players. Masks have to be worn in all other areas of the club.

As most of your know, COVID hit close to home this wave and John Spyker has been battling the virus for two weeks now. He is currently stable and we are very much looking forward to his return to Clovelly!

Please send healing thoughts to both him and Geoff Taylor, who is also unwell with COVID. We hope that you all continue taking the steps necessary to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe during this time.

In Pictures

We were privileged to host the wedding reception of Steven and Michaela Dunn on Saturday, 12 June. Their wedding was filled with warmth and love, not only between the bridal couple but their families and friends too, with laughing and dancing in abundance. The perfect evening, snuck in just before the country was placed on Alert Level 3. Congratulations, Steven, Michaela, and Gia, Michaela’s sweet daughter. We wish you all the happiness in the world. Congratulations, Ron and June on your lovely new daughter and granddaughter!

RAGA students, Shagin Cotton and Vidaah Southgate, who volunteer at the My Father’s House Community Kitchen every Saturday, made us proud when Mayor Dan Plato recognized their service to the community. With moaning about today’s youth seemingly at an all-time high, let us remind ourselves how truly remarkable so many of them are! Well done, Shagin and Vidaah!

Also, a big “well done” to Shaddie who selflessly volunteers his time, helping to feed thousands of people every week through the community kitchen. With unemployment rates rising and COVID making it tougher and tougher to provide for your family, the work of My Father’s House is needed more than ever. If you are able to donate to their organization please EFT an amount of your choice, using MFH as a reference, to the below details.

Clovelly Country Club
Standard Bank, Fish Hoek
Current account #: 270394605
Branch Code: 036009

Our Harry Solomon season is over for the year and our Club Captain, Greg Daly had the following to report:

“This year, Clovelly was drawn in a tough section comprising of Parrow, Bellville, Somerset West, Rondebosch and Durbanville. Our team managed to hold their own and we got through to the quarter-finals, which in itself is a great achievement. In the quarters we were drawn against neighbours, Westlake, who proved to be strong and capable, beating us 6 and 2.

I would like to thank each and every player who took part in the Harry Solomon League of 2021 and a special thank you to those who traveled away every Saturday. I believe we will only get better next year and with the spirit and gamesmanship shown by our players, we stand a good chance to win the league!

Once again, thank you.”

Well done!

Sadly, we lost another treasured member two weeks ago to COVID. Brent Kleve, a member of Clovelly’s for 26 years, was warm, dynamic and a friend to many. He was a committed and much-loved family man and our hearts go out to his wife, Noeleen, and their sons, Joshua and Aden, as well as their wives, children and extended family. We are truly sorry to lose such a great man and will feel his absence for years to come.

For those of you who would like to view the broadcast of his memorial service, it is taking place at 11:00 tomorrow, Saturday 3rd July. Please follow the link below.

Dave Matthews captured this colourful picture of a little weaver amongst the lavender. Isn’t it lovely?

We hope that you all have a beautiful weekend ahead. Look after yourselves and make sure to spend quality time with your loved ones. It is a beautiful world.

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