So how will this all work at Hazeltine National for the Ryder Cup? And how the heck do you know when someone's winning? We have it covered.
• Each of the first two days includes one four-match session of foursomes and one four-match session of four-ball. The final day is reserved for 12 singles matches. In each case the result of a match is determined by the number of holes won.
• The match ends after 18 holes, or earlier if a lead becomes insurmountable. For example, a player or team that wins 2-up has a two-hole lead with one hole remaining. Similarly, a 3 and 2 score indicates a three-hole lead with two holes remaining.
• A match victory is worth one point, and a draw is worth a half-point — 28 matches, 28 possible points.
• Each team captain independently submits the order of play for his team — he can send out players as often or as little as he likes until Sunday, when everyone plays. The lists are matched, resulting in the pairings. The pairings can be modified only if a player is ill or injured.
Foursomes: More commonly called "alternate shot," this format features two players from Europe vs. two from the U.S. with each team playing one ball. The golfers play alternate shots until the hole is played out. Team members alternate playing tee shots. The team with the better score wins the hole. Should the two teams tie for the best score, the hole is halved.
Four-ball: More commonly called "best ball," it's different from foursomes in that each competitor on the two-man teams plays his own ball. The team whose player has the lowest score on that hole wins the point. Should players from each team tie for the best score, the hole is halved.
Singles: One player competes against another in match play.
All square: A match in progress that is tied.
Concede: When a player or team does not make its opponent or opponents finish out the hole. It's etiquette to concede short putts.
Dormie: When a player or team has to win the remaining holes just to earn a tie. For example, if Player A is leading Player B 4-up after 14 holes, Player B must win holes 15-18.
Halve: A hole is halved when players or teams finish the hole with the same score. A match is halved when the players or teams finish 18 holes tied.