Legendary Ladies – In Praise of Dawn English

Wow, how can one compose an article on a living legend?

All of the members at Clovelly Golf Club in Cape Town are in awe of their oldest regularly playing member, Dawn English, aged a sprightly 96.

The term sprightly can be honestly applied to Dawn in that she uses no aids for walking and hops in and out of the car each time I give her a lift.   When, in the past, I have tried to assist her she looks in amazement and says “Stop treating me like an old person!”.    She uses hearing aids and has a bad chest but apart from that she is in extremely good health.  Much enjoying her Brandy and Coke after golf each time.

 Covid lockdown was her biggest nightmare but she assured all of us that she was out in the garden each day practicing her short game

Dawn English

Dawn joined Clovelly in 1977 at the age of 52.   At that time she was still regularly playing League tennis for Bergvliet tennis club.   She continued playing tennis and golf for the ensuing 6 years but then gave up tennis as she pulled a calf muscle and it prevented her from playing golf, which she deemed more important.

At Clovelly she played League for the Silver and then the Bronze teams and also served on the Ladies Committee for 18 years.   

In 1997 Dawn won her division in the regional finals for the Sanlam Cancer Challenge.   She flew to Durban and was going to play in the National finals at San Lameer Golf Estate. It was her first time ever in an aeroplane!   Sadly, prior to playing, she slipped on a step and broke her ankle so could not play.   Having had it pinned she flew back and had to use a wheel chair for a while …… BUT she was back playing golf after 6 weeks.

She won many other tournaments, one of which being the Lefson Cup in 2007.   Dawn only stopped playing our 36 hole club championships about 5 years ago.   She has also had 2 holes in one, one at Clovelly and one at Westlake.

On turning 80 she was made an Honorary Life Member.   Up until Lockdown Dawn pulled her own very old and very heavy caddy cart around Clovelly, 18 holes each time, more likely than not twice a week.   However, when she came back to golf, she was persuaded to accept the use of the Drive Car belonging to our Club President, Mr. Raymond Ackerman.   He also told her to utilise his private parking space right outside the main entrance.   Needless to say we all fight to give Dawn a lift to golf so that we get to park there!

She is NEVER happy with her game and it’s a given that if you ask her how she played at any time her response will be “I played SH.T!”   Perhaps this could be due to the fact that she is off to the practice area before each game to hit TWO buckets of balls – but try telling her that!

Long may she live and continue to astound us all.