Happy Friday to our wonderful readers! If you’ve had a week like ours, you’re wondering where on earth it went to and you’re looking forward to a restful weekend! By the way, this is our last shower-free weekend as our locker rooms will be fully operational come Monday, including the use of lockers.

As many of you are aware, we just completed a very successful Hollow Tining. What many of you don’t know is that in previous years we would have had our entire team, as well as a number of casual staff, tackling the course to get it done before the end of Tuesday.

This year our reduced team (after restructuring) of sixteen employees, led by our Interim Greenkeeper, Brian Dlutu, not only accomplished the task, but they completed it in record time.

The course team was well aware of the challenge ahead of them and, amped-up, every one of them showed real grit and effort. Brian Dlutu and Shaun McLaren, our Mechanic, began the process at 14:30 on Sunday, 6th September, and had finished removing the cores of soil and turf from the greens by 22:00 that night.

The next morning, the whole team arrived before 07:00 and began raking up and removing the scattered cores. They then focused their efforts on the process of dusting and fertilizing the greens, which they completed by 19:30 that evening. That meant that all that was left for Tuesday was a quick tidy-up of the greens and some course preparation for golf to continue on Wednesday.

For the first time, and all due to their motivation and hard work, the course team was able to join the rest of the staff for a fun braai on the deck. It was great to have the whole team together and to get to know each other better!

The cherry on top of the cake was when our course team was informed about the ‘Divot Team’ – a group of eight senior members who came in their free time to fill divots. Although our course staff see our members playing golf all the time, learning that there are members who are willing to work alongside them to help them made an impact and cemented the idea of our ‘Clovelly Family’. Perhaps not as much as watching our lovely Forence dancing with one of the Divot Team, Ken Jenkins!

A special thank you to Gwyn Phillips, Ken Jenkins, Allan Johns, Ian Jarvis, George Bowes, Bruce Condon, Dave van Blerk and PPT Davies. Filling divots is back-breaking work and two days of it must have been tough. We know that you inspired many, in fact, our social media posts have been seen by over 3 200 people! Hopefully, your example will lead to a more conscientious Clovelly golfer.

Captains/Greenkeeper’s Revenge & Course Machinery

Whilst preparing for Hollow Tining, Brian Dlutu was also communicating with our Captains, Greg Daly and Jacky White, to plan our Captains/Greenkeeper’s Revenge which took place this past Sunday. They did their best to set the course up for a wild round of golf and one of our players described their work as “Some totally evil pin placings, some great fun pin placings, some very easy tee positions, and loads of laughs…”

This was the first event that we catered for in-house and our catering team, led by Craig Wobbe, used the moment to shine. We had scrumptious high-end frankfurter rolls on the 10th tee and delicious cheese platters with champagne after golf.

Because Brian Dlutu and Shaun McLaren were going to start Hollow Tining as soon as the field had turned, our GM, Paul Stoner, thought it would be a good idea to park some of the machines that they would need on the 10th tee and use the opportunity to enlighten our members about them. Little did we know how many members would display a keen interest in our Jacobsen AR522!

The three machines are pictured below and we’re going to give you a quick rundown from left to right.

The Jacobsen AR522, which costs R 992 000 and has a lifespan of approximately eight years, is used to cut the rough. It is one of the only machines that uses a rotary blade system, which is better suited to the rough as these areas often have small branches and stones. We only have one Jacobsen AR522 in our fleet.

The next machine, and the one that is parked in the middle, is the Jacobsen LF570. The Jacobsen LF570 has a purchase price of R 1 059 000 and also lasts approximately eight years. Used the cut the fairways, this machine uses cylindrical blades, which provide a cleaner and more precise cut expected for the fairways.

We have two of these machines is our fleet and one nifty feature is that the ‘height of cut’ can be set on the machine. This is the height of the turf at which we choose to trim it, which has a big impact on the health of the grass and the playability of the course. We’re always trying to find a balance. In winter, we choose to cut at 20mm as the grass grows slower with the cooler temperatures and we give it a chance to rest. In summer, we cut at 12mm to address the rapid rate of growth and to promote a more playable surface.

Our last machine, and one that is instrumental to Hollow Tining, is our John Deere 3720 tractor. This is a versatile machine that can be used to pull a trailer when clearing out bushes or to transport new bunker sand. It is also used in the shaping of new greens or slopes by pulling a box blade.

Most importantly, the tractor serves as our primary vehicle to carry out hollow tining, which is done by fitting an attachment to the back of the tractor. The tines are driven up and down by the PTO shaft.

The John Deere 3720 tractor has a life expectancy of at least ten years and costs R315 000, which is a drop in the ocean compared to our cutting machines! The Hollow Tining attachment, which also lasts ten years, costs R165 000. You can see this attachment in action on our Instagram page.

Play with the Captain

Before we go, we have some very exciting news from our Club Captain, Greg Daly. He invites two members of Clovelly to play with him and one of our PGA professionals every Saturday afternoon, except on Medal competition days. All you have to do is call our Bookings Office on 021 784 2100 to put your names down.

Forthcoming Events

We have a number of events coming up, especially as we near October, but one that is much anticipated is our annual Club Championships! Here our members battle it out over two weekends to establish the best of the best. Some fall out of the tournament, some battle it out to the final, but in the end, there are only a handful of members who claim their Division’s Clovelly Champion title.

To newcomers, this may sound intimidating, but this is a special event with a vibe that cannot be matched. We strongly encourage you to enter!

Below are the entry forms. Please fill them out and follow the instructions on the form. These forms can also be downloaded from our website and can be picked up from the Bookings Office. Good luck!