We have officially got through three weeks of lockdown and have another two to go! We are sure that this lockdown has all given us perspective – a new appreciation for the things that matter and an awareness of the fragility and beauty of life. We have found ourselves missing our Clovelly Family and juggling through multiple channels of communication to keep up with everyone. We’re on Instagram and Facebook and also communicate through newsletters, emails and sms! Invariably, we don’t reach everyone and our interaction is limited.

This is why when a couple of weeks ago our General Manager, Paul Stoner, mentioned that he had been approached by the founder of Golf Played, Andrew Georgiou, about an app that he had created with golf clubs in mind, it seemed like perfect timing!

The app which we are going to introduce to our members, guests and staff is called Spotlight Social and we are excited about it! This app allows organizations (Clovelly Country Club) to set up communities (Clovelly Members, Clovelly Ladies, MichellGolf etc) where members can chat, share pictures, receive notifications from the Club and other communities, look at results, draws, events and many other cool offerings. Communities can be open, closed or completely private and members can set up their own within an organization. For instance, Barry Price who plays in the Sunshine Corner every Saturday could set up a Sunshine Corner Group where members have to request to join. It is still a private member group, but the players can chat, send draws and results – the options are limitless – all in one group. You can navigate between groups on the app and its free!

This app means that we can share with and interact with our members, all through a simple app on your phone. We will still use other means of communication but this will be our primary channel and should enable us to reach a new level of efficiency as a club! We know that we are all a little resistant to change and that a new app can be intimidating, but we have been using it for a week now and we can say that we are really enjoying it. We will send out an official invite this afternoon, but you are welcome to download the app before then. Here is a link that you can follow to download the app on your phone from the Google Playstore. Alternatively, search Spotlight Social in your Playstore or wait for the invitation. You will need to log in with your email address (please use the one that we have used for you at Clovelly) and your other details. Please upload a profile picture.

We are giving away a free round of golf at Clovelly for anyone who downloads the app and uploads a profile picture in the next week! Just send an email to clubhouse@clovelly.co.za to say that it is done and to claim your free round!

From the Desk of the GM

This time last week we were all looking forward to the end of lockdown in what would have been a week’s time. Unfortunately, a few hours later our President announced a further two-week extension to the 21-day lockdown originally proposed from the 27th March 2020 to the 16th April 2020. Instead of excitedly preparing to make a return to our golfing home-away-from-home today, we are having to reset and dig deep to get through the next 2 weeks. We’ll keep in mind that after these 2 weeks we will be able to enjoy our marvelous course and club again, and for that matter, all the other basic freedoms that we perhaps took for granted before!

There continue to be positive reports of how the swift and decisive actions of our Government have helped contain the number of COVID-19 infections, however, a number of experts still identify this current week as pivotal in the overall fight when looking at new daily infections. The team of 10 000 mobile testers has made a great impact on improving the testing efficiencies nationwide, which means those in the Command Council will have more relevant and accurate data on which to make future decisions. With this in mind, I would like to appeal to all within our Clovelly community to remain focused and dedicated to the cause during the final 14 days.

We are hoping that once the lockdown has been lifted we will be able to provide a basic golf offering. This may be vastly different when compared to the Clovelly experience that we have all become accustomed to. Hygiene and social distancing controls will be of utmost importance. Another change will be the transition of the majority of our timesheets to a one-tee-start with 9-minute intervals, instead of the usual 7/8 minutes between tee times. These timesheets have been created to run from the 1st of May 2020, when we hope to re-open, until the 30th of September 2020. The nature of this set-up will promote social distancing by reducing congestion in the Clubhouse, car park, check-in points, practice facilities and tee boxes. These measures may be extended beyond September depending on how well the virus is combatted over our winter period and on our operational constraints. As the bar and function facilities will more than likely remain closed or may be allowed to run under even harsher restrictions, the prize giving’s for club competitions will continue to be held in absentia. We are looking at innovative ways to bring this experience to our members and guests in the comfort of their own homes. Something that we are all looking forward to using is the Spotlight Social App, mentioned above, which will enable our competition results to be loaded the very next day. I think that this app will change and improve the way that we interact as a golf club and I encourage you all to download it and join our Clovelly community.

The generosity within our Club continues to be overwhelming during these difficult times. Our Lockdown Fund for the caddies and bar casuals, initiated by the BTCC Group and supported by individual members and other groups alike, has been an outstanding success! Our Seniors, in particular, have rallied together and we have now almost reached R 100 000! This has enabled us to transfer R 4000 to each of the staff members affected by the lockdown. Our permanently employed staff of Clovelly have continued to be paid their salaries for the month of April, but the caddies and bar casuals’ ability to earn an income has been directly halted by the lockdown. The funds transferred to them will keep bread on the table for themselves and their families, so thank you and well done to everyone so far!

