Right click on form, “Print Picture”, fill it in & drop into the office.
If you need help with a proposer etc, please call in for assistance.
Hope to see you soon.

helens bay application form final [251755]-001


Download the R&A App from our “Contact Us – links” page free.

(if you don’t play by the rules, you are not playing Golf.)

Like chess, golf has a lot of rules, some of which take some thinking about but, they all make sense. The game doesn’t work without them. You don’t need to be a grand master but, if you don’t play by the rules – you are not playing the game.

In golf, any players who don’t apply the Rules properly or, who agree to waive any penalty stroke are Disqualified ( R1.3), whether or not they benefit from the agreement. If a player submits a scorecard without having included penalties, he/she is Disqualified. That’s why we need to know the rules and penalties.

And, the first rule to brush up on is – Maximum 14 clubs including putter in your bag – 2 shot penalty per hole played in breach of this rule (up to 4) or loss of up to 2 holes in match play (R4.4). It happened to Ian Woosnam, so it can happen to you. Check what is in your bag, regularly.


The tee box (“teeing ground”) is a rectangle between 2 markers at the front and two club lengths long. If you start outside this area in match play your opponent can make you play your shot again without penalty or, in stroke play, you incur a 2 shot penalty and must play again from the proper place. (R11.4). If you play the next hole without correcting your mistake, you are Disqualified.

If a ball falls off a tee or is accidentally knocked off when “addressing” the ball (grounding club in front or behind ball) there is no penalty and a player can put the ball back on the tee. But, if a stroke is made, whether or not the ball moves, the stroke counts. (R11)

Priority” on the course is simple. The R&A changed the rules 11 years ago to speed up the game. Gone are ideas of 4 ball, 2 ball, 3 ball, 1 ball. Now, unless a competition committee specifically state otherwise, priority is governed solely by pace of play. FASTER PLAYERS HAVE PRIORITY. If the player, or players (whatever number) behind you are playing or could play faster than you – call them through. They have priority. If you fall a hole behind, call the group behind you through.   (Rules S1)


These rules have been updated recently and require particular attention.

If a bunker is designated “Ground Under Repair”, you may take a drop without penalty outside the bunker and the ball must be dropped within 1 club length of the nearest point of relief (not nearer the hole).

Anyone can rake a bunker at any time provided it is SOLELY to repair the bunker, not to test the sand or improve lie of the ball. Testing the sand is a 2 shot penalty or loss of hole in match play. (R13.4)

Unless it is absolutely essential to identify your ball in a bunker, you must not touch the ball or touch, pick up or move any leaves, twigs, stones, pieces of fruit, pine cones etc or any other “loose impediment” that is in or touching the bunker, whether or not it is touching or interferes with your ball. You must play your ball as it lies- even if it is embedded in a half-eaten apple and has a twig resting on it. Penalty for breach is 2 strokes/loss of hole. If you needed to move anything to identify your ball you must put everything back to how it was, ie put the leaves etc back on top of your ball (R12.1b)

Local Rules (including ours) often provide that stones (& only stones !) may be removed without penalty.

Touching the sand with a club before making stroke- 2 strokes/loss of hole. (R13.4).

If the ball is in a bunker and the next shot is affected by casual water within the bunker, you may drop the ball without penalty provided the ball is dropped inside the bunker at nearest point of relief, not closer to the hole. Also, in such situations a drop may also be taken outside the bunker (in a line backwards from the hole) incurring 1 shot penalty. (R25.1)

Please, please, please rake all bunkers properly after you have played your shot. Leave the rake in the bunker pointing to the flag. (other clubs may have different local rules.)


Out of bounds (OB) is usually marked by a white line, white stakes or a fence. If marked by a fence and/ or stakes, OB is actually a virtual line between the inside edges of the upright fence posts or stakes at ground level. The line marking OB is itself OB. BUT, if any part of the ball is inside the line, the ball is in. A player may stand OB in order to play a ball that is “in”. You may not move OB stakes that interfere with your swing. They are “fixed”. A ball hit OB is “lost” – 1 stroke penalty and then you must play next from the spot where the previous ball was played (R27.1).

If you think your ball may be “lost”, declare that you are playing a “provisional” and play a new ball from where you hit the first one, then look for your ball. Don’t go searching first. While searching, call players behind you through.

If your first ball can’t be found within 5 mins, it is deemed “lost” and you continue with the “provisional”. If you find the first ball before it is deemed “lost” you must continue to play it. If you continued with the “provisional” it would be the “wrong ball” – further 2 stroke penalty/loss of hole (R27.2). In stroke play, if you don’t correct a “wrong ball” mistake, you are disqualified (R15.3)

Once your ball is deemed “lost” or, if you didn’t declare a 2nd ball as “provisional”, then, even if you subsequently find the first ball, it is still “lost”. Continue with the 2nd ball and take the penalty strokes.(R27.2)
Practice during a round is not permitted and carries a 2 stroke/loss of hole penalty (R7.2)


First, repair your pitch mark. Then, repair your pitch mark!

