The start of April sees us officially entering our ‘winter months’ and we’ve had a rather emotional start to the week after receiving an instruction from the City of Cape Town, in conjunction with SANParks, to remove and replace all alien vegetation from the golf course and surrounds by the end of 2022, in line with their commitment to restoring the Western Cape’s indigenous flora and fauna within the next five years, This is an effort we support wholeheartedly and our committed alien vegetation clearing team attests to that, however, it will result in some immediate noticeable aesthetic changes to the golf course and it has financial implications that we will find difficult to cover in light of the restrictions on income due to COVID-19. You would have received a formal communication from us within the week with more information on the subject, as well as the announcement of another R50 contribution fee to cover these costs.

We would like to take a moment to thank our Governing Body for the time they dedicated to adjusting our budgets and working on potential solutions, and to our members who have been so generous and supportive in a year where the knocks keep coming. We would also like to thank Karen Muir, whose middle name is Gullible, from Trees of Kommetjie, who has offered to sponsor one tree for every five we buy. Happy April Fools!

We hope you’re feeling a little lighter! Not a joke, however, and perhaps more difficult to believe, is that we have passed the year mark of our first national lockdown! It seems like just yesterday we were all settling in at home for what we thought would be a three-week period. Do you remember when going out for groceries felt like you were stepping out into a foreign world? Twelve months later and none of us are the same people that we used to be. As a club, we look back with immense pride for the way in which our staff, members, and committees handled the crisis. We adapted with flexibility, we supported each other with empathy and we maintained a positive, can-do attitude throughout. Our thoughts are with our healthcare workers who continue to battle on the frontline and all the other people and businesses who have been affected emotionally and financially.

Here’s a look back at some of our ‘lockdown moments’. The above is of Shaun, one of our first staff granted a special permit for travel during the lockdown, after repairing the machine that Staffa is seen driving. Below, clockwise from the top left are Panganai, Brian and Staffa who volunteered to live on the premises for the duration of the lockdown to look after the course. They ended up staying a lot longer than they bargained for, in fact, Brian never left. Brian remained on the premises as he was promoted to Interim Greenkeeper soon after our process of restructuring, and then Greenkeeper in February. Having him onsite is invaluable, especially when our irrigation system stops working at 02:00 in the morning, and we are now renovating a space near our caddie shelter to become his family’s home. The next photo is of Brian teaching Hanko, who joined John, to assist in cutting the fairways. The next photo is of Simone screening our Men’s Captain, Greg Daly, on the first day we reopened on Saturday, 13th June – two and a half months later! The last is of some of our members enjoying a ‘non-alcoholic’ beverage as that sale of alcohol and cigarettes was still banned!. They were only allowed to sit together for a few minutes, and it was icy cold, but how awesome to be able to relax with friends again!

Before we get into the newsletter we would like to welcome our newest members of the Clovelly Family; Andrew Cook, Shane and Ethan Dold, Christopher Kallis, Alecia McAlpine, Warren Muir, Jeremy Petersen, Paul Quirk, Andrew Symmonds, Francois van Niekerk, Jamie Katz, Anthony Butler, Ty Parker, Nicholas Brown, Nicholas Charlton, Armand Lotter, Kegan McCullough, James Smith, Jaco Snyman, Benjamin Wiley, and Jason Wise. We hope you take up our golf professionals, Alan and Mike Michell, on their offer of a free lesson. Please remember that our club captains and committee members would love to have a game of golf with you! Hanko, our Golf Manager, is happy to arrange it on your behalf.

Unfortunately, we also lost one of our members, Tyrone Thole. Tyrone struggled with his health for many years, however, up until the end of 2019, he was a keen golfer, playing regularly and winning many of our competitions despite his struggles. Tyrone had many close friends amongst our Clovelly Family and our thoughts go out to them and his family. May he rest in peace.

Happening at Clovelly

We have had a busy couple of weeks and one of our top accomplishments has been the reestablishment of a Friday Night Menu and the Lucky Draw, sponsored by Lyall Morgan and Associates. Our Chef Craig and his team prepared over seventy meals on our first evening. Coming from a restaurant background, they weren’t quite prepared for the pace at which the orders would come in, but they did a fantastic job and we received only positive comments on the delicious food they prepared.

Our draw will take place every second week going forward with the next one coming up next Friday, 9th April, followed by another on the 23rd of April. This will coincide with our next Sundowner Series, sponsored by Under Armour and KWV, and we’ll have live music by Chapter Three. Please reserve your tables by emailing Jessica at clubhouse@clovelly.co.za or replying to this newsletter with your details. You can see the menu for tomorrow evening by scrolling lower down.

We have also enjoyed busy fields and are looking forward to our Clearwater Day and Greenkeeper’s Revenge this next Saturday and Sunday the 10th and 11th of April. These always end up being the most popular events of the year and there are still a couple of spaces available for Sunday. We’ll have live music – Guy Feldman on Saturday evening and Chapter Three on Sunday evening – and our players will automatically be entered into a draw for a nice bunch of goodies!

