Competition Rules and Procedures

Please note that some of these rules and procedures may be superseded by Club Protocols to enable members, visitors and staff to comply with the HM Government Covid-19 Regulations and Guidance.

Competition rules

  1. All competitions must be played off: Men – White Tees; Ladies – Red Tees.
  2. 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 appropriate slot inside the clubhouse or, should the inside be locked, on the clubhouse wall. Competitors not complying will be disqualified. Persons under 18 years of age are not eligible to enter 18 hole sweeps.
  3. All scorecards must:
    1. Show the competitor’s name.
    2. Show the correct Course Handicap.
    3. Be entered into the computer.
    4. Be correctly signed and posted in the appropriate slot. Once posted, no changes can be made even if the member is still present in the clubhouse
  4. Juniors in possession of a handicap index 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 index of 12, or less, are classified as seniors. Juniors are not eligible to play in Men’s Open competitions.
  5. Competitors must refer to the specific rules and entry details which apply to the competition in play. These can be found on the competition notice board.
  6. 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 hole. If still tied it will go back 1, back 2, back 3 etc.
  7. In match-play competitions when a match is halved after 18 holes, players should proceed directly 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.
  8. A tie in the Men’s Club Championship will be decided by a play-off on the day of the competition. Tied players should proceed directly 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.
  9. Members wishing to record General Play Scores (previously called supplementary scores) must make their intention clear before starting their round and pay an entrance fee equal to the standard competition fee. An intention to record a General Play score can be given orally or digitally to clubhouse staff, club captains or the club competition secretary.
  10. Cards may be marked by any member holding a WHS handicap index

Obtaining a club handicap

  • One of the three key principles of the World Handicapping System (WHS – launched November 2020) is that everyone should be able to compete or play socially with anyone on a fair and equal basis, helping to make golf a more enjoyable game.
  • BGC strongly encourages all golfers to obtain a WHS handicap index.
  • In order to obtain an initial WHS handicap Index players must submit acceptable scores from a minimum of 54 holes. Cards must be signed by a marker who is acceptable to the Handicap Committee.
  • At BGC an acceptable marker is anyone currently in possession of a WHS handicap index – although, if the player is a junior, their handicap must be 12 or lower.
  • The acceptable scores over 54 holes can be any combination of 9 or 18 hole scores.
  • Scorecards should clearly show the player’s name and the marker’s name, marker’s handicap index and home club (if not Bellingham) and the date the round was played and must be signed by both player and marker.
  • The Handicap Committee will then issue an initial handicap index using the procedure outlined in WHS Rules of Handicapping Rule 5 – ‘Handicap Index Calculation’.

the club handicap commitee

  • The Handicap Committee will consist of a minimum of three people.
  • This will include the Club Competition Secretary and at least two other available committee members or committed club members.
  • In line with EGU guidelines the committee will be mixed gender with a minimum of one gentleman member and one lady member.

starting sheet

General

  • 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 numbers 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 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 10 minute intervals.
  2. All members and guests must be entered on BRS, the online booking system, 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 slot.
  4. Promptness is important and repeated failure to be present at the designated start time may result in loss of start 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.
  7. Once a tee time is reserved by anyone, it will not be released in favour of another person, except with the consent of the person that first reserved the tee time.
  8. Advance reservations should be honoured. If you have made a reservation and are unable to honour it, please contact BGC as soon as possible or cancel using the BRS App.
  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. A number of tee times will be reserved for members during most competitions. Members may reserve these tee times, subject to availability, up to 16 days in advance. Members wishing to book more than 16 days in advance should contact the office.
  13. Juniors of 12 years old and under must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or over. In line with the Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs (NUGC) a junior at Bellingham Golf Club must be under 21 on 1st January of the membership year.
  14. During weekend and competition days, juniors without a WHS handicap index can only play with the permission of the clubhouse staff.
  15. Juniors must sign in to BRS and are encouraged to play at least 9 holes from that starting time. Juniors are not permitted to put their name on the start sheet more than once in any four hour period.
  16. Juniors with a handicap of 12 or less are entitled to play in a Club Competition 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 abuse of the tee time reservation system.

Priority and Pace Of Play

To improve pace of play Bellingham Golf Club requests that players play “Ready Golf” at all times, other than in Match Play Competitions. Examples of what is meant by “Ready Golf” include:

  1. Hitting a shot when safe to do so if a player farther away faces a challenging shot and is taking time to assess their options
  2. Shorter hitters playing first from the tee or fairway if longer hitters must wait
  3. Hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play
  4. Hitting your shot before helping someone to look for a lost ball
  5. Putting first if you are ready to do so, even when it is not your turn to putt
  6. Putting out even if it means standing close to someone else’s line
  7. Try to putt out if you don’t need to mark the ball on the green
  8. Hitting a shot if a person who has just played from a greenside bunker is still farthest from the hole but is delayed due to raking the bunker
  9. When a player’s ball has gone over the back of a green, any player closer to the hole but chipping from the front of the green should play while the other player is walking to their ball and assessing their shot
  10. Marking scores upon immediate arrival at the next tee, except that the first player to tee off marks their card immediately after teeing off. Note: Players should only play out of turn when it is safe to do so

 

  • 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 9-hole players.
  • Players who are not playing a designated round – cutting in or missing holes out – must ensure they are not holding up players on a full round.
  • If the hole in front of a group is clear and those behind are playing at a faster rate the slower group should let the faster group through. If the course is busy players should not expect to get through.
  • Two balls playing at the weekend when everyone else is playing in four balls should not expect everyone to let them through.
  • 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 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.

