HELENSBURGH Golf Club’s men’s teams have put themselves in a position to challenge for honours after an impressive start to the 2024 season – while the club’s ladies’ team also recorded a positive recent result.

Notably, all five teams have enhanced the course's reputation for being a tough venue with none of the visiting teams managing a victory at Helensburgh so far this year.

The McIntyre League scratch team had to wait an extra week to start their campaign as their first fixture, away to Clober, was postponed due to poor weather.

But the extra wait did them no harm at all as their match at home to Vale of Leven saw the Helensburgh team emerge with a comprehensive win by 4.5 points to 1.5.

Not content with that, they followed up that result with an even more convincing win last Wednesday evening, beating The Carrick 5.5-0.5.

With both games having been played at Helensburgh, the team now faces some testing fixtures on the road in the weeks ahead which will ultimately determine whether they will challenge for the league.

Meanwhile, Helensburgh’s McIntyre Knockout team, for players with handicaps of between four and eight, have had a mixed start as they aim to defend a trophy they won in style last season.

Their opening match was away to The Carrick, last year’s beaten finalists, and ended in a frustrating two-hole defeat, with matches in the competition decided by the cumulative tally of four fourball ties.

The Helensburgh team bounced back in their next match, recording a solid home win against Kirkintilloch by seven hole, but a disappointing performance away to local rivals Cardross in their third match saw the Helensburgh team lose by a nine-hole margin.

With two home games coming up, Helensburgh remain in a decent position to qualify from their group although they will likely need a result in their final away game to get a home draw in the quarter finals.

The club’s Thomson McCrone team, for players with a handicap of between nine and 20 shots, have already completed five of their six group games, recording two wins, two draws and one defeat.

The Helensburgh team started with a very creditable 3-3 draw away to Hayston before being held by a similar score at home to a strong Dumbarton siede.

The reverse fixture, at Dumbarton, saw Helensburgh lose 4.5-1.5, but they turned that around with two convincing home wins, 4.5-1.5 against Dullatur and 5-1 against Hayston, meaning they now sit astride Dumbarton at the top of the group.

Qualification for the knockout stages of the tournament is already assured, and victory in their final group match at Dullatur would likely see them finish as group winners.

Special congratulations are due to Liam Hanson, who recorded his first ever hole-in-one at the par-three 11th hole during his match on Sunday.

Helensburgh’s McIntyre Seniors team have also made a strong start to their league, with two wins and two draws from their matches so far.

The tournament is fiercely competitive, with 17 teams battling it out over the season, but Helensburgh are well placed after a 4-0 home win over Dougalston and 2-2 draws away to Dumbarton and at home to Clober were followed by a 3-1 win at home to Vale of Leven in their most recent fixture.

The Helensburgh team currently sit seventh in the league standings, but have games in hand on all the teams above them in the table, meaning some positive results over the next few weeks will see their position improve quickly.

Finally, the Helensburgh ladies’ team edged out Balmore in a closely-fought Anderson League encounter, with two victories and a halved game from their four ties completing a 2.5-1.5 win and setting the team up nicely for their upcoming matches.