Following the weekend, please remember that the course and clubhouse will be closed for Hollow Tining on Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th April. Hanko has arranged reciprocity with a number of local golf courses for those days. Please contact either him or one of our lovely bookings ladies for a list of offerings. We’ll be running the following specials from Wednesday 14th April to Friday 23rd April for all visitors to Clovelly.

Lastly, Hanko has extended the entry period into the Chammy and Matchplay Tournaments by a week. Please contact the Bookings Office on bookings1 or bookings2@clovelly.co.za for an entry form, or download them here. We hope to see your names on the board!

In the Pro Shop

Our Pro Shop has been similarly busy. They currently have their summer sale, which sees some of their products marked down by 80%!

The Pro Shop would also like to invite you to attend two fitting days, both taking place at Steenberg Golf Club, on 9 April and 14 April. For more information or bookings, please speak to Patricia or Richard in-store when you next see them!

Partnering with our Local Scientists

We have come across a wonderful opportunity to partner with local scientists and nature enthusiasts in the area who will submit regular snippets of their findings for our newsletter, in order to learn more about the Clovelly habitat and the creatures and plants that live in it. In this newsletter, we hear from Dr. Ruan Veldtman, an entomologist working for the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) based at the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology of Stellenbosch University.

Since 2012 I have been involved in an invasive wasp project researching the German wasp (Vespula germanica) and European paper wasp (Polistes dominula). The German wasp is invasive to South Africa and thus far is only found in the Western Cape.

On Tuesday 16 March 2021 on the request of Andy Dawes, a local beekeeper, Dr. Tlou Masehela and I visited the area to look for nests of the German wasp after he caught this wasp in his house in Clovelly. There were also reports of potential sightings from other beekeepers in the area. Worryingly, in 2019 the Invasives division of the City of Cape Town removed a big wasp nest from a palm tree stem in Montrose Ave. It is clear that the 2019 nest seeded new nests in the area. Penelope Price (a member of the Clovelly alien clearing group) then kindly showed us the willows by the Silvermine River on the Clovelly Golf Course where she had seen a wild bee nest. We quickly discovered flight lines of a wasp nest, most likely just about three meters from the green in the rough edge, exactly the kind of habitat where we predict they will occur.

Pictured below is the German wasp – note the characteristic pattern on the abdomen that resembles a repeating pattern of triangles. Below that image is one of an excavation of a treated German wasp nest, followed by one of between 7 and 11 nest comb levels found in an underground nest. A nest can contain anything from 500 to 5000 wasps!

German wasps are especially dangerous if their nest is accidentally disturbed, and can deliver multiple painful stings. The wasps release an alarm pheromone that will trigger nearby wasps to attack. These nests are found below ground and only the nest entrance is visible. They can however also nest in air vents/bricks. It is advised that you do not attempt to control the nest yourself as it is very dangerous to do so without the right protection and at least some experience on what to do.

This species is capable of quickly increasing its populations especially in favorable habitat, and if left unchecked can have serious socio-economic impacts. For example, the wasp is attracted to lean meat and can become a pest at open-air restaurants or picnic sites. They can also readily nest in cavity walls found in typical residential properties. It is thus important to report sightings of these wasps in new locations. Currently, Clovelly, Glencairn, and Noordhoek have new incursions of the German wasp that we are investigating with the ultimate goal of eradicating them from the area.

If you do see this wasp please contact me at r.veldtman@sanbi.org.za. We are relying on a citizen science approach to study the problem and devising solutions as quickly as possible. Your assistance will consequently be most valuable.

In Pictures

Congratulations to June Featonby on the birth of her third grandson, Joshua Keith Featonby, who joined the world on 25th March 2021 at 11:28. Well done, to Mom and Dad (Kate and Sean); he is just perfect! We’re sure he will bring so much joy to the family and we look forward to having another little golfer in a few years’ time!

We owe another congratulations to Evan Marais and his U13 Western Province A-Team, who won their tournament at Katberg by only one stroke (1121 vs 1122)! Evan played beautifully, shooting 83, 84, and his personal best of 78 on the final day! Well done, Evan, and a Happy 11th Birthday for next weekend!

Well done to June Harrison on winning the Freda Ackerman Trophy this past Tuesday. Although June is a frequent trophy winner, this is the first time she has been able to put her name on this specific trophy, so a sweet achievement. June is pictured with Jane Hall, Treasurer for the Ladies Committee.

Thank you to Under Armour and KWV for putting on a brilliant Sundowner Series on the last Friday of every month. The fields are always full and they keep coming back! We’re sure Craig’s delicious pizzas help.

We love this photo of Birdie Jenkinson admiring one of our beautiful Clovelly views, taken by Pat Quill. You can’t help but fall in love with this place.

Before we go, we would like to apologize for listing Andre van Zyl as our last hole-in-one achiever, it was actually Andre de Villiers. Whoops! We would also like to wish you a blessed long Easter weekend. We have some lovely Easter promotions should you be spending any time with us, while stocks last.

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