I can’t imagine going out to play golf and not having a line on my golf ball. Anything that conforms to the rules of golf that helps me stroke the ball in the intended direction is worth a try. I even use the line to help me focus on my swing path on the tee.
To line or not to line
When it comes to lines on balls, I’m completely biased but there are other views available. There are some golfers who don’t use a line on the ball because they aim at a spot on the intended putting line. That’s fine. There are some who believe that lines on balls are just not cricket. They may believe that the alignment lines on balls and putters make golf easier and reduce the dependency on the skill and judgement needed to play the game in its purest from. And that’s OK too. But as it stands, those who make the rules for players and equipment currently allow us to use lined balls in play and competition, even on the hallowed Augusta National course during the Masters.
You may also have noticed how many pros now use a lined ball in tournaments and I think the big name ball manufacturers have spotted the growing trend too. Callaway have launched ‘Triple Track Technology’, Titleist have a variety of line options including a T shaped stamp and TaylorMade have ‘ClearPath Alignment’ using a brand name line and triangular graphics. I haven’t seen many golf ball brands that don’t add some form of linear graphic device to their brand or product name to create a line on the ball. But if they haven’t made their line distinct enough for your personal tastes, there’s always the DIY approach with a permanent marker pen and a line stencil. Works for me.
The ball line matters
If you choose to play with a line on your golf ball to help improve your putting performance, you’ll be in good company. You may even have a line (or three) on the top face of your putter to help ensure the face is square to the line on the ball. But how do you make sure that small line on the ball is pointing in the right direction in the first place? If that ball line is out then the putter will be out of line too. We may have a solution for that.
Enjoy your game
Let us know your thoughts on balls with lines and how you use them. Email your alignment tips to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll mention some of the best in our monthly newsletter.
Paul Hart is a founding director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT Ball Marker and enthusiastic improver. Paul currently plays off a handicap index of 11.9 and and always plays with a lined golf ball.