No Return Cards in Medal

03/05/2007 at 15:52
Pretty new to golf - a quick query. In the recent Medals at my course I have noticed that there are always a significant number of no-return cards on the results sheet. I would think you would nearly always be able to put a score against a hole, as you would always hit a provisional when you thought the first one may be lost. What are the rules/etiquette regarding this issue and can N/R's be used by unscrupulous players to protect their handicap?!!
03/05/2007 at 16:10
Well i played about three medals last year through injury - but thats changing this year!
I put 2 n/r in - but this was down to shooting way over my handicap by the 13th/14th. It didn't feel right though.
Anyway my handicap went up by 1 as a result (rightly so to).
I've no time for people who do this to massage their h'caps - they're cheating themselves and any victories must be hollow - how do they sleep at night?
Best practise must be to play all your shots to get a true reflection of your game.
Although there maybe cases when play is slow and a player feels he's better off walking to the clubhouse with a n/r for everyones benefit ???
It could become a nasty habit though!
Besides i played in a medal my first year and shot 10 over for the front 9, thought i'd completely blown it, relaxed and shot +1 for the back 9!!! (I was off 27 then)
03/05/2007 at 16:17
Usually from what i have seen, Were cards havent been returned, the players has had a terrible round, had to leave the course or injured themselves.

If you were to put a N/R for a hole on stroke play, i would think you would be disqualified for not finishing a hole.

In Stableford it is considered good etiquette to pick up and put n/r for the score when you can no longer score any points.

In terms of handicap protection, its usually the unscrupulous players protecting the handicap from going down not going up and if you had such a terrible round and didn put your card in you would stopping yourself from getting 0.1 back on your handicap.

I carnt see many people playing very well in a medal competition (say 4 or 5 under there handicap)and being in with a shout of winning and not handing the card in to protect their handicap.

But then again, i dont know some of the lenghts people will go to stay off a higher handicap
03/05/2007 at 16:24
Agreed, I was thinking this could be abused by people trying to keep an impressively low handicap rather than the other way about.
03/05/2007 at 16:27
I find some people start badly, realise they've no chance of placing in the comp and then walk in and NR - very bad form to your playing partners as far as I'm concerned.
03/05/2007 at 16:28
I have NR'd in competition - usually when the round is in bits anyway and the ball that appeared to be safe from the tee could not be found, after walking the 300 yards to it :-)

Same result .1 added to h'cap, so whats the diff. - how can you 'protect' a h'cap by NR ing?

....walking off is another issue - I've never done that. Not when you have a responsibility for marking someone elses card - bad form!
03/05/2007 at 16:47
Thanks Taz - As I said, pretty new to golf and didn't realise you could not go up by more than 0.1 whatever you scored.

As a newcomer to all this, it seems strange that you can be cut by 1 full shot by shooting one good round but then take 10 terrible rounds to get back to the same place.

Where is the logic in that?
03/05/2007 at 18:11
Cliff, the logic is that the handicap is a guide to your *potential*, not the score you expect to make every time you go out.
03/05/2007 at 19:01
Times I have NRd have been

After the 6 hole completed and already 10 over two stroke penalty after drive on the 7th tee for hting my equipment.

After losing a golf ball late in the round and the score is such that going back to play another is not worth the effort
03/05/2007 at 19:47
Thanks for all the feedback.

So is it fair to say that the only real excuses for a n/r are [1]. if you hit your drive, think you will find it, then don't and it would cause inconvenience to the whole field by going back to the tee? [2]. you injure yourself [3]. You remember you are due at the church for your wedding that afternoon?!!!

Otherwise, In essence, you need to stay out there to mark your playing partner's card anyway, and the net effect on your handicap is plus 0.1 whether you N/R or you shoot 150! - so you might as well mark your card in the same way a professional would have to do in a tournament.

Am I also correct in saying that you should always return your card to the club whatever happens?
03/05/2007 at 19:54
Yep - spot on
03/05/2007 at 20:59
Just to be clear, high scores on a single hole for handicap purposes only count as the score where you would get a blob at Stableford eg, you have a shot on a par 4 and shoot a 9, this counts as a 7 for handicapping.

I have seen a case where someone had an 11 on a par 5 and a overall nett 74, CSS 72, getting a handicap cut.
03/05/2007 at 21:45
Spot on TGS

I was once cut 2.1 with a 10 on a par 4 and a 8 on a par 3.
03/05/2007 at 21:54
Congu rules state that your score goes up 0.1 if you NR.
At our club they ask people to complete their round even if they have a diabolical hole, as you can still protect your handicap by playing well on all the other holes, as 1 bad hole only counts as a double bogey for handicap purposes. Additionally, by not handing in a card you automatically help keep the CSS higher than it should be.
04/05/2007 at 08:36
I know a lot of golfers who take pride in the fact that, regardless of how bad the score, they have never NR'd. Personally I try not to NR but have done so and believe it can be the best course of action. Particularly with regard to pace of play and consideration to your playing companions. I have NR'd twice when I have been scoring badly, spraying the ball but one of my partners has had a good knock going. I figure I'm going 0.1 all day and he doesn't need the distraction of me chopping it round.

Funniest I've heard was a young guy at our place he NR'd after the first hole of a 36 hole comp. I can't remember all the details but it had gooten to something silly like 12 off the tee and his handicap was only 4. He still played and was level par for the next 17.
04/05/2007 at 08:48

<<Congu rules state that your score goes up 0.1 if you NR. >>

This isn't strictly the case as there are exceptions in the decisions section:

decision 4

<<(c) Since an incomplete card and a No Return may have the effect of increasing a player’s handicap, the club would be justified in refusing to accept a card or record a No Return when the player has walked in after playing only a few holes.>>


<<(f) Clauses 17 and 19 of this System give clubs the discretion to deal with players who persistently submit incomplete cards or make “No Returns” if they consider they are attempting to ‘build a handicap’>>

When I was handicap sec I applied c regularly as we had a few players who regularly walked in and I had a duty to protect the rest of the club, and layers at other clubs in Open comps.

We used f once to ban a player from competitions for a period because his persisitance was building a handicap
18/06/2007 at 09:03
myself and about half a dozen other members have just been banned from next weeks competition for Not returning cards to the clubhouse after a medal round - (in my case my card was ripped up on the 2nd) should we assume from this that the H/C sec believes we are "massaging" our h/cs to our advantage? i'm a 9 hc who does ok and this really annoys me as i play almost every week in every comp and i thought it was a golfers right to tear up a card. incidentally i would never walk off the course as that would be plain rude . . . . kinda like implying foul play. damn bumptious officials i will be looking for a new club out of principal.
18/06/2007 at 09:26
I guess the question is "why rip up your card on the 2nd hole?"
18/06/2007 at 09:33

As BoB says, why rip up yur card?

Even with a really bad hole on you card you can still get a handicap cut under stableford equivalent rules and I've see this happen on numerous occaisions.
18/06/2007 at 09:35
ah , well i hit a monster drive and should have had an eagle chance on the first which i f****d up like a true muppet - ended up with a 7 this annoyed me so much i was still cross on the second tee - another par five. anyway i had a quiet word with myself which inspired me to be hitting 5 off the t . . . that was enough for me so i exercised my right to sulk like a small child and give up there and then!


Which is the worst major meltdown?
Jean Van de Velde - 1999 Open (73%)
Rory McIlroy - 2011 Masters (5%)
Adam Scott - 2012 Open (0%)
Jordan Spieth - 2016 Masters (10%)
Greg Norman - 1996 Masters (12%)
Arnold Palmer - 1966 US Open (0%)