Club Rules


Competition Rules

All Competitions must be played off;

  • Men - White Tees
  • Ladies - Red Tees

Before commencing play competitors must sign in on the computer and pay their entrance fee, and optional sweep money, in a named envelope and post it in the 'Scorecards' box. Competitors not complying will be disqualified.
Persons under 18 years of age are not eligible to enter 18 hole sweeps

All Scorecards must:

a) Show the competitor’s name.
b) Show the correct handicap.
c) Be entered onto the computer.
d) Be correctly signed and handed in

Juniors in possession of a handicap of 28 or less are eligible to play in most Club competitions but must play with a senior member. For this purpose only, junior members with a Club handicap of 12 or less are classified as seniors.

Competitors must refer to the specific rules which apply to the competition in play. These can be found on the competition notice board.

A tie in all stroke play competitions will be decided over the last nine holes, then the last six holes, then the last three holes, then the last two holes, then the last hole.

In match play competitions when a match is halved after 18 holes, players Should proceed direct to the 1st Tee. The match will be decided over the first three holes and, if still halved, will be awarded to the first to win a hole thereafter.

A tie in the Club Championship will be a play-off on the day of the competition. Tied players should proceed as instructed to the 1st tee. The match will be decided, as in match play, over the first three holes and, if still halved, will be awarded to the first to win a hole thereafter.

See individual competition posters for specific entry details.

Starting Sheet


  • The policy for reserving tee times may vary from time to time at the discretion of Bellingham Golf Club and will be implemented in order to accommodate the maximum number of golfers on a fair and equitable basis.
  • Enforcing start sheet rules and regulations and closing the course during inclement weather or for course maintenance is the responsibility of the Club Manager (or in his absence, a designated authority).
  • The Club Duty Manager (or in their absence, a designated authority) has complete authority to make decisions on the course to encourage faster play, demand proper etiquette, and ensure that all golfers follow course rules and regulations.

The Start Sheet

  1. The start sheet operates on 8-minute intervals. 10-minutes for Open Competitions.
  2. All members and guests must register in the club house prior to their round.
  3. If you arrive late for your tee time you will lose your tee time and be placed in the next available tee time.
  4. Promptness is important and repeated failure to be present at the designated starting time may result in forfeiture of starting time privileges. 
  5. The name of all players must be recorded when reserving tee times. 
  6. BGC reserves the right to assign players to a group in an effort to fill up foursomes. Block booking tee slots to avoid playing with others is not permitted. Please advise the club if you have a problem playing with others. We are here to help and will not force players onto anyone.
  7. Once a tee time is reserved by anyone, it will not be released in favor of another person except with the consent of the person first having reserved the tee time. 
  8. Advance reservations should be honoured. If you have made a reservation and then are unable to honour it, please contact BGC as soon as possible.
  9. BGC should be notified of any reduction in numbers upon arrival at the course.
  10. BGC should be notified if you arrive early and take an earlier slot. Players must ensure that the later entry is cleared from the start sheet freeing up that slot
  11. BGC reserves the right to restrict those players who are unable to play in a reasonable amount of time, novices and unaccompanied juniors to off-peak playing times. 
  12. Members may reserve tee times, subject to availability, up to 12 days in advance. Members wishing to book more than 12 days in advance should contact the office.
  13. Juniors of 11 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult 18 years old or over. 
  14. During weekend and competition days juniors without a CONGU handicap are not allowed to play the course or reserve a starting time before 3pm unless accompanied by an adult 18 years old or over. 
  15. Juniors must use the Starting Sheet and are encouraged to play at least 9 holes from that starting time. Juniors are not permitted to put their names on the starting sheet more than once in any four hour period.
  16. Juniors with a handicap of 12 or less are entitled to play in Club Competitions with other juniors with a higher handicap, without restriction.
  17. The Golf Club will permit non-members and Societies to reserve tee times, subject to availability.
  18. All play shall start from the first tee unless previously specified by BGC 
  19. Players must not start on the 10th Tee without permission from the designated authority for the day.
  20. BGC reserves the right to limit reservations for tee times if the Golf Club determines it is necessary to stop an abuse of the tee time reservation system

