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Unions clamp down on scourge of No Returns

​Unions advise clubs to clamp down on persistent offenders

  • 27 May 2019

Ireland's golfing unions are advising clubs to clamp down on players who persistently fail to return scorecards in competitions.

No Returns, or NRs as they are more commonly known, are a bane for club handicap secretaries. In response to requests from clubs for guidance, the GUI and the ILGU have given their imprimatur for clubs to issue suspensions.

In a letter to clubs this week, the Joint GUI-ILGU Handicapping Committee have issued guidelines on how to deal with golfers who persistently submit a 'No Return' (NR) and/or do not submit a scorecard (No Card - NC) in Stableford Competitions.

The letter comes in response to queries received by both Unions from clubs concerned about this issue. A number of options available to clubs are highlighted by the Handicapping Committee.

"An Affiliated Club may only deal with such occurrences under the specific Note 1 Parts (a), (b) and (c) contained in Clause 7 of the On-Line CONGU UHS Manual 2019 and Decision 1(p) of the said Manual," the letter reads.

Tellingly, clubs are advised that they may "refuse to accept a card or record a 'no return' when the player has walked in after playing only a few holes". As per Decision 1(p) of the CONGU UHS Manual, a club "would be entitled to suspend the player's right to compete in club competitions for a specified period or, for more persistent offences, suspend his handicap for an appropriate period."