The Great Debate: Is it ever acceptable to walk in?

Competitions

Can you tear your card up if things have gone badly? Two NCG writers lock horns

YES says Mark Townsend, what does it matter?

IT might only be two letters after your name but it may as well say ‘social leper’ the way some raise their eyebrows, frown and then generally tut at the mere mention of a NR.

 

As far as I can make out the majority of us turn up at a weekend hoping (quietly praying) to do quite nicely. Maybe even play to, or close to, our respective handicaps, with barely a thought to winning. One or two of us even go to the range the night before to encourage this happening.

 

So when it all goes wrong and the dreams have been crushed by the 4th tee, you persevere, hoping that you’ll somehow discover ‘the secret’ before too long.

 

But then you hit one, and then another, out of bounds right at the 13th and then lose your third provisional in the left-hand trees as your brain struggles to come to terms with the numbers that are being thrown at it. At which point there is the option of walking back and playing seven off the tee, with two groups now watching this all play out in front of them, or simply give yourself a break and call it a day.

 

You don’t walk in as you’re marking a card, you just play on and miss out on the opportunity of signing for a Nett 97.

 

Nobody is more disappointed than you, this is your weekend and your favourite hobby and you’ve played like a clown.

 

The last thing you then need is somebody else looking down their nose at you.

There’s nothing worse than playing in a twoball in the medal when your partner tears up his card, suddenly lightens up and starts chatting away about his plans for dinner, proposed changes to the LBW law and whether visiting parties should be allowed to start before 10am on a Tuesday NO says Dan Murphy, you should always finish what you started.

The only excuses for a No Return that work for me are illness, injury or the fact that you have run out of balls.

 

Apart from that, I just don’t see why you would. After all, filing a no-return ensures you are going up 0.1 anyway so what difference does it make?

 

Better, surely, to plough on and finish the job off that you started. You never know, if nothing else, it might actually help you next time you play a medal.

 

Let’s get one thing clear – no matter what score you eventually tap into the computer when you reach the sanctuary of the clubhouse it is way more creditable than the letters N and R coming after your name. The old Neville Reid should, in my opinion, be punished by at least double the obligatory 0.1 handicap increment. It’s cowardly.

 

Personal pride should dictate that, having entered a competition, you have the basic manners and sportsmanship to complete the task.

 

I also think it’s disrespectful to your playing partners. There’s nothing worse than playing in a twoball in the medal when your partner tears up his card, suddenly lightens up and starts chatting away about his plans for dinner, proposed changes to the LBW law and whether visiting parties should be allowed to start before 10am on a Tuesday. While you are grinding away, fighting the good fight and hoping to squeeze into the buffer zone.

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