Well, I’m sure that none of us ever expected to be here, did we? We have almost completed ‘week 2’ of lockdown and as our General Manager, Paul Stoner, echoes in his message below, we have discovered unexpected positives all around us! One of these is a sense of community with not only the local community but with the world, as we gather outside our homes every evening at 20:00 to make a noise in acknowledgment of our healthcare workers.

Our hearts go out to the people and businesses struggling as a result of the virus, and we only hope that a wealth of opportunities awaits around the corner for you!

We’re happy to report that our three superhero staff members, Panganai, Brian and Staffa, are doing well. Panganai says that he feels like a model on his mower every time that his photo gets taken. Brian was not quite as positive as he called out one of our managers, no names mentioned, for “messing up his fairways” and for being too slow! Luckily, this was said with a smile and a wink. Said manager looked sheepish.

From the Desk of our GM

Wow! What a year… no, wait, a month…actually, what a couple of weeks it has been. It seems like it has been forever since we received the news from our President, Cyril Ramaphosa, of the national lockdown in SA. It seems even longer since we heard the first murmurings of this “coronavirus” thing in China. Needless to say, we could never have expected what was to come, but we’re firmly in the thick of it now and have found that life under lockdown hasn’t been too bad – excluding the golf cravings of course!

It appears as though the tide of the new COVID-19 infections has been stemmed with our President’s quick and decisive actions – sometimes hard calls need to be made for the greater good in the long run and we respect him for making them. Despite this, we will have to keep a close eye on the infected number over the next two weeks as we near the end of COVID-19’s incubation period. We are encouraged to hear that a team of 10 000 mobile testers will be going out into the suburban and rural areas to test more actively. Once this takes effect, we may have a more accurate reading of where we stand with flattening the curve. Over the coming week, we will wait with bated breath for the President’s address when we will learn whether we will be released from the current restrictions on the 17th of April.

The reality is that it will not be business as usual either way, and we will still be under some firm restrictions to keep the virus under control throughout our cold winter period. Potentially, this means that the club and course will only be able to come back ‘online’ in phases and it will take time to get back to anything near full throttle. For now, all that is important is that we look after ourselves and our families. As a Clovelly Community, and part of the Global Community, we must continue to communicate amongst ourselves and show respect and compassion to those around us and to those less fortunate than us.

We have demonstrated this compassion as a Clovelly family through our fundraising initiative for our caddies and bar casual staff, which has reached R 73 700 as of today! These funds will be distributed as a relief to the individuals mentioned and a full write-up and report will be made available once we can fully reconcile it all. It has been extremely heart-warming and has made me even prouder to call myself part of the ‘Clovelly Family’.

As we head into the final few days of our lockdown I am proud to report that our team of dedicated course staff who volunteered to live at Clovelly, assisted by John Spyker and Hanko Bothma, have kept the course in great condition! We have also had no major issues at the clubhouse. However, over this final period, I would like to remind everyone that we are still, by law, confined to our houses for the duration of the lockdown. Any unauthorized activities on the Clovelly property will not be condoned and will be reported to the necessary authorities. This is also to mitigate any risk of one of our very important course staff being infected with COVID-19 by an outside agency.

On a personal note, I can confidently say that now that we have moved past the ‘corona commotion’, I have been able to appreciate this simple way of living. It has provided me with the opportunity, building up to the birth of my daughter on the 29th of April (estimated due date), to connect with mom and baby and be of more support. This has included a fair amount of outstanding house chores that I had not got to previously, but it has really been a special time and one that I will cherish. It has also allowed me to connect with our staff in a meaningful and collaborative manner, although remotely, to ensure that we all come back prepared and motivated to tackle the reality of life after lockdown as an energized and unified team!

I hope that we have all taken the time to create connections, appreciate the small things and most importantly, find the silver-linings.On behalf of all the staff at Clovelly, we cannot wait to be back in action and welcome all of our members and guests back to our fairways and our club. Take care and stay safe and healthy!

Aphodius on the Golf Course

We have to commend our Course Manager, Steven Webber, who was able to catch an outbreak of Aphodius beetle on the 1st Green. We experienced an attack on our greens by these little critters this time last year and fortunately, Steven had the foresight to spray the greens just before lockdown as a preventative measure. The beetles and their larvae are minute in size and live in the turf and soil, making them almost impossible to spot. They feed on the roots of the grass, resulting in patches of grass that at first look dehydrated and then die. Often, an outbreak is only discovered after the greens have become badly damaged.

Luckily for us, the beetles have an expected annual life cycle and Steven was keeping a sharp eye out for their reemergence. After spotting some worm-holes on Monday, he resprayed the greens and now has the beetles under control. Having an outbreak like this during lockdown was one of our biggest concerns. Without immediate action, the beetles or other pests and diseases could wreak havoc and we, sitting at home, would have been none the wiser. We are so grateful for the expertise and commitment of our course staff and can rest easy, knowing that they are looking after our golf course.

In Pictures

Here’s a little throwback to Judge Gardner driving off the 1st Tee on the 1st of December 1934 – the official opening day of Clovelly Country Club. Before Michael Pevsner and Gus Ackerman purchased Clovelly and set it on the course to where it is today, it was comprised of, mainly, sand dunes and the players used red balls so they could find them easily in the sand. Haven’t we had a magnificent journey?

These staff members need no introduction! Panganai, Staffa and Brian – we salute you!

Lastly, can any of you identify this bird? We haven’t seen it before, that we can remember!

That’s it from us this week. We hope that you are following us on Facebook and Instagram, where we’re putting up daily updates! We can’t wait to get back into the swing of things and hope that you all keep well and happy until then.