Fish Hoek - Western Cape
General manager: Paul Stoner
Greenkeeper: Brian Siyabulela
Golf manager: Hanko Bothma
Club captains: Dave Thompson & Birdie Jenkinson
Chairman: Richard Goveia
CRITERIA SUMMARY: Total points 71.3 out of 100
Conditioning14.0 / 20
Playability14.5 / 20
Aesthetics13.2 / 15
Design Variety10.2 / 15
Shot Values9.0 / 15
Memorability10.4 / 15
Three tees / Par 72
Yellow 5867 metres, CR71.3/126
White 5539 metres, CR69.7/123
Red 5148 metres, CR67.5/115
Women’s yellow, CR77.6/135
Women’s white, CR75.4/134
Women’s red, CR72.8/126
Visitor green fee
R310 & R450
Charles Molteno Murray 1934,
Bob Grimsdell 1952
021 784 2111
49 (2021) & 49 (2020)
Clovelly is one of the most scenic courses in the Cape Peninsula, and one of the most welcoming to visitors. Due to its outstanding clubhouse facilities and superb course conditioning It does a roaring trade with international golfers between January and March, the peak season in the region.
The 40-minute drive from Cape Town takes visitors along a choice of two picturesque tourist routes, Boyes Drive on the coast past St James and Kalk Bay, or the Ou Kaapse Weg Pass over the mountain.
The stately clubhouse sits prominently on the lower slopes of the Silvermine range in the Fish Hoek Valley, and has magnificent vistas of the False Bay coastline. On the top floor is the Raymond Ackerman Golf Academy, where learners partake in educational and life skills programmes.
Like many of the older courses in Cape Town it’s relatively short at under 6 000 metres, but that’s what makes it so popular. It’s fun for everyone. Longer hitters will be tempted to drive the green on a few par 4s, yet the challenge at Clovelly lies more in accuracy than in distance. And the charm of Clovelly lies in its natural beauty, the undulating character of the holes, set in a narrow valley between the rocky mountain slope on one side and sand dunes on the other.
The club was founded on the farm Klein Tuin in 1932 by Gus Ackerman and Mike Pevsner. Raymond Ackerman, son of Gus, is the club president – he celebrated his 90th birthday in March 2021 – and founded the Pick n Pay supermarket empire. Raymond’s passion for golf helped Clovelly develop into the strong club it is today.
Additional Course Facts
62 by Peter Karmis in 2012.
Women: 66 by Iliska Verwey in 2011;
Kaylah Williams in 2020
The opening tee shots on each nine present golfers with an exhilarating downhill start. The first tee sits slightly higher than the pro shop, playing into the valley. This par 4 doglegs right around a stand of trees, while the par-5 tenth makes a sharp turn to the left. You quickly get into the spirit of risk-and-reward golf. The 338m par-4 fourth at the far end of the course is a typical challenge, with a stream and water hazard enclosing the green on two sides, and out of bounds left of the green. Holes 7 to 9 are a fine trio, filled with variation. A beautiful par 4 from an elevated tee to a fairway framed by tall trees; a par 3 with a long two-tier narrow green; and a tough par 5 into the south-easter with an elevated and sloping green.
Excellent range with its own mini-clubhouse in a sheltered space close to the first tee, having a variety of bays and target greens, plus a short-game area. Michell Golf have the teaching rights for golfers of varying skills. There is a fun mashie course with 9 greens used for competitions, children’s birthday parties and team building events.
Did You Know
1/ Clovelly is one of the country’s busiest golf clubs, averaging between 53 000 and 58 000 rounds a year. About 25 000 are by visitors.
2/ The clubhouse hosts weddings, functions and conferences, and there is a restaurant. The upstairs deck is a great place to unwind after a round.
3/ In the 1970s, Clovelly was the first golf club in South Africa to open its membership to people of all races, gender, denominations and creeds. This “open door” policy continues today.
4/ Former Sunshine Tour professionals Alan and Mike Michell grew up in Fish Hoek and spent most of their time at the club. They have formed Michell Golf and help run the Clovelly junior teaching programme, working with local schools in the Fish Hoek Valley.
2021 Matthew Cooper & Wendy Warrington
2020 Matthew Cooper & Isabella van Rooyen
2019 Matthew Cooper & Isabella van Rooyen
Course and Facilities Rating
Clovelly is a club not shy to make significant changes to their course when they feel it is necessary, and their latest one is to rebuild the green of the par-3 11th hole. This is the shortest hole of the 18 (perhaps also the weakest up to now), with a raised green both plain in shape and large in width and length. It has now been shrunk, retaining only its width, with the back half of the green converted into mounding. The target is thus much smaller with some slopes. The new green will open for play by the end of July. Hopefully more can be made of the water hazard short and left of the green by enlarging it. Currently it only catches a weak shot, when it should be more threatening. That would really add character to No 11 and raise it to the same level as the other three excellent par 3s, none of which has water in play. Clovelly has an excellent warm-up range close to the clubhouse in an attractive amphitheatre. A big clock on the range keeps you alert to your tee time.
22 July 2022
A welcoming club and a course with great conditioning and scenic values. An interesting test when the wind is blowing. Clovelly, being a shorter course, does well in design to demand accuracy on several holes if players want to take the risk-reward option. The par-5 15th is an exceptional signature hole with its semi-island green bordered by one of the course's stunning water features. An enjoyable experience and deserved of its top 50 ranking.