Safety

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. All players shall assume the risk associated with potential lightning activity and the consequences thereof.

dress code

A reasonable standard of dress whilst on the course and in the Clubhouse is expected. METAL SPIKES ARE STRICTLY NOT ALLOWED ON THE COURSE OR IN THE CLUBHOUSE.

concessionary green fees for members

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 10 mile radius of the club can be introduced more than 4 times per year.

insurance

The Committee advises all members to carry their own golf insurance to cover their personal liabilities, clubs and personal effects.

Competition Formats

Men’s Club Championship – 36 Hole Medal (Scratch)
Members with a handicap Index of 18 or less are invited to enter in advance. The draw will be posted on the weekend prior to the competition.

Men’s Calcutta Cup – Scratch Match Play knockout
8 best gross scores from a nominated stroke play competition qualify for match play knockout. Matches must be played by the deadline date, unless a special dispensation has been granted by the Captain.

Men’s Chipchase Cup – Handicap Match Play knockout
Drawn at the start of the season by anyone who wishes to enter. Standard competition fee to be paid by each entrant. Draw made by a random computer draw in the presence of at least two committee members. Current handicap will apply throughout. Matches must be played by the deadline date, unless a special dispensation has been granted by the Captain.

Ladies Challenge Shield – Handicap Match Play knockout
Drawn at the start of the season by anyone who wishes to enter. Standard competition fee to be paid by each entrant. Draw made by a random computer draw in the presence of at least two committee members. Current handicap will apply throughout. Matches must be played by the deadline date, unless a special dispensation has been granted by the Captain.

Men’s Centenary Scratch Cup – Gross Competition
Aggregate 4 best gross scores from the 6 qualifying rounds. The qualifying competitions are: Goodinson Cup, Walton Cup, Cordiner Clock, Presidents Medal, Ulric Charlton Cup and the Rose Bowl.

Ladies Douglas Trophy
An eclectic of the best net scores on each hole in the following competitions: Eileen Martin Memorial, Challenge Cup, Dunlop Salver (R1 & R2), High Handicap Cup, Forster Cup, Rose Bowl and Stableford Shield.

Hadrian League Matches
Team Selected by the Captain to represent the Club Singles match play off scratch. Tee reserved for home games from 4.45pm.

Ladies League Matches
Team Selected by the Captain to represent the Club Singles match play off scratch. Tee reserved for home games from 1.00pm.

Ladies Sunday Stableford
Best 6 scores aggregated from all entries made during the season.

Men’s Stableford Cup
Two competitors, one from 0-14 the other from 15-54 handicap sections, to qualify on each of the designated qualifying rounds. These qualifiers to play for the Cup over one round of Stableford competition on the designated day.

Men’s Medal Championship
Two competitors, one from 0-14 the other from 15-54 handicap sections, to qualify on each of the designated qualifying rounds. These qualifiers to play for the Trophy over one round of Medal competition on the designated day.

Handicap Allowances

Handicap allowances will be in line with those recommended by the WHS Handicapping rules.

Singles Stroke Play – 95% of Course Handicap.

Singles Stableford – 95% of Course Handicap.

Mixed Stableford – Ladies receive 1 additional stroke on their playing handicap if Men are playing off white tees, two additional strokes if Men are playing off yellow tees.

Singles Match Play – The full difference between the Course Handicaps of the two players.

Four ball Better ball Stableford – 85% of Course Handicap.

Four ball Better ball Match Play – Player with lowest Course Handicap to concede strokes to the other three players based on 90% of the difference.

Foursomes – Two players play one ball. Alternate drives followed by alternate shots. Allowance ½ the Combined Course Handicaps.

Greensomes – Both players drive, after selecting the best drive play alternate shots. Allowance: 0.6 of the lower Course Handicap plus 0.4 of the higher Course Handicap. If Course Handicaps are equal then half the combined Course Handicaps.

Foursomes Match Play – half the difference of the combined Course Handicaps of each sideH

Greensomes Match Play – Full difference between Greensomes handicap.

Texas Scramble:

4 players: 25%/20%/15%/10% from lowest to highest Course Handicap
3 players: 30%/20%/10% from lowest to highest Course Handicap
2 players: 35%/15% from lowest to highest Course Handicap