When landlords Clovelly Estates went into liquidation during the Great Depression of the early 1930s, the members of the Clovelly Country Club tried to buy the course, which was situated alongside the Silvermine River in Fish Hoek Valley, from the executors of the insolvent estate. They were not successful, as the Messrs Ackerman and Pevsner's bid was accepted. They duly formed the Clovelly Country Club. Membership was offered to all members of the original Clovelly Golf Club, but the majority of the members decided to move away and purchase their own golf club.
An elderly dairyman, Mr. Hendricks, owned a farm "Raapkraal" at the foot of Silvermine Mountain near Lakeside and it was here that the members of the old Clovelly Golf Club moved to found their new course. A meeting was held in the hall of the local Kalk Bay Anglican School on the 31st March 1932, at which the members agreed to accept the terms of Mr. Hendricks' lease and form a new golf club, which was named Westlake.
The lease of the farm "Raapkraal" (55.369 morgen) was for nine years, with an option for a further nine years at a fixed rate of £10 per month. A cottage on the farm was included in the lease and was altered to form the original Clubhouse. There were 112 founder members and they all contributed in some way or another towards the layout of the new course. Under the watchful eye of "Oupa" Harrison and Mr. H.B. "Pop" Lee, members gave time and effort, as well as cash. The original layout of the course ran up and down the mountain slope, as opposed to the present layout, which runs along the gradient of the mountain.
The nine-hole course was opened for play on the 1st September 1932. The inaugural competition was won by Dennis Langton, who was later to be come the Club Champion before he was tragically killed in action during World War II.
'Oupa' Harrison removes his 'Brood' from Clovelly to Westlake. Sketch by founder member Mr. Robert McNee Tait
The constitution was drawn up by Mr. Tudhope, a local attorney, and the bye-laws were adopted in 1933. Subscriptions we £3-0-0 per annum. At the first Annual General Meeting in March 1933, it was decided that every effort must be made to extend Westlake into an eighteen-hole course. Architect Dr. D.C. Murray was duly appointed and plans similar to today's layout were drawn up. Work began almost immediately after the members had approved these planes.
Mr. Hendricks was now elderly and wished to sell the farm. He offered the course and Clubhouse to the members for the sum of £5500. This offer was accepted in October 1935. This gave the members new impetus, as they were now the proud owners of their own golf course. It was not long thereafter that the new 18-hole layout was completed and the first competition was played on 14th April 1936 among much pomp and ceremony.
Westlake was soon on the golfing map, with Mr. Otway Hayes, son of the founder and honorary life member, Dr. J.O. Hayes, receiving his Springbok colours in 1937. He won the SA Amateur in Durban in 1939 and was runner-up in the Natal Open. 1938 was a gala year for the club, as it won for the first time, the Stephan Trophy - a first league interclub tournament which is still keenly contested today.
Clubhouse Changes: Some of the early changes to Westlake's Clubhouse. Further alterations and extensions were completed in 1989 and again in 2000. Today's Clubhouse boasts excellent amenities in a modern setting.
A new Clubhouse, designed along the traditional gabled Cape Dutch lines was built in 1939.
The War Years (1939-45) took their toll on the Club finances, as well as the loss of three members who were killed in action. Membership dropped to fifty and it was only though the efforts of the elderly members of the likes of Messrs T. Stevenson, H.B. Lee, E. Tudhope, A.H. Ashley-Cooper ad W.H. Short who kept Westlake going through this tragic period. Each later received Honorary Life membership.
With the return of ex-servicemen after the war, Westlake received an injection of keen young members who joined the older founders of the Club. A tremendous immigration drive from the UK during the late 1940s added further numbers. Membership soared from 87 in 1945 to 255 in 1948. This new drive of members, spearheaded by "Mr. Westlake" - Rex Walker, ensured the Westlake remained on sound footing. It was Rex who negotiated with the Cape Town City Council for the sole use of the Silvermine Reservoir overflow, known as "brown water". A pipeline was duly constructed and this was the main source of additional water supply, the lifeblood of any golf course, for near on fifty years. It was not until the recent linkage with Steenberg Estate's effluent water system that "brown" water ceased to be the main source of alternate supply to augment the costly municipal "white" water. The Steenberg lining was an historic milestone in the history of Westlake, with a fully reticulated watering system, and was responsible for the rapid transformation of Westlake into one of the premier golf courses in the Western Cape.
Throughout the history of Westlake, camaraderie and club spirit have abounded and many members have come forward and have given both time and effort to ensure the growth and success of Westlake. This has rubbed off on the staff, many employees having served the Club for decades.
Course and Clubhouse alterations and improvements have been very evident over the last twenty years. Well known golfers have praised the layout and condition of Westlake- among these were Bobby Locke in the 1950s and 60s and Gary Player in the 1980s.
Westlake has hosted the SA Intervarsity Golf Championships, the SA Under-23 Interprovincial, the Nomads Nationals, the SA Amateur, which was held in 1999 and the Western Province Amateur in 2011. Most recently they held the Inter Provincial Tournament in September 2014.