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Alignment Marks on Balls


Tiftaaft
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I am now a convert to lines.  I used to like nothing but white and was a very good putter.  Average putts per round in the high 20's and low 30's.  I am now 74 and still have very good vision but the lines have made me a better putter.  I now average in the mid to high 20's.  It takes about a month to get used to the lines but it really gives you a benefit. 

Can not use multi colored lines--the new maxfli uses just black lines and it really a very good ball for marking purpose.  I have the confidence that the line is correct and I have become a much more aggressive putter.  I play an avx 90% of the time so I had to come up with a way to mark them and have designed a plastic piece with cut outs that let me put three thin black lines on the ball or I just line up the titlies avx marking and put two black lines on the ball.  It works wonders for me.

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I'm very surprised no one has mentioned the guy that lines up his 15 foot putt using the line on the ball and then doesn't like it and realigns it. Then he knocks it 3 feet by and goes through the lining up procedure all over again.

I used to use a line, but just got to the point I wanted to speed up my routine a bit. I became self conscious of the time it took.

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On 8/9/2021 at 10:41 AM, Tiftaaft said:

Just an informal survey & comments:  

Do you use ball alignment marks (either manufactured or self inflicted) when putting?  

I prefer a clean ball and while I sometimes play a triple track Cally - I place my ball on the opposite side.  Maybe old school, but I find alignment marks distracting (tried to use it for a period of time, but didn't find my putting improved measurably using alignment... I can close pull my putter across the line as easily with or without the lines ;)). 

Just curious how many find the lines on balls advantageous to your success on the greens.

I do mark my balls with a Single solid black line. It serves two purposes for one. For one, I get to see where I'm striking the ball on my clubs and I also use it on the greens to aid in my alignment for putting. 

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I have a tendency to use lines that the mfgr has or the triple. I believe it has helped me in that I concentrate on hitting the ball to see the end over end result. That concentration is what is helping.

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I tried to use a two line stencil that I could put over the arrow on the ball, it confused me more and made feel like I "had to" line up the ball so perfectly to make my line.  too much stress focused on the lines rather than the putt itself.  I was averaging 32-33 putts this way...I've always putted with the the logo pointing to the line and when I went back to that, it freed me up in the 10-15' range, I felt I relied more on my read and my feel to square the blade and make a stroke to the line I was seeing/feeling.  I'm averaging 28-31 this way.  

Perhaps some dedicated practice on this method with the lines might eliminate the anxiety of being lined up 'correctly' or a different type of line pattern might help, but I also noticed that I was slow AF on the greens lining it up.  I hate to play tournaments with guys that change their ball like 20 different times on a 5' putt because their lines aren't right...40 second clock ticking...

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Being a "feel" putter, trying to use an alignment mark only serves to make me try and be extra exacting, which causes some tension, which leads to missing the damn putt anyway.   Although, if you prefer to look at the ball instead of the hole when making a putt, it would seem to make some sense to use a mark to ensure you start it on the desired line.     

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I have been on both sides of this.  It does take a little practice to make your routine fast enough so it isn't an issue and depends on how fast and giving your group is.  If there are a lot of generous gimmies then it seems to slow things down, cause everyone is playing pretty fast (<3.5 hours).  The other thing is if you want to use the line, allow yourself a little deviation on the line.  I used to adjust and adjust and that got slow and tedious.  But now I have just given myself a little more tolerance on the alignment.  I do think that aiming is very important because if you aren't lined up correctly then you are already going to miss or make subconscious compensations to correct.

But really it is the following:  Are you putting well however you do it now?  Make lots of 4-6 footers?  slide it just by the hole when you miss from 20 feet?  Putting less than 30 putts a round?  Don't mess with anything.   Work on other parts of the game.

But if you are struggling, especially with direction, especially with inside 6 feet, give it a chance.  Most pros use them, take that for what it is worth.  

Cheers

Tigger

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I use alignment lines on my golf balls.  I started off playing golf using the Callaway Triple Track balls but switched to Srixon Z Star balls.  I add my own alignment line to the Srixon balls and I feel the line helps my putting.  

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No. I’ve tried it before and it makes me too mechanical. I like a blank spot on the ball so I can focus on the stroke and feel. 

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I guess I am in the minority on this, yes i use a line on the ball, you can't convince me that the average person has a better view of the line looking down, sideways, and with one eye at a different angle than having both eyes level and behind the ball looking at the hole.   Once you have it lined up you just need to worry about the speed of the putt, of course you need to hit it square, but that is true no matter how you line it up.  I could be wrong, but most pro's I see putting on TV, line their putt up with a line on their ball from behind, certainly not all but a majority.  In my opinion putting is hard enough, taking the 2nd guessing out of lining up your putt while standing over your ball just seems to make a difficult process easier.

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On 8/23/2021 at 4:41 PM, Tom the Golf Nut said:

On putting I read the line and pick my aim point then line up the line to that aim point.

