Monty got on his soap box after TV commentators referred to games at the Solheim Cup as ‘tied’. Our club golfer knows exactly what he means…
Some habits have proven hard to break. I was refereeing at a recent international contest – England U16 girls against Switzerland – and part of my duties involved radioing scores and the status of matches after the completion of each hole.
It went something like this: ‘Game 2, hole 5, England win, match all square’.
Can you see the error I made? If you were watching the Solheim Cup last week, and are tuning into the Ryder Cup this week, it will leap off the page.
It certainly got Colin Montgomerie going – enough to compel the match play legend to fire out a tweet to his former colleagues at Sky Sports Golf.
@SkySportsGolf please a match is all square NOT tied. It is only a tied match when we are playing in the USA and this week we are not. Thank you.
— Colin Montgomerie (@montgomeriefdn) September 22, 2023
“Please a match is all square NOT tied. It is only a tied match when we are playing in the USA and this week we are not. Thank you.”
A passionate plea, I’m sure you’ll agree. But it’s not just in the USA where matches are “tied”. It’s everywhere and has been this way for coming on five years.
All square golf debate: Where do you stand?
The change came with the publication of the new Rules of Golf in 2019. All square, along with a couple of other cool match play terms – who ever tires of saying ‘dormie’? – disappeared from golf’s official lexicon.
So a match that was all square is now ‘tied’, though a tied hole can still be known as “halved”.
The logic behind the change appeared to be about employing more commonly used language. Would it make the game easier to understand for a casual audience?
Ah, yes. Growing the game. I’m not sure what was particularly difficult about all square as a term of reference. Surely no one has ever sat at home scratching their heads and frantically googling to end their confusion.
But now TV graphics and commentators trot out ‘tied’.
Except I can’t, and I won’t. Some things just live on and this is one of them. Do you think they’re saying ‘tied’ in the club knockout? No, they are saying all square.
This is not a one-person protest. I’m not going to be gluing myself to the club driveway, or spraying orange paint all over the new hole at Hoylake.
Golf’s glorious terminology, though, is worth preserving. It’s part of its history. It’s what makes the game great.
And so I’m not fussed it’s no longer in the rule book. I don’t care if everyone else’s hands are ‘tied’. I’m with Monty and I’m never going to stop calling it all square.
Now have your say
What do you think of this all square golf debate? Does it really matter, or are you with Steve and refuse to bark out ‘tied’? Let him know with a comment on X.
We dive deep into the golf ball roll back plans!