Saturday, May 20, 2017

Loads of stuff going on right now!

My first weekend at The Brooke turned out to be a rather memorable one, with The Club Championships taking place over two days. . . . . and a Wedding thrown in for good measure!

The first morning of Champs started with what has become my standard morning view. But slightly chillier now that winter approaches. In this photo, the mist from the dam blocks out the view in the background:

During the course of the day, the Club Veranda was laid up for the wedding and we focused on sending the field off for Club Champs from one tee Box, because . . . . the Ceremony was taking place adjacent to the 9th Green, and the Bride and groom didn't want golfers landing approach shots among their guests! Like a fool I never managed to get a picture of the ceremony, but this is what the reception area looked like - it was held on the outside veranda overlooking the First Fairway . . .

As the sun set over The Brooke, the bridal group went for photos - and I captured this shot probably 5 minutes too late - this is an area of casual seating just off from the picture above, and actually looks out over the First.

We have a couple of ladies who cater for all functions held at the Club - in addition to the light meals on the veranda at our Halfway House, and they do an excellent job of catering for large numbers.

These are the Desserts laid out out just before the crowd descended.

To finish the meal off there was a large board with cheese and biscuits (which the Americans, rather oddly, call crackers') and fruit for after dinner. In the background you can see the wedding cake - which was supplied by the bride and groom.

By 10pm that night the party was in full swing - and the sight of Red Bull with Jagermeister shots being lined up on the bar counter is always a sign that things are about to seriously deteriorate!

So if there is anyone out there looking for a wedding venue - The Brooke is capable of hosting you in a great setting, with great food, and a really casual atmosphere. You will almost certainly have golfers flailing their way through their final hole of the day somewhere in a near-distance, but the Members are very understanding of requirements, and you will have an area set aside for your privacy.

Give us a call.

The next day we held the second Round of the Champs, and the Prize Table was loaded for action . .

And by the time the sun set . . . . . . I had completed my first rather interesting week at The Brooke.


One thing I did discover was that we have an absolutely fantastic Junior Golf Programme running at The Brooke. This takes place almost every Saturday morning - though next weekend we have a large Tournament with a dinner being held in a marquee on the Driving Range, so we skip a week.

And my favorite image of Kids' Clinic? Well, here is young Noah - aged all of 3 years old - who only heard the second half of the injunction to 'keep your head down and follow through'! If you are going to do something - put everything you have got into it!!

How fortunate he is to have parents who have introduced him to a game he can play for the rest of his life at such a young age. And in the not-too-distant future I can see father and son teeing it up together for an afternoon of  golf. How cool is that? Soooo - if you live in Harare, have young children, and reckon this might be a pretty cool way to spend a Saturday morning - give our Club Pro Stu Stovold a bell on 0773 315806 and see if you can get involved in our Junior Clinics. The next will be on 3rd June. If you have the kids, we have the clubs.



Friday, May 5, 2017

Brooke - no nonsense

So times move on and so do I. . . . . I have started a new job as Golf Club Manager at Borrowdale Brooke in Harare.

This was the only job I had applied for in the last 10 months or so, and I was truly blessed to be appointed. I have quite a lot to learn - especially in Golf Administration, but hopefully it will only be a couple of months before I am playing myself regularly, and all is running smoothly.

The Brooke is a beautiful Golf Club - this is the scene that welcomes me to work every morning at 06.30 when I arrive:

This might sound like an early start - especially so considering we are into winter now, and the sun only rises at 06.00 - but our Green-keeping staff have an even earlier kick-off - our greens have been attended and are ready to play golf on by 05.30 in the morning, having been brushed of dew, and then mown, and the pin position changed for the day.

Talking of winter starting, I shall try next week to publish a photo of me on my motorbike at 05.30 (I have a 25 minute ride to work in the mornings) as I genuinely look like the abominable snowman in winter clothes!Very funny, with scarves and gloves and leather jacket.

But what a beautiful course! Our intention is to offer the prime golfing experience in Zimbabwe, and a lot of attention is paid to detail. This, for example, is the arrangement in our entrance foyer - complete with fresh orchids . . . .

Of course we are busy most week-ends, and today - being a Friday, we are hosting about 150 rounds of golf, and then over the next 2 days we have the Club Championships, with about 120 players. We also have a wedding tomorrow, in addition to the Club Champs, so I am going to be a busy tortoise!

Lots of golf carts around the place, and the sun shines the whole day with the gentle 'click' of golf club on golf ball in the background the whole time. I think I'm going to be happy here!

The veranda is busy, and folk catch a quick snack between 'nines'.

We have a simple but tasty menu, and mostly it is folk stopping by and grabbing a bit to eat halfway round. Then the tables are set up so that they overlook the 9th and 18th greens - much cheering and jeering when friends finish their rounds! The section you can see in the background is the practice putting green

And then there is the 'Proshop', where all golfing accessories are sold. Apologies for the very poor picture quality, but I think you get the idea.

The Bar is also busy - and I had to wait quite a while before I could take a picture without drinkers in it! Unfortunately some idiot chose that exact moment to take a photograph from the other side, but he looked quite intimidating, so I quietly left . . . .

You will also notice the tree in the background which kept getting stolen, so they had to wrap it in barbed wire!

Have a great day one and all!