If you didn’t bring your pitch repair tool, then you are not ready to play golf.

You may not tap anything down except a pitch mark or ball marker. You may not repair spike marks made by shoes, on the line of putt, until after you have played- 2 Strokes/loss of Hole (R16.1). You may take relief from holes dug by birds or animals and may hand “brush” sand or soil ONLY if they are on the green.

You must not test or practice on the greens before or during a stroke play comp- Disqualification (R7.1) But, after you have finished the hole you may practice on that green and on/near next tee box (excluding bunkers) PROVIDED it doesn’t cause any delay behind you- breach 2 Strokes/ Loss of Hole.(R7.2)

The flag stick may be removed or tended, whether or not the ball is on the green. If you putt from on the green and hit the flag stick – 2 Strokes penalty and play as the ball lies/ Loss of Hole (R17.3), UNLESS the person tending is at fault, in which case they incur the penalty (R17.2). If ball at rest on the green is hit by moving ball struck from off the green, there is no penalty. Replace the moved ball to where it was last at rest. If both balls were on the green prior to putting, and the ball putt hits a ball at rest, the player of the putt incurs 2 Stroke penalty.

Mark, Lift, Clean, Place. Lifting without marking – 1 Stroke penalty (R20.1). Playing from wrong place – 2 Strokes/Loss of Hole (R20.7). If you lie off the green and are asked to mark your ball by another player, you must mark, then lift, but must not clean your ball – breach, 1 Stroke penalty (R21)

Don’t play out of turn. If you putt on the green while another ball on green is moving, 2 Strokes/Loss of Hole UNLESS the other player putted out of turn. If someone offers to putt out of turn to show you the line, and you agree, Both are Disqualified.


If ever there was a rule so misunderstood yet most likely to bring penalties, it is this one.

You must not give to or, ask for advice from anyone. Every time you ask for or give advice – 2 Stroke penalty (which can also be added to next hole if asked/given between holes)/ Loss of hole (R8.1)

Advice is “any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of club or the method of making a stroke”.
So, for example …………….

        “what are you hitting?”        “that’s a 2 club wind”      “ am I swinging too fast?”

 “I’d take a drop”     “take your normal stance”     “take your time with that putt”  etc etc
each carry a 2 Stroke penalty/Loss of Hole.

Questions about the Rules of Golf , distances and general course issues (where the bunkers/flagsticks are) are not “advice”. You may also indicate line of play up to (but not beyond) the flagstick, provided you are not on the green (R8.2) – Breach 2 strokes/Loss of hole.

If you really want to find out what club someone hit -look in their bag (without touching anything).
If you need help with technique- practice on a non-competition day.

If you are playing in a pairs or team event you may take/give advice to your playing partner, their caddy or (provided competition allows) the designated team captain. But, if your partner touches the green to indicate the line of putt to play – 2 Stroke penalty/ Loss of hole (R8.2b)

Don’t forget, if 2 or more players (ie your 4 ball) agree not to apply the rule or penalty, then all are disqualified.

It is just about getting out of bad habits. Competition day is for competitive golf; not coaching.


If the course is set up as “Preferred Lies” then, through the green, you may Mark, Lift, Clean & Place your ball within 6 inches, not closer to the hole. Otherwise, Play the ball as it lies.

That means, until you are on the green you may not remove mud or leaves sticking to the ball or, lift your ball out of some selfish player’s unrepaired divot. On the fairway or rough (NOT BUNKERS !!) you may move “loose impediments” from around but not attached to the ball. Penalty for cleaning ball – 1 stroke (R21). If the ball “accidentally” moves while removing loose impediments- 1 stroke penalty & replace the ball (R18.2) If you don’t replace– playing from wrong place -2 strokes and if you play the next hole without fixing your mistake –Disqualification.

You must not improve the lie of the ball or the path of your swing by pressing anything down, bending away or breaking branches or hedges or replacing divots (even someone else’s) until after you play your stroke. Penalty 2 strokes/loss of hole (R 13.2) The penalty applies if you break a branch or knock down leaves such as would improve your swing, while taking a practice swing.

If your ball is embedded in its own plug mark ON THE FAIRWAY you may lift, clean & DROP, without penalty. (Check local rules – Relief available at HBGC  if ball embedded in own plug in rough.)

