In discussion: Is it acceptable to NR (no return) in a medal?

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If you lose a ball in a medal and haven't hit a provisional, you are faced with a choice: go back to the tee, or pick up. What's the right thing to do?

Joe Whitley (JW): I had a shocker at the weekend. I was hitting it really nicely, but on the 15th my ball must have plugged in the first cut as we couldn’t find it. The day was a very slow one and groups were queuing on tees. To avoid the embarrassing walk back and the awkward stares, I simply filed a no return. Was I wrong to do so?

Dan Murphy (DM): Yes, I think you were in the sense that having started a round the least you can do is complete it. Not crime of the century, but still not right.

JW: Is it not quite selfish to put my needs above those of my playing partners and the other groups, though? Rushing back to the tee flustered and out of breath isn’t exactly compatible with a good shot either so I could end up reloading twice. I’d rather crack on and forget about the whole thing.

DM: Your responsibility is to your playing partner(s). You might not be having a good round but you shouldn’t ruin their day as well. I think it’s most off-putting when I’m grinding away trying to avoid getting 0.1 back and my playing partner has already given up and is thinking about what he fancies for his lunch.

Is it not quite selfish to put my needs above those of my playing partners and the other groups, though? JW: That’s the thing, though, I was having a good round. I wasn’t grinding. I lost a ball in decent position and didn’t want to hinder my playing partners by going back to the tee. I made an effort to stay invested in their game and wasn’t sulking. I don’t see an issue with it if you do that.

DM: If you were having a decent round then it was worth going back to the tee.

JW: I’m not so sure. A brilliant round, yes. But anything short of that and it’s not worth the embarrassment, or the delay for all involved.

DM: If there’s any chance of avoiding 0.1 back then I would say it is well worth a walk back and some minor embarrassment!
I just think you should always declare a score and I have more respect for someone who submits a 103 than an NR.

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