14 February 2022
My first time and I found the layout interesting. Certainly it factors in the wind, a 4-club on the day I played. Knowing which direction it comes from and where to miss is something I would benefit from next time. I enjoyed the first nine more, with a greater variety of holes and the use of the lower mountain slopes for the tee boxes on seven and nine. My only gripe was the pace of play and lack of marshalling. A good afternoon was marred by a round that took well over 5 hours.
28 January 2022
A morning round at Clovelly last week proved one of my best experiences on a golf course. I was fortunate to draw a beautiful sunny day, and this is a course to savour in idyllic conditions. Relatively short, yet with a bucketful of interesting challenges on a rich mixture of unique looking holes, whether off the tee, into greens, or putting on some scarily quick greens. Magnificent natural surroundings, huge sand dunes on one side and a mountain on the other, a peaceful setting only interrupted by a jogger or cyclist passing by on a trail. So many holes provide outstanding views. No surprise that Clovelly is included on the itinerary of so many of our foreign golfing visitors, who deem it the best in the Cape Peninsula. Clubhouse facilities are simple yet offer all that is needed. I left Clovelly a most contented golfer.
23 January 2022
Playing at Clovelly is a pleasure. You receive a warm welcome in the attractive pro shop and from the starter who kindly accommodated us as a twoball on a busy Thursday morning full of fourballs. Clovelly operates a one-tee start off the par-5 tenth, and the first tee was still free before the field turned. We had the front nine to ourselves before re-joining the field on the tenth. The course offers lush fairways -- no need to place -- and even-paced greens with a smooth putting surface running about 9.5 on the stimpmeter. Bunkers are well sanded. The pace of play was good at 4:30 with a courtesy visit from the marshal every now and then to see how we were doing. The halfway house has a variety of good quality food at affordable prices. Clovelly has one of the best of clubhouse views, overlooking the course in its beautiful valley and the surrounding area of Fish Hoek.
21 January 2022
My first time playing Clovelly, great to tick off one of my last handful of top 100 courses still outstanding. Each hole was played in a 3- or 4-club wind providing exactly the challenge the course was designed for. I enjoyed the balance of shorter and longer holes. Pace of play was the biggest detractor, with slow groups causing the round to take well over five hours and no marshall to chase them. Conditioning was good and reminiscent of several of our good coastal layouts.
10 May 2021
A relatively short course where accuracy is key. The greens have steadily improved with the club's purchase of a heavy roller a few years ago. Still receptive and running consistently at 9-10 throughout summer.
Brent Arthur Kleve
01 May 2021
Clovelly has one of the best golf clubhouses in South Africa. Not only is it a fine looking building, perfectly positioned on a hillside overlooking the course with stunning views, its key components are all closely linked together and well presented. The superb pro shop has pride of place, with the halfway house and locker room on either side of it. A staircase takes you upstairs to the 19th hole. And all the starting tees are right there too, virtually an extension of the clubhouse. No place to hide if you're nervous about teeing off in front of a gallery. The first tee box is attractively built up next to the starter's hut, while those on the neighbouring tenth are stacked in attractive tiers on the slope leading down to the fairway. Clovelly is one of those clubs where you tingle with anticipation on arrival.
04 January 2021
Due to its relatively remote position in the Cape Peninsula, Clovelly probably gets less exposure than it deserves. An attractive layout with a friendly clubhouse atmosphere. The shortish course (5780 metres from the back tees) is protected by the wind which funnels through the valley skirted by a mountain ridge.
Willem van der Merwe
03 January 2021
Once again Clovelly's team accomplish the impossible. The course is in amazing condition, maintained by two rotating teams of 8 course staff each. A testament to good leadership, and friendly and welcoming staff all round. The course and its pristine location is breathtaking. The best place to unwind after a stressful 2020. The only area on the course that needs attention is the updating of hazard lines and reconsidering the many out-of-bounds stakes on the property boundary. Good news is that Clovelly is about to embark on that project.
02 January 2021
Clovelly need to consider rebuilding both the ninth and 18th greens as the ground below each green is subsiding and creating impossibly quick putts from back to front. As it is both greens have limited pin placings and any putt from above the hole is unfair as you cannot stop it without hitting the pin. The practice putting green also needs to be redone. Otherwise the quality of the greens has improved thanks to a lot of dusting which has helped the speed and consistency (10.5 on stimp).
28 August 2020
The greens have improved at Clovelly since the club purchased a heavy roller two years ago. This has firmed up the greens while keeping them receptive. It has also made the greens more consistent. The first cut is currently longer than normal (rain and less staff) so it's toughened up the course for golfers who just miss the fairway.
24 August 2020
Course stays in excellent condition throughout the year. Great greens and a good club atmosphere.
12 July 2020
Tucked away off the main coast road this is a real gem. Facilities have improved over the years and the course remains enjoyable and challenging when the wind blows through the valley.
16 April 2020
Clovelly in superb condition, greens running well. It is always a test, wind or no wind. Bunkers are disappointingly inconsistent.
07 March 2020
The clubhouse atmosphere and hospitality at Clovelly is among the best in the country. Always a delight to be there. The bunkers tend to be inconsistent, yet the overall presentation of the course is beautiful.
17 February 2020
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