Using a Line on Your Ball

Many golfers mark a line on the ball because some pros have success with this technique to assist in lining up at address. On many occasions when addressing the ball, the line does not appear to be correctly aimed which causes mental conflict over the putt, which is detrimental to good performance.

We have asked many good golfers to not use a line for alignment purposes and they report improved performance as a result.

20 thoughts on “Using a Line on Your Ball

  1. I have a line on the ball and, when I’m serious, I use it inside about eight feet. Why? Because missing an eight footer is much more painful than missing a putt of greater length. Does it work? Maybe, but it removes some doubt, adds confidence and generally clears the mind of everything but speed.

    Considering the relatively small percentage of golfers that have a putter that fits (insert Frankly Golf commercial here) and a stance that puts their eyes over the ball, using a line makes good sense. Does it take more time? Not really. You’ve got to line a putt up somehow and pointing a line on a ball to the line of the putt is as good a way as any.

  2. I find using a line improves my putting dramatically. I read the putt, align the line on the ball to the putt line, take 3 practice strokes looking at the hole, align the putter alignment markings with the ball line, one look at the target and go. I do not think about direction after the ball line is aligned because it is done and I commit to that line. (find that my first attempt to align the ball is the best, over thinking and getting OCD ruins confidence.) I only focus on distance and making the putter go straight through the line on the ball. The line on the ball actually makes be hit through the putt better, has dramatically improved my putting inside 5 feet and reduced 3 putts.
    Making more putts speeds up play.

  3. Using a line on my ball has helped me putt well for a long time and putting is one of the strong parts of my game. I’m willing to go out and try not using a line to see if it makes a difference. Lowering my score is more important than justifying my method. I totally agree with the other poster that pointed out that you get great feedback on whether it was your stroke or read that caused the miss. I need to be confident that my putter is lined up correctly, because then I look at the spot I’m aiming for during the stoke (this is for speed/distance and not for aim). This also doesn’t have to slow down your play, as long as your aren’t OCD about it and if it does really give you confidence for your stroke.

  4. I no longer use either a line on the ball or the logo to align my putts. I find that by placing the ball white side up, I become more “hole” orientated and less “ball” fixated. I believe I have putted better since I tried this.

  5. I do two things: for any putt over 10 feet I simply place the ball upright with a large (about the size of a penny) spot on the top of the ball. I line the centre line of the putter up with this spot. I think I read that as an earlirer tip fo yours a few years back.

    I also put a line on the ball and use that to line up putts of less than10 feet and I find that s a good combination. I do agree that it can tend to slow play down but you have to use common sense; after all you are only lining up a putt, not surveying for a four lane interstate highway.

  6. Interesting reactions. I’ve been spinning balls and marking the heavy spot equator for ten years or more. I spend less time than most over a putt, including a quick plumb bob, and my results are better than average. My 50 percent range is currently about 7 feet, trusting the line on my ball and the break of the plumb bob.

    • I use a line because I found my eyesite did not give me a correct line. I align the line on the ball with the line on my mallet style putter and this gives me the best results

  7. I always use a line to point at up my aiming point.
    While it does take a little longer to align the ball, I make up the time by stepping up to the ball and pulling the trigger without any hesitation because I KNOW that my ball alignment is correct.
    After I hit my putt, I look up at the ball to watch for the line rolling end-over-end. When I see that, I KNOW that I hit the ball square. Therefore, if I miss the hole, I KNOW that I just misread the putt and didn’t have a stroke problem. Without that feedback, you don’t know what caused you to miss the putt.
    Using a line has enabled me to become a more confident putter.

  8. I agree completely. At one point a few years ago, I ended up using a marker with guides that allowed me to place parallel and perpendicular lines on the ball. At that time I was using a Scotty Cameron Newport putter. Those lines helped me understand that I was aiming left and then cut-putting the ball. I changed to an Odyssey Sabretooth putter that has better alignment for me anyway. After the change, I felt the lines on the balls were distracting and have gone back to a normal ball. So, the lines helped initially but were not a help afterward.

  9. Beside the time that players spend trying to get the line “just perfect”, which certainly can contribute to slow play, the biggest problem I have with using this type of aid is that it can make you “ball focused”, visually and mentally, when you are over a putt. If you can become focused on the stroke and NOT the ball, your putting will almost certainly improve.

    My favorite drill when my stroke is off is to go to a straight, up-hill 3 foot putt on the practice green, and then hit 5 -10 of these putts with my EYES CLOSED! Smooths out the stroke right away.

  10. I have always thought that it is virtually impossible for a person to correctly line up a line on the ball with the projected line of the putt. I see people fuss with this for way too long, then many of us just step up, eye the line and drain our putts. I think it’s a huge waste of time!

  11. I agree 100%. As a huge added benefit, it SPEEDS UP PLAY. Nothing is quite as annoying to me as someone who has to continuously tweak the ball trying to get the line “just so”! Just pick a spot a foot or two out on your line and hit the putt!

  12. I do not use a line.

    I do mark my ball prior to my first putt and when I replace it, I make sure there are no markings showing, just the all-white part of the ball. I find a spot on the green to aim at and generally putt pretty well during a round of golf. I like to play fast and dislike playing with folks who take extra time to line up the line on their ball with the line of their putt. That practice makes me cringe.

    I like to walk and that allows me to walk on the green from the front where I fix 3-5 ball marks made by folks who ride carts and enter the green from the side or back of the green.

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