Junior Section Information

With over 80 juniors playing and enjoying regular “Junior Golf Ireland” coaching from our affiliated PGA Asst Pro Ricky McCormick, the Junior Club at Helen’s Bay is the ideal start to golf and perfect course to get those scoring shots perfected. Just ask current Ulster and Ireland team players who developed their game at Helen’s Bay !!

Regular junior events and leagues for all ages and standards, a safe & secure social environment, and an emphasis on ENJOYING THE GAME ensure you will fit right in and have fun with the rest of our juniors.

Short Course and 4 Hole competitions for the youngest players lead very quickly on to full course play and a much lower handicap than most parents !!!!

The Junior Club organises regular club, inter-club and even international club matches and, of course, the annual “grudge match” when the Juniors take on (and often thrash) the members of the Club’s Committee.

Call the office for more details, or drop in. Sunday afternoons (during term time) is a great time to meet us and join in.

2018 - AUTUMN/WINTER MONTHLY COMPETITIONS


September Sunday 30th 1 pm

October Sunday 28th 1 pm Olive Shields Halloween Trophy

November Sunday 25th 1 pm

December Sunday 30th 1 pm


Olive Shields Adult/Junior Foursomes

Sunday August 19th 2018

n perfect conditions a packed field of golfers of all ages comprising 64 Juniors, Parents, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Friends and members of the Junior Committee took to the course to play for the ever popular Olive Shields Adult/Junior Foursomes Trophy on August 19th 2018, a new record for the Junior Section.

When introducing Olive to the huge family gathering following High Tea – eight-five plus ate together that evening – Junior Manager Mervyn Davison, told all that Olive started the Competition in 1988 in her year as Lady Captain of Helen’s Bay GC and there were some names on the winners list who are now golf professionals – quite a record. 

Winners
  • 1st Niamh Branigan & her uncle, Chris Branigan 25 pts 
  • 2nd Ben McCord and his Dad, Alan 22 pts
  • 3rd Matthew Magee and his Dad, Gareth 21 pts  

Sincere thanks to Olive for her generosity to the Junior Section over some 20 years now from all Juniors & the Junior Committee

Ladies and Girls Match Against Malone

A large group of Helen's Bay Girls and Ladies took part in the annual ILGU Adult/Girls Foursomes Competition in Malone GC, March 2018.
Girls (from left): Amy McCord, Anna Murray, Melissa McMahon, Erin Branigan, Lucy Milhench and Niamh Hanna.
Ladies: Lady Captain Linda Wilson, Christine Davidson, Hilary McIlroy, Junior Secretary Cecil Linehan, Mary Gregg and Lynda Whitley. Not in picture: iris Graham.

Confederation of Golf In Ireland – Helens Bay Case

Aims:


In 2012, Helens Bay Golf Club had only thirteen Juniors, twelve boys and one girl. The Lady Captain in the years 2012 - 2013, Cecil Linehan, was surprised to find that when asked to give out prizes at an Open Junior competition being hosted in Helen’s Bay, there was not a single child from the club competing. Later in the year, while participating in a Corporate Day at the club, Cecil met Ian Blair, then resident PGA in Gracehill GC. In conversation the professional asked Cecil was she aware of a programme called ‘Women in Golf’ (WIG) which encourages ladies who did not play the game to give it a try. As both Cecil and the Lady Vice Captain, Mary Gregg, were members of a Strategic Planning Group, part of which was to try and increase club membership, they were both very keen to investigate the WIG programme. When this was done, and then with great support from the Ladies’ Committee and Council, two courses of ‘Women in Golf’ were held in the autumn of 2012, as a result of which ten ladies joined Helen’s Bay. It was through this programme that the ladies heard of the Junior Golf Ireland (JGI) initiative and as the WIG programme had been so successful, they wanted to see if they could do something similar for Juniors.

Actions:

In January 2013, they arranged to meet Gary Lavery, then Ulster Regional Development Officer of JGI. Following this meeting, a Junior Committee of 6 together with the Junior Convenor Mervyn Davison met frequently and in accordance with the criteria laid down by JGI, a plan was put in place whereby Helen’s Bay GC confirmed that the club could offer membership of the club to boys and girls, that they had a suitable coach lined up to give these new Juniors coaching at an appropriate level for their abilities (Helen’s Bay GC does not have a resident PGA), and that later, as they progressed, suitable age and competence relevant competitions would be organized for them. The Junior Committee then had to arrange to target two schools which the JGI representative visited, gave training to their PE staff for a day and provided each school with equipment costing roughly £400. The Junior Section had had flyers printed which were given to each child in Primary 6 & 7 in both schools – in their case the schools involved were Bangor Central Integrated Primary and Glencraig Integrated Primary in Seahill, Holywood.

As a result of this JGI initiative, some 28 – 30 children joined the Junior Section; of these ten only were children of members.
Since JGI was incorporated into the Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) in 2013 the Junior Committee remains under the close guidance of Rory Leonard, Ulster Regional Development Officer of CGI.
Results: The numbers speak for themselves. In 2018, there are 81 Juniors in Helen’s Bay GC, 62 boys and 19 girls, with a waiting list of 20. Thus the hard work of the Junior Committee has seen a massive jump in their Junior membership in just 5 years and all done without the assistance of a resident PGA. Since developing the Junior Section in 2013, twelve parents who had no prior association with the club have become full members and three have become house members.

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