Steve Carroll: I’m a live and let live guy most of the time but seeing a no return in a medal is enough to make my blood boil.

I accept there can be exceptional circumstances. You can get injured. You can fall ill.

That’s not why most people no return in their club competitions. They do it because they are playing rubbish.

I once played with a guy who NR’d on the first tee. He hit three shots out of bounds, walked off the whites and back into the clubhouse. It was a good job I was playing in a three ball.

My most shameful moment in golf is walking off the 9th in a fit of pique because there were a few double bogeys on the card. It was a number of years ago now, it still bothers me to this day, and I have never, ever, done it again.

Because putting in a no return has a greater effect than simply meaning it’s harder for people to see the 10 you had on that par 3.

It’s a matter of integrity…

It can also affect the integrity of the competition.

Just because you have a card-wrecking score on one hole, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a handicap cut.

The nett double bogey adjustment reduces whatever you record on the scorecard to par+stroke allowance+2. In short.

A disaster isn’t necessarily a round-ending moment.

But that doesn’t stop players ripping up their cards at the first sign of a bad shot.

I think there’s an obligation in signing up for a medal to complete the course but, at the moment, all that happens when you NR is that your handicap goes up .1.

Should there be a stiffer penalty for those who don’t return their cards in medals? And, if so, what should it be?

You’ve had enough…

Mark Townsend: I understand the standard scratch argument and all that but you’re a member of a golf club, not in some sort of national service. If the average handicap is 17 then you can safely assume plenty of players are going to struggle to get round.

What are you meant to do if you pop three tee shots into some deep clag, can’t find any of them and then have to face the prospect of a 200-yard walk back to some remote tee?

Everyone can’t stop talking about slow play but this is only going to help us all spend five hours on the course.

Nobody goes out with the ambition to not hand a card in, things go wrong, you’ll dislike yourself for 10 minutes but it’s not that big a deal and you might actually enjoy the last few holes.

Take your medicine…

SC: Pop another one out there? Take a different club off the tee – one that you can actually get in play – rather than trying to hit the driver you always hook for the 4th time?

MT: You’re not a pro, it’s not your living, your course management skills are rubbish, your latest lesson hasn’t worked, you’re giving up a big part of your weekend and you’re probably hating every second of the whole experience.

If you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough.


Tom Lenton: My argument is the player that doesn’t give up should be rewarded over the player that just quits once their head goes and rips his card up on the 5th after a 3 putt. 0.1 for returning a card, 0.2 for a no return.

If you pop three tee shots into the clag don’t leave the tee – hit until you know you’ll find one.

MT: So the ‘honour’ or handing in a card with 131 in the total box and taking 10 hours to do it is better than giving up?

What about those who need to go up 0.2 to gain a shot so just NR?


TL: I think giving up is pathetic.

If they want to look idiots by NR’ing on purpose then fair enough, I hope their playing partners take note and don’t play with them again.

What’s the point of even playing? The following round, they play bad will they just NR again and aim to go up another shot?

When will they decide they actually want to shoot under their handicap? Isn’t the idea to try and get to as low as possible?

MT: Forgetting all the idiots who just want to get their handicap up, there are plenty who will have tried their best and events, and their own poor golf, have conspired against them.

My big problem is the way people then look down their noses on those people, like they have the plague.

All that said I have never NRd in my life and find it strangely therapeutic to take a 10 so I can relax a bit.

I once buffered after taking double figures on the 4th at Worsley (three lost balls in leaves), still my proudest achievement in life and better than fathering children and passing the 11+.

No consideration

TL: I don’t remember seeing that many no returns anyway. There were always 2 or 3 at the bottom of a comps board who were the usual hot heads or wannabe tour pros.

There were never many high handicappers, I don’t think they are bothered carding 110 to their usual 100… they probably can’t even tell until they add it all up (no offence higher handicaps).

Georgina Simpson: NRd twice in my life due to illness. (proper poorly!).

Dan Murphy: There should no consideration for people who are trying to get their handicaps up.

It’s a self-policing sport and it’s possible to cheat on every shot if you are so inclined. So let’s not worry about that.

I think going up more than 0.1 for a no return is right.

I also think that buffer zones should be bigger and that the person who shoots within one of their buffer should go up less than someone who shoots 110 off five.