This is my approach as well.  I find it difficult to set my alignment at the ball to the hole (though for reasonably short putts, I do see an advantage) but for any putt with a bit of length (~8'+) I prefer to find a target point between me and the hole... especially if I can find one near the apex of the break.  Then I concentrate on speed.  

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On 8/10/2021 at 9:42 AM, greggarner said:

I always line up the side stamp when I'm putting, but don't line up off the tee. When I'm putting, it's mostly as a final visual check as I'm setting up. My routine is to read the line and pick my aim point then line up the side stamp to that aim point. Then I set up next to the ball for three practice strokes and then address the ball. Because I'm (extremely) right-eye dominant, I've learned not to trust my reads when I'm standing over the putt so if I see something other than where my side stamp is pointing, I either trust the side stamp or I back off and take another look.

I have tried using alignment markings like drawing a full circle around the ball and even splurged for the Align XL from golfballs.com, but I find those extremely distracting and they don't help my read based on my routine. Bonus: the more prominent the alignment marking, the more perfect it has to be. Even the slightest bit of wobble will make you think you hit a bad putt when it could really be that some paint was applied incorrectly by 1 degree. Not good for my confidence when I see the wobble...

This is really helpful, I have almost pulled the trigger on Align XL a couple times including this past weekend when they had their labor day sale haha

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On 9/6/2021 at 6:58 AM, Watchnut33 said:

For longer putts (12+ feet) I don’t use an alignment mark of any kind, but I use the manufacturer marking on putts inside of that. I’ve gone back and forth with using the alignment marking on the tee, not sure I can find a discernible difference. 

I had previously lined up all of my puts with the alignment mark, but this is more what I do now. I find it most helpful for putts ~3-15 ft. Typically more trouble than its worth under that and I find myself worrying more about the alignment than pace on putts longer than that. It has helped scrub a good chunk of 3 putts out of the game and as I improve I am sure I will start stretching that back though.

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I prefer to place the brand name of the ball across my intended line but I do not use it as an aiming device.  I tried using the alignment markings and found them distracting as well.  When you observe people practicing on the putting green prior to a round you rarely, if ever, see anyone using the alignment markings.  I assume along with gaining a feel for green, we are also trying to make those putts; I know I am.  

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I'm similar to many of you. Long putts, I only want to see a blank ball, no lines. For medium putts, it depends; 75% of the time, I will not line it up. I find that I will focus too much on line and not about speed. I've had some terrible putts that I've blown by or babied bc of this. when I do line it up, the putt has to be fairly straight and nothing more than a ball outside. I find that picking a blade of grass or an old pitch mark to help me with start line is much easier then the line. For short putts, I like to line it up, especially if I'm not feeling super confident on the practice green pre round. I like it because speed is less of a concern because I like to putt confidently on shorter putts. 

When it comes to lines, I'm not picky. The manufacturer logo/line works okay. I've tried the TP5 Pix and its alright, nothing special. I do like the triple track. It allows me to see the line as less of an actual line and more of how the ball will roll. I've thought about buying a triple track stencil but I'm kind of lazy when it comes to marking my ball. 

I've seen a few tour pros use an additional perpendicular line on their ball, I assume to check that their putter is square to their line. Have any of you all tried this. It seems like a big pain to mark on your ball and to set when on the green. But, if it helps put the ball in the hole, I guess its worth it.

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I must be a complete idiot.

Am I supposed to align my ball a special way?

I put the ball down in front of my dime.

I pick up my dime.

I putt the ball.

Usually, I putt the ball again.

But I'm not stubborn.  If you know something that I don't, I'm all ears.

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On 9/6/2021 at 11:49 PM, vinnyboy23 said:

you can't convince me that the average person has a better view of the line looking down, sideways, and with one eye at a different angle than having both eyes level and behind the ball looking at the hole. 

I don’t look at my line over the ball. I read once I determine line and speed I find an intermediate target and line my putter up to that then square myself to the putter. 

26 minutes ago, BostonSal said:

I must be a complete idiot.

Am I supposed to align my ball a special way?

I put the ball down in front of my dime.

I pick up my dime.

I putt the ball.

Usually, I putt the ball again.

But I'm not stubborn.  If you know something that I don't, I'm all ears.

Where is your putter aimed at?

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3 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Where is your putter aimed at?

please say "the hole" please say "the hole" please say "the hole"

 

.....

 

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1 minute ago, greggarner said:

please say "the hole" please say "the hole" please say "the hole"

 

.....

 

😎

My putter is aimed at the ball and I am proud to say I haven't missed hitting it yet after over 50 years of playing!!    😃

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33 minutes ago, BostonSal said:

I must be a complete idiot.  NO

Am I supposed to align my ball a special way? It's a preference 

I put the ball down in front of my dime.

I pick up my dime.

I putt the ball.

Usually, I putt the ball again.

But I'm not stubborn.  If you know something that I don't, I'm all ears.

You read all the above posts so each of us has a way that works better for us. You can read the article that Golf.com did on this to explain the choices. Experiment and use what works best for you.

I tested putting with a line on my golf ball, and now I'm never going back

 

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