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 – 13 April 2018

Fancy yourself as a Detective?
Book a table and bring some friends enjoy an evening of mysterious twists and turns. The cost is £22 includes a two course meal – 8 pm.
Come along and support the Club. To book please do so with Jon in Catering.

Sunday 29 April.
Please book with the Restaurant.

MENS RESULTS – Sat 7 April
McClintock Perpetual Trophy

1st Tony Gregg and Ian Frazer 71 pts
2nd Captain and Stephen Van Houten 70 pts bb9

Nearest the pin David Clarke

Monday turned into a good day to play golf.
Unfortunately most of Helen’s Bay team were unable to take advantage and were beaten at Knock by 5 games to 1.
Congratulations to Alan Coyle and Paul Logan for a great result in their match.
Lets hope the Team can respond with a better result at Helen’s Bay on Monday.


Last night 12th April was the first Thursday night competition of the season. 27 competitors took part with results as follows:

1st Derek Johnston Jnr 21pts
2nd Paul Logan 20pts
3rd David Clarke 20pts BB6
4th Tom Wilson 20pts BB3

There was only one 2 – Michael Mooney

John Lindsay ‘won’ the pully outy

Hopefully the weather will improve and numbers will increase.


Wednesday Boys, 11th April, 2018

The game of golf attracts a huge number of devotees worldwide and here in Helen’s Bay we have a Golf Club second to none, extending a warm local welcome to fellow golfers and friends. This characteristic extends to the Wednesday Boys which, apart from treading the fairways, enjoys the added value of a vibrant friendly social life.

The John Coote Ecelectic Competition is now completed and three golfers who shared the top of the table throughout the competition it was Paul Logan who took the honours closely followed Raymond Hopper and Rea Crawford. A few interesting facts:- Golf Holes 4 and 8 yielded the most points. Holes 2 and 9 yielded not. The Holes to return Zero points during the competition, were 2,3,4,5,7,9.

This week golfers teed off for the Masters Cup and despite the spongy fairways playing long, scores were respectable. Gerry Murray ensured his name was engraved on the Cup with 16pts, Derek Bell lost out on the count back, Rea Crawford and John Cochrane carded 15pts.

The Presentation of Prizes was held in the Clubhouse afterwards. David McShane welcomed all present and paid special thanks to Davey Anderson and Brian Gibson for their valuable help. Following a delicious high-tea Raymond Hopper presented a beautifully framed putter to be permanently sited in the Longmore Room and played for annually on Captain’s Day. Raymond was unanimously thanked for his generous gift, and no doubt fiercely competed for (It goes without saying Raymond himself is regarded as one of the best exponents on the putting greens)

In the weekly competition Norman Armstrong carded 16pts to win top Prize, similar to the Masters Cup. (It must be said that Gerry was under much more pressure playing for the Masters Cup to achieve his success).


The Easter week competition was abandoned because of the poor weather.

The Committee has decided that the closing date for the Sheila Brooks trophy should be extended. Entries may be received throughout the 18 hole competition season.

The Committee has also decided to extend the closing date for the Denise Sawers and Pearl McKinstry trophies until 30 April. These competitions are open to everyone who plays 18 holes. If you do not usually take part in match play why not give it a go?

The Friendly League played away against Holywood on Wednesday past. Unfortunately they did not repeat their home success and lost. Next Wednesday they play away against Donaghadee. We wish them well.

The Lady Captain’s outing is to Malone Golf Club on 24th May. The list and full details are in the locker room so please sign up. Nine holers are welcome as are ladies who want to come for dinner only.

The Lady Captain has arranged a table for the Murder Mystery Evening on 21st April. Any lady on her own, for whatever reason, would be very welcome to join her. Please let Lady Captain know if you would like to do so.

The ILGU matches are getting under way. First match is the Challenge Cup team at home against Banbridge on Sunday. Later the same day the Minor Team are playing their first match against Shandon Park also at home. We wish Team Captains Elizabeth Gibson (Challenge) and Jenny Hopper (Minor) and their teams the very best of luck. We also wish every success to Team Captain Ruth Croft and the Junior Foursomes Team who travel to Rossmore on Thursday.

If any lady would like to get involved in the Club Membership and Marketing Sub-Committee please let Lady Captain know. We already have one lady member from Committee but would like additional representation on this important Sub-Committee.

Finally, we were sorry to learn of the death of our former member Ethna Montgomery.


Junior Section News
Maria’ Dunne’s Case Study on the growth and development of the Junior Section, going from 13 Juniors in 2013 to 82 in 2018 is now on Golfnet at Maria is Coordinator for Girls’ and Women’s Golf in the Confederation of Golf in Ireland and she and CGI are especially taken by the fact we do not have a resident golf Professional.Junior Competitions Results February, March April

February 25th
Full 9 holes 1st Lucy Milhench 17pts
2nd Eoin Hanna 17pts BB9
3rd Jodi Wilson 17pts BB9

SHORT 9 1ST Amy McCord 32pts
2nd Daniel Sinclair 29pts
3rd Melissa McMahon 18pts BB9

SHORT 4 1st Isaac van Houten 7pts
2nd Joe Wilson 6pts
3rd Lexi Poli 4pts
28 played

Easter competition 1: March 30th
18 holes 1st Ben McCord 19 pts
2nd Matthew Sinclair 18pts
3rd Rafa Poli 17pts

Full 9 1st Ollie O’Hara 18pts
2nd Lucy Milhench 12pts
3rd Nathan Beattie 11pts

Short 9 1st Daniel Sinclair 21pts
2nd Isaac van Houten 9pts
3rd Callum Lee 8pts

Short 4 1st Josh Megarry 12pts
2nd Emilie Sweeney 9pts
3rd Ciara Lee 7pts

30 Juniors played in Arctic conditions – the 18 holers stopped at the 13th it was so, so cold.

Easter competition 2: April 6th. Course Closed – Indoor Competition using Putting Machines, Pitching Nets, throwing Balls into Basket, Quiz on Golf Rules & Easter Traditions
Team Results 1st Josh Milhench, Nathan Beattie, Charlotte James, Lexi Poli
2nd Eli van Houten, Rafa Poli, Benji Wilson, Peter Fitzpatrick.
Best Team Name The Easter Bunnies Amy McCord, Sienna Walker, Isaac van Houten, Joe Wilson.

Coaching 2018
Thirty Juniors begin a five-week coaching course on Sunday April 15th

Next Junior Competition: Sunday April 29th from 1pm