If your ball enters an area of Ground Under Repair and definitely didn’t go OB but can’t be found, it is not a “lost” ball. Drop without penalty within 1 club length of the point where the ball entered the area of GUR. (R25.1)

Any player can decide their ball is “unplayable” – add 1 stroke penalty then- go back to where the previous stroke was played or, drop within 2 club lengths (not closer to hole) from where the ball lies or, drop behind the unplayable ball position in line with the flagstick. The ball may be cleaned before dropping, but once dropped the ball must not be touched again (unless it rolls more than 2 club lengths, rolls into a hazard or on green, rolls OB etc).-2 Strokes/Loss of Hole (R20)

If you declare that a ball in a bunker is “unplayable” then you may also take relief with 1 stroke penalty but you must drop the ball inside the same bunker.(penalty 2 strokes/loss of hole R28)

REMEMBER don’t use your putter to scoop a ball out of the hole; don’t lean on your putter; repair your divots; fix your pitch marks & rake bunkers. If you refuse to care for the course you will face club sanction and may well be ruining someone else’s game.


Golf  is a game with Rules – if you don’t play by the Rules, you are not really playing Golf.
Maximum 14 clubs including putter
Faster players have priority – Call them through
Don’t Practice on course before or during stroke competitions
Play the Ball as it Lies
Don’t move anything in a bunker (except stones – if permitted)
“Declare” before playing a Provisional – then go looking
Don’t press down anything on the green except pitch marks or ball marker before putting
Mark your ball before lifting
Take proper care of the course – Rake Bunkers, Fix Pitch Marks,  Repair Divots & Don’t Scoop out of the hole with your putter
Don’t give or ask for any advice. Competitions are competitive. – 2 stroke penalty each time!!

REMEMBER – ALL players that agree to waive any penalty stroke or to not apply the Rules of Golf properly are Disqualified.


Please download the R&A Rules App for your smartphone or computer – it is free and available from our “Links” page. The App is much easier to understand than the Rule Book & really is an essential piece of every golfers’ kit.



No matter how bad your card, it must be put into the system. The CONGU handicap computer calculates handicap changes by analysis of the Competition Scratch Score, which is calculated weekly and is totally dependent upon the % of players in each category that finish within their “buffer zone” that day. So, your bad score, or non-finish really can/would change the % and alter everybody else’s handicap. That is why you MUST ensure that everyone in your group puts their card in, even if they had their worst round ever or retired after 3 holes. Everybody competing is affected by your card.

If a player starts but doesn’t put in a card, (for whatever reason), their handicap will be moved up 0.1 by the club’s Handicap Convenor anyway, so you can’t protect your handicap !

Any player that fails to put in their card on any 2 occasions in the season will have their handicap suspended for 2 weeks as well as being moved 0.2.


Enjoy your golf & Play fair.





WEEKLY UPDATE – 22 June 2018





LIVE BAND FROM 9.45 PM – 1.00 AM



“It looks as if the weather will be fine tomorrow. The course is in great condition. The competition will be keen and there will be lots of opportunities to win prizes. So may I wish all players an enjoyable day and I hope to see as many of you as possible tomorrow evening.”

Captain’s Charity The Captain’s charity this year is the NI Air Ambulance, which is becoming an increasingly valuable addition to our emergency services but which requires £2m a year of voluntary support to continue operating. There will be opportunities to contribute on Captain’s Day by simply putting money in the box on the bar, maybe associated with a visit to the bunker on the 9th/18th and by entering a “beat the pro” competition, details of which will be in the pro-shop.


The caterer TCK has guaranteed Tuesday evening catering, apart from 9-15 July when there will be no catering over the Twelfth holidays. This is good news for the Ladies Section as Tuesday is their ILGU Competition Day, but also for the whole Club. Whatever your category of membership, please endeavour to support both the Club and the Caterer. More Theme nights and social events are planned during the summer, details soon.


Helen’s Bay Golf Club will be supporting the Macmillan Cancer Support Longest Day Golf Challenge on Friday 29th June, where golfers play 72 holes in one day.

16 volunteers, primarily from Helen’s Bay Golf Club, will be playing in support of this worthwhile cause.

For more details, and if you would like to donate to support them, please visit their Justgiving page

Alternatively, if you would like to make cash donations, there are sponsorship forms and a collection box available at the bar.

We are also running a ballot, tickets are available at the bar and are priced at £1 each or 8 for £5

Many thanks for all your support.

Any questions, please contact Gordon Rea.


Sponsored by The Signature Works

Sunday 8th July 2018

Open to both men and ladies teams, can be mixed.

Book online at or phone the Office on 02891852815

Entry fees: Members £5 per per person, Visitors £10 per person


William Pyper Memorial Results
Sat 16th June 2018

Best Gross Neil O’Hara 67 pts
2nd Best Gross Jamie Irwin 73 pts
1st Nett David Bell 63 pts
2nd Nett Jordan Creighton 64 pts

Nearest the Pin Harry McCrum
Prizes will be presented on Saturday 30th June at 6 pm in the back bar.


