Bellingham Golf Club is unique in that it hosts an annual Ryder Cup competition for its members, very similar in format to the real Ryder Cup. The two teams competing are the Centurions and the Reivers and the competition is played around the last week of August.
Prior to the inaugural Ryder Cup in 2010, a draw was done to allocate every member to either the Centurion side or the Reivers side. New members joining the golf club are allocated on an alternate basis to each side.
Over 10 years since its launch and it is still considered to be the best weekend of the summer season at Bellingham Golf Club.
2. The Weekend Format
The competition is played over a Saturday and Sunday and comprises 4 rounds of match play:
Round 1 is a Four Ball Better Ball competition (Saturday morning): 5 pairings from The Reivers against 5 pairings from The Centurions
Round 2 is a Greensomes competition (Saturday afternoon): 5 pairings from The Reivers against 5 pairings from The Centurions
Round 3 is a Four Ball Better Ball competition (Sunday morning): 5 pairings from The Reivers against 5 pairings from The Centurions
Round 4 is a Singles competition (Sunday afternoon): 12 singles from The Reivers against 12 singles from The Centurions
3. The Scoring System
Points are awarded as follows:
A match win gets ‘one’ point
A match halved gets ‘half’ a point
The maximum points available for each day are therefore:
Saturday Four Ball (5 matches) 5 points
Saturday Foursomes (5 matches) 5 Points
Sunday Four Ball (5 matches) 5 Points
Sunday Singles (12 matches) 12 points
A maximum of 27 points are available, so the winning team needs to reach 14. If numbers allow it, some years the pairings are 6 matches as opposed to 5. This bumps up the maximum available points to 30, and doing so the winning mark becomes 15.5.
4. The Teams
Each team comprises 12 players who have either qualified automatically or who have been selected by the Captain ( a ‘Captain’s pick’).
Over the years each team has been represented by almost 50 golfers respectively, varying from experienced match-players to those still in their first membership season at Bellingham. The draw made each year throws up wonderful pairings, and all games are played in the highest of spirits.
5. How To Qualify
The golf club runs a Ryder Cup order of merit throughout the season for each team. Members gain Ryder Cup points for playing in handicapping competitions held on a Saturday and Sunday. Your Ryder Cup points are determined by the number of people who play in a competition and your finishing position in the competition.
After the last qualifying competition has been played in the season, the top 12 points scorers qualify automatically. These qualifiers are entitled to play in at least 2 of the 4 matches. The remainder of the team is selected by the captain (captain’s picks), which means some players can end up playing in all 4 matches if they so desire.
2010 Centurions 16 – 14 Reivers
2011 Centurions 14.5 – 15.5 Reivers
2012 Centurions 18.5 – 11.5 Reivers
2013 Centurions 10.5 – 16.5 Reivers
2014 Centurions 9.5 – 17.5 Reivers
2015 Centurions 7.5 19.5 Reivers
2016 Centurions 12 – 15 Reivers
2017 Centurions 12.5 – 14.5 Reivers
2018 Centurions 13 – 14 Reivers
2019 Centurions 14.5 – 12.5 Reivers
2020 Centurions 12 – 18 Reivers