Our amazing team of three course staff (Brian Dlutu, Alfred Staffa and Panganai Guruwe) have confirmed that they are in it for the long haul by committing their services for the extension of the lockdown. What heroes – we owe them each a standing ovation! Thank you to Steven Webber, our Course Manager, and Shaun McLaren, our Workshop Assistant, who have made use of their valid permits according to the Disaster Management Act in order to report to the Club on a weekly basis so that they can address any irrigation or machinery issues that come up. John Spyker and Hanko Bothma continue to provide additional assistance by mowing selected fairways twice a week. I can also happily report that we have stayed in contact with all the staff of Clovelly over this period and each one of them is in good spirits and good health, although they are missing work – can you believe it!

Once again sharing my personal side of this lockdown, we have officially reached the 38-week mark in our pregnancy. This means that baby could arrive any time over the next few weeks.  The nursery is ready and the bags are packed! We have nappies in store and are still trying our best to enjoy our last few nights of peaceful sleep. I wish I could store some in reserve! Funnily enough, her estimated due date is actually the last day of lockdown – what a story that would be! We have remained in contact with our doctor and hospital and all is in order from them to receive us. The maternity ward has been ring-fenced which is reassuring. The little girl is starting to make life uncomfortable for my wife, Jessica, and it is now just a waiting game.

I miss the club, the people and the atmosphere and I cannot wait to get back in action and see each one of you again!

Kind Regards,

Paul Stoner
General Manager

On the Course

Our superhero staff, with the help of John and Hanko, have kept the greens in great shape and we should have a perfect course to return to. Imagine, no divots or pitch marks! We have had a few lawn caterpillars and an outbreak of Fusarium fungus, but our Course Manager, Steven Webber, is onto them.

We have to keep in mind that our greens will need to be hollow tined as soon as possible before the winter weather sets in. We will keep you updated!

Special Offer from MichellGolf!

Alan and Mike Michell from MichellGolf have been and will continue to post videos and articles on their Facebook page for the duration of the lockdown. Please follow their page to connect and learn!

Here is Article 1 of the Lockdown Series, by Mike Michell.

Hi Guys,

I hope that you are well and surviving lockdown the best you can! Instead of giving swing tips, which most of us can’t practice at the moment, I’m going to encourage you to take stock and think about how you can best improve your game when the lockdown is lifted.

So, what do most of you do to try to improve your golf?

Do you:

1. Go practice on the range?
2. Do you play more?
3. Do you go for a lesson?
4. Do you watch online video content?
5. Do you look to buy new equipment?
6. Do you ask your mates for advice or do you listen to anyone who offers?

While some of these things might help individually and are important to improve, I can promise you, understanding how you are going to improve out-weighs any of the above! I’ve played and taught this game professionally for 28 years. I’ve given thousands of lessons and played with amateur golfers on a regular basis in pro-ams and at clubs and I can say, for sure, this is what holds most people back the most.

I call it “going round and round the mountain” because you just end up back at the same place! You try a tip, you play well for a while, and then the same problems return. So you try something new, change coach, check out another video or just go back to your old swing. Sound familiar? I learned this lesson harder than anyone of you, believe me! I’d get some good advice, it would work for a while and then my usual bad shots would come back. So I’d give up on it and try something new or go back to something old and all because I didn’t understand HOW to improve!

Improving your golf is no different from anything else we do in life to improve. It requires knowledge, experience, method and work!

At MichellGolf we follow a very specific method of how to improve. We help our students understand how their individual game works, what they can realistically improve with the time that they have, how to make practice count and how to think clearly and process shots on the course.

To learn more about our method read our next article tomorrow.

Keep safe and healthy.

Best Regards,

Mike Michell
Head Teaching Professional
MichellGolf, Clovelly

MichellGolf have also signed up with an app to connect with their students during Lockdown and they would love for you to give it a try. Please visit this page – Golf Coach App – you can choose the ‘golfer’ option and download the app to connect with your coaches.

For the price of R 1000 you can have unlimited virtual lessons with your chosen coach during Lockdown, as well as five lessons with your coach when we return to the club!

Forthcoming Events

In anticipation of the end of lockdown at the end of this month, bookings will officially open this coming Monday, 20th April. You can book online or you can email either bookings@clovelly.co.za or golf@clovelly.co.za.

Please note that your bookings may change, depending on instructions from the government regarding restrictions and social distancing.

In Pictures

Don’t we miss this view?

Last Wednesday started and ended like this. Just gorgeous!

We have been having such wonderful weather lately – calm, sunny days with a little rain in between. Hopefully, it continues when Lockdown is over!