Priority and Pace Of Play

  • All 18-hole players have the right to play without interference. If a group of 18-hole players are approaching or on the ninth, no other golfers will be allowed to tee off ahead of them.
  • The only exception will be during ‘special events’ when 18-hole players will alternate making the turn with nine-hole players.
  • Players who are not playing a designated round – cutting in or missing holes out - must ensure they are not baulking players on a full round. This does not mean “there was no one at the tee” it means “those coming round the corner should not have to wait to tee off” and you should make way immediately.
  • If the hole in front of you is clear and those behind are playing at a faster rate let them through. If the course is busy don’t expect to get through, there’s no point in letting someone through if there’s no where to go it will just hold things up more.
  • Two balls playing at the weekend when everyone else is playing in four balls shouldn’t expect everyone to jump out of the way.
  • Common sense and courtesy will solve the majority of problems with slow play.
  • All groups are expected to play 18 holes in approximately 4 hours. This amount of time is more than adequate, provided all players remain aware of the rights of others to play without delay. It is the responsibility of each group to keep pace with the group ahead. It is each group’s responsibility to be observant of its position on the course and keep pace.
  • BGC has the authority to keep play moving at the proper pace for all players’ enjoyment. Groups failing to keep to an acceptable pace of play can be directed by BGC to speed up, skip a hole(s), allow faster groups to play through, and/or to leave the course.
  • Courtesy to others is the key to etiquette on the golf course.


If lightning is in the area all play will cease. Although staff may warn players about lightning in the area, of which it is aware, the Club does not assume any duty to detect lightning and warn them. If Club personnel warn players about potential lightning in the area, players must stop play immediately. In any event, all players shall assume the risks associated with potential lightning activity and the consequences thereof.

Obtaining a Club Handicap

CONGU® requires that to get a handicap a player must submit cards from at least three rounds, marked by a person approved by the Club. Cars may be marked by anyone holding a CONGU handicap - although if the player is a junior their handicap must be 12 or lower. The rounds must be played at that Club over 18 holes. The Club will then adjust the returned scores, so that a player never scores more than 2 over par on any individual hole. The cards are then assessed and the club allocates a CONGU® handicap based on the amount the lowest score returned exceeds the Standard Scratch Score of the course played (after taking into account other factors it considers relevant).

When the club considers it appropriate to the player’s ability, a lower CONGU® handicap than that indicated by the scores may be allocated; particularly where the player has previously held an approved handicap. In exceptional circumstances a club may allocate a higher handicap than indicated by the scores returned.

Once the Club has allocated a CONGU® handicap to a player, it becomes the player’s Home Club for handicap purposes and it is responsible for administering and maintaining that CONGU® Handicap fully in accordance with the requirements of the System.
Scorecards should clearly show the player’s name, the marker’s name, handicap and home club if not Bellingham and the date the round was played.

Driving Range

The driving range is available to members and non members every day throughout the year.

Dress Code

A reasonable standard of dress whilst on the course and in the clubhouse is expected. Club rules regarding dress are fairly relaxed, but serious breaches of acceptable standards of dress will not be permitted.
Steel spikes are not permitted on the course.

Concessionary Green Fees for Members’ Guests

All playing members are entitled to introduce an unlimited number of guests throughout the year at the reduced green fee charge of £10 per guest. Up to three guests per member, per day are permitted, but they must all play in the same group with the member. No person whose permanent residence is within a radius of 20 miles of the club may be introduced as a guest more than four times a year.

To take advantage of this concession members must follow the procedures which have been set out by the club in order to satisfy H.M. Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue. Failure of any member to do so could result in their concession rights being withdrawn.
Ask your guest to complete the visitors book and complete a concession voucher. These should then be placed in the Green Fee box Payment of £10 per guest should be handed to a member of staff.


The committee strongly advises all members to carry their own golf insurance, to cover their health, personal liabilities, club and personal effects.

Competition Formats

Club Championship – 36 Hole Medal (Scratch) Members with a handicap of 17 or less are invited to enter in advance. The draw will be posted on the weekend prior to the competition.

Calcutta Cup – Scratch Match play 8 best gross sores qualify for match play. Entry is restricted to members who are available for match play on prescribed dates.

Chipchase Cup – Handicap Match play 16 best net scores qualify for match play stages. Current handicap will apply throughout. Matches must be played before the deadline date, unless a special dispensation has been granted by the Captain.

Centenary Scratch Cup - Aggregate 4 best gross scores from the 6 qualifying rounds. The qualifying competitions are: Goodson Cup, Walton Cup, Cordiner Clock, President’s Medal, Ulric Charlton Cup and the Rose Bowl.

