There’s every chance you’ll think you’ve taken a wrong turn when visiting Clovelly, even if the signage insists there’s a golf course in the vicinity: a small, suburban road beneath a mountain winds through homes that mask the view of the course. But just as you’re considering turning around, it unfolds before you, one of the most delightful courses the Cape has to offer.
Depending on which nine you start from, you’re veering violently left or right off the tee with two of the more pronounced dog-legs in Cape Town, both holes falling away beneath you from tee boxes just in front of the stately clubhouse. But from there you’re onto a relatively flat course, and one that backtracks on itself, which plays off the wind: from the joy of smashing a drive with a strong breeze at your back, to the more sobering experience of taking three good hits just make the green on a par-four on a particularly windy day, Clovelly offers plenty of highs and lows.
It also has some lovely short holes, and with the overall length of the course modest by modern standards, it’s an ideal layout for the holiday golfer not looking to take on a long brute of a course. It also has a terrific finish, an uphill approach to an elevated green that demands some shrewd wedge management. Take advantage of local knowledge here: Clovelly has a strong team of caddies, celebrated for their golf acumen and charisma in equal measure.
As you finish, keep an eye out for talented kids on the range: Clovelly’s home to the Raymond Ackerman Golf Academy, developing not just golf talent, but also academic and life skills amongst some of the less privileged children in the area. It’s a terrific program, and one that’s already seen a number of success stories.
Fish Hoek beach, arguably the best swimming beach in the Cape, is just minutes away, and ten minutes further down the road is Boulders, with its resident colony of penguins. Clovelly’s thus an ideal centre-point for a day of golfing tourism – keep heading down that road until you find the course, and you won’t regret the trip.