With the start of the WGC Match Play tournament about to begin, we thought now was an appropriate time to point out that holes are no longer halved, the status of the match is now the score, and that “dormie” has gone the way of the dodo.
Yes, with the “simplified” language in the new Rules of Golf, “through the green” and “rub of the green” weren’t the only losses to the language we’ve come to know and love.
Here are the changes that you need to know in watching – or playing – match play in 2019:
“Status” is Out, “Score” is In – If a player is winning 3 up, that’s the current “score” of the match. The “status” of the match, well, I don’t know. Maybe now-a-days that means “they’re still playing” or “it is finalized.” Either way, score replaces status.
“Halved” is Out, “Tying” is In – Players no longer “halve” holes. They “tie” them now. So, “that hole was tied with pars” is now correct, and “the players halved the twelfth” is not.
“Making a Claim” is Out, “Requesting a Ruling” is In – I suppose the former sounded too lawyerly, so players who dispute whether someone breached a Rule or whatever will now be able to “request a ruling” from the Committee. So long as they do it in time, of course.
“Dormie” is Out, Uhhhhh… – Dormie used to mean that you were up the same number of holes as remained. Now… there’s no replacement, but the word has gone missing from the Rules books. So… my guess? People will still use the word, as no replacement has been provided.
It’s no longer a penalty if a player accidentally moves a player’s ball or ball marker on the putting green. This used to be a one-stroke penalty.
There is no longer a penalty for when a ball in motion accidentally hits the opponent, their caddie, or the opponent’s equipment. The ball must be played as it lies, except on the putting green where the stroke is canceled and replayed. Previously, an opponent could ask for the shot to be replayed.
There is no longer a penalty when stopping an opponent’s ball in motion (as Jordan Spieth did in a Presidents Cup) so long as there is no reasonable chance the moving ball could go in the hole. The next stroke is considered conceded, basically. Previously, this cost the offending player a loss of hole.
I get why “dormie” is gone, because the interpretation of the end of a match has changed. Prior to this year, Rule 2-3 stated that an extension of a tied match had to be specified by the Committee (Conditions of the Competition).
Rule 3.2a(4) now specifies that a match tied after the final hole is extended hole-by-hole until there’s a winner, unless the Terms of Competition specify that the match can end in a tie.
Nothing really changed here though, Rich. Matches in the Presidents Cup were played out, while matches in the Ryder Cup could end in a tie. The Conditions or Terms always set that out, as well as where the continuation of play (if there was one) would continue. Dormie thus most often simply meant you couldn’t lose in regulation (or at all in matches with no holes beyond the 18).
So, I miss “dormie.” But, as there’s no term to replace it, I suspect it will live on.
Sure, these terms were good enough for 100 years, But I suppose fans now are too stupid to figure this out. So, yeah I don’t like it. Saw a shot hit into the pond today and the announcer didn’t say it was in the hazard, but in “the penalty area”. That’s just taking it too far. And I like “dormie”. If you like the history of the game this expression is kinda cool.
If he had said hazard last year a listener may have thought the shot finished in a bunker. Good change.