Club Outing - See individual posters for specific entry details.

Open Competitions - See individual Open posters for specific entry details.

Stableford Cup - Two Competitions, one from 0-14 the other from 15-28 handicap sections, to qualify on each of the
Saturday and Thursday designated qualifying rounds. These qualifiers to play for the cup over one round of stableford competition on the designated day.

Medals Championship - Two competitions, one from 0-14 the other from 15-28 handicap sections, to qualify on each of the Saturday and Thursday designated qualifying rounds. These qualifiers to play for the cup over one round of medal competition on the designated day.

Friendly Matches - Members with a club handicap are eligible to play. Social four-ball better-ball matches. Refer to notices and starting sheet.

Hadrian League Matches – Team selected to represent Club. Singles Match play off scratch. Tee reserved for home game from 4.45 p.m.

Sponsored Competitions - Please read details of individuals format for each competition. Charity Competitions – e.g. R.V.I. Cup. Institute Trophy etc. Charity donation is a condition of entry for these competitions. Please read details of individual format each competition.

Monday Night Team League – Four player team. Singles match play. 2 points for win, 1 point for a draw. Full handicap allowance.

Friday Men’s 9 Hole Sweep (6pm shotgun) – see notice board for details.

Thursday Bugles (Seniors) – Refer to daily starting sheet.

 Handicap Allowances

Singles Matchplay –The full difference between the handicap of the two players.

Fourball Betterball Matchplay –Lowest handicap player to concede strokes to the other three players based on ¾ of the difference. Medal Competitions - Maximum handicap 28 unless otherwise stated.

Singles Stableford - Full playing handicap allowance taking strokes at the hole according to the stroke Index. Maximum handicap 28 unless otherwise stated.

Singles Bogey - Full playing handicap allowance taking strokes at the hole according to the stroke Index. Record the gross score and hole result (i.e. “+” for win, “0” for half and “- “for a loss ) Maximum handicap 28 unless otherwise stated.

Fourball Betterball Stableford - Full playing handicap allowance taking individual players strokes at the holes according to the stroke Index. Record the gross score of the player achieving the best points score in column A or B according to which player scored at the give hole. Maximum handicap 28 unless otherwise stated.

Foursome Medal - Two players play one ball. Alternate drivers followed by alternate shots. Allowance ½ the combined handicap. Maximum handicap 28 unless otherwise stated.

Greensome Medal - Both players drive, after selecting the best drive play alternate shots. Allowance 0.6 of the lower handicap plus 0.4 of the higher handicap. Maximum handicap 28 unless otherwise stated.

Local Rules

Out of Bounds
a. The boundaries of the course are the walls and fences surrounding it.
b. Beyond the White Posts: i. on the right hand of the 3rd fairway ii. To the back of the 8th green.
c. A ball lying in the driving range area or within the clubhouse surrounds.

Movable Obstructions
a) Stones in bunkers are movable obstructions (Rule 24-1 applies)

Immovable Obstruction
a) Relief from the following may be taken under Rule 24 (2).
i) The boundary stones on the 3rd hole.
ii) Hydrant covers & Fixed Sprinkler Heads: All fixed sprinkler heads and hydrants are immovable obstructions and relief from interference by them be obtained under Rule 24-2. In addition, if such an obstruction on or within two club-lengths of the putting green of the hole being played intervenes on the line of play between the ball and the hole, the player may obtain relief, without penalty, as follows: If the ball lies off the putting green but not in a hazard and is within two club lengths of the intervening obstruction, it may be lifted, cleaned and dropped at the nearest point of where the ball lay which a) is not nearer the hole, b) avoids such intervention and c) is not in a hazard or on a putting green.

b) Relief from the following must be taken under Rule 24(2).
i) Protection of young trees identified by a white band , plastic grow tube or stakes. If such a tree interferes with a players stance or the area of intended swing, the ball must be lifted, without penalty, and dropped in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Rule 24-2b (i) (Immovable obstruction). The ball may be cleaned when so lifted. If the ball lies within a plantation, marked with a distinct line, the ball must be lifted without penalty and dropped outside the demarcation line in accordance Rule 24-2b(i)
ii) A ball striking an electric pole or wire must be replayed
N.B. Artificial surfaces, i.e. roads, paths and stoned/timber tee surrounds- relief should be taken under Rule 24-2b.