1st Tim Jebb 32 pts

2nd David Saligari 31 pts

3rd Mark Danter 30 pts

4th Derek Johnston Jnr 29 pts

5th John Lindsay 28 pts


Monday morning turned out to be like an old style Formula 1 racing car start – run to your car and go! Due to a mix up we had to leave Helen’s Bay and go to Belvoir. Apologies all round. We did not perform as we had hoped and could only manage 2 halved matches. Well done to team captain Jack playing with Edwin and to Gordon and Roy for achieving this. The return leg is on Monday at Helen’s Bay so lets hope that Saturday’s golf and the promise of a good day weather wise will stand us in good stead. Good luck to Mr Captain, Alan, for a great day this Saturday.


Competition for the Claret Jug attracted a large field of eager golfers and, adding importance to their Captain’s Day was the presence of current Club Captain Alan Shannon. Predictably it was Paul Logan, who continuing on his winning ways carried off the trophy with a score of 22pts. Runners-up were Rea Crawford 19pts, Harry Minon 17pts. Gerry Murray and Job Palmer 16pts each.

The only “birdie” carded on the day was Gerry Murray at the 4th hole.

At the Presentation meal David McShane, on behalf of the Wednesday Boys, warmly welcomed the Captain to their annual event and also former members. In his response the Captain said how much he had enjoyed his day and thanked the Wednesday Boys for inviting him to share it with them. He then presented the Claret Jug to Paul Logan and looked forward to meeting many of the present company at his Captain’s Day on Saturday. Bill Eakin, David McShane, Jim Wilson and Brian Gibson added a touch of humour to the evening.

Quirks:- In his address the Captain invited the golfers to join in a simple golf Quiz to test their knowledge on the rules of golf. Needless to say sharp minds sprung into action with an impressive response.

The Claret Jug was presented by Peter Clarke in 1986 and the first winner was Job Palmer.

Because the event clashed with a Probus Outing several members had a late start.

Golfers commented very favourably on the great condition of the Golf Course and also on the service provided by the caterers.


Linda Wilson’s Lady Captain’s Day on Tuesday started with a bang when the window in the main lounge broke. But it was only a minor glitch which provided a talking point in an otherwise excellent day with the majority of competitors managing to finish their rounds before the heavy rain. The Lady Captain wishes to thank all the ladies for their beautiful cards and support and especially her hard working Committee who helped make it all happen.

The course was in very good condition and the competitors were tested by the Lady Captain’s pin positions but the Lady Captain’s Prize went to Iris Graham with a splendid score of 38 points. Hilary McIlroy was runner up with 35 points on a better back nine.

Category prizes went to Liz Jackson ( Cat A 35 points), Lady Vice Captain Barbara Edwards (Cat B 35 points) and Irene Aston (Cat C 34 points). The front nine was won by Wendy Elliott (20 points) and the back nine Deirdre Forde (20 points). The Committee prize went to Sandra Martel (34 points). Longest drive was Wendy Elliott and Nearest the Pin was Diane Foster.

The nine hole prize went to Denise Williamson (16 points) and Louise Kennedy won the putting prize with 38 strokes.

For the first time, junior girls played on Lady Captain’s Day and the prize was won by the Junior Captain Jodi Wilson(25 points).

Finally, June Kirkpatrick won the bridge prize.

The dining room was busy all day as the Lady Captain entertained North Down Lady Captains to morning coffee and Club officers, family and friends to afternoon tea. The course and newly decorated dining room drew many compliments from the visitors. In the evening over 80 ladies enjoyed a delicious buffet. Thank you again to everyone who helped in any way.

Next Tuesday 26th June is the Nellie Garrett Foursomes Qualifier. Sign up even if you need a partner.

The Business Ladies lost their home match to Shandon but the Friendly League Team improved on their half match away by defeating Scrabo 4-1 at home. Well done everyone.

Finally, we wish Captain Alan Shannon a wonderful day on Saturday.


Junior Section Next Junior Competition – Sunday June 24th from 1pm. This is the last of the Sunday afternoon Competitions until September.

Junior Summer Competitions These commence on Friday July 6th & will be held every Friday morning starting at 9am. Entires to be submitted to designated Committee member each Wednesday by 6pm.

Lady Captain breaks new ground Four Junior girls played on Linda Wilson’s LadyCaptain’s Day – an exciting new departure for the Ladies’ Section. And what scores in appalling weather conditions for 9 Holes: Jodi Wilson, our Junior Captain, on 25pts: Lucy Milhench 24: Niamh Branigan 20 & Niamh Hanna 14. All four girls & Erin Branigan joined the ladies for the buffet & what a welcome they had from all present. So many thanks to Lady Captain for her kind invitation to the girls & all who made their day such a success.