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Lifting on the green

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hey there. Posting this as a point of discussion, not as a confirmation of the rules.

I see a lot of people lifting their ball when they reach the green and i am fine with that. But when they put the ball back they have lines on it that they use to align their put.

 

b. Lifting Ball 
A ball on the putting green may be lifted and, if desired, cleaned. A ball so lifted shall be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted.

 

So i do not see anything that determines how the ball should be returned to its original place, but doesn't it seem like improving your lie by using a line as an alignment aid? I use one for practice to see that the ball is rolling straight and my putting is not causing a side spin. But during the game? 

 

Im just surprised that this is not something that has been addressed or clarified by the rules, especially after all this attention with the belly putter and unfair advantages.

 

Regards.

post #2 of 35

I believe alignment aids are defined as something other than the ball or the club you are using for the stroke.  You are not really improving your lie with respect to the green either.  You are just orienting the ball so the lines are pointing in the direction you want to start the putt.

 

I don't use this technique myself because I find it distracting.  I generally place the ball so nothing is showing.

post #3 of 35
Well, two thoughts came to mind...

The first is that it would be nonsense to try and press the person who lifted the ball to return it to the exact point that the ball was touching the ground initially.. Also, since the ball is regulated to begin with there is no advantage no matter where it is returned on the surface of the ball, and I think we all agree on that..

The second regarding the alignment line and most golf balls already have some sort of lines on it via manufacturer, and most of the time I am too lazy to draw a line so I just use the ball line no matter how small it is, it is still a line. So, the question is, does a little longer and bolder line really give an advantage to anyone? In my opinion, no..
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by march11934 View Post
 

Hey there. Posting this as a point of discussion, not as a confirmation of the rules.

I see a lot of people lifting their ball when they reach the green and i am fine with that. But when they put the ball back they have lines on it that they use to align their put.

 

b. Lifting Ball 
A ball on the putting green may be lifted and, if desired, cleaned. A ball so lifted shall be replaced on the spot from which it was lifted.

 

So i do not see anything that determines how the ball should be returned to its original place, but doesn't it seem like improving your lie by using a line as an alignment aid? I use one for practice to see that the ball is rolling straight and my putting is not causing a side spin. But during the game? 

 

Im just surprised that this is not something that has been addressed or clarified by the rules, especially after all this attention with the belly putter and unfair advantages.

 

Regards.

 

Here's the Decision:

 

20-3a/2 Using Line on Ball for Alignment

 

Q.May a player draw a line on his ball and, when replacing his ball, position the ball so that the line or the trademark on the ball is aimed to indicate the line of play?

A.Yes.

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville View Post

Here's the Decision:

20-3a/2 Using Line on Ball for Alignment




Q.
May a player draw a line on his ball and, when replacing his ball, position the ball so that the line or the trademark on the ball is aimed to indicate the line of play?



A.
Yes.



Well, that's no fun ending the discussion that quickly!

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post #6 of 35

I think the OP knows that it is legal. They want to discuss why it should or should not be.

post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

I think the OP knows that it is legal. They want to discuss why it should or should not be.

I think my first reply still stand then

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post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

I think the OP knows that it is legal. They want to discuss why it should or should not be.

Correct. To further my thought, I was just interested in what people think about altering a ball other than what the manufacturer printed on the ball. The fact that someone is placing the ball back in a manner that gives an advantage over the original resting position doesn't seem like outside of the spirit of the rules? To make things even, if a line were printed by the manufacturer, then everyone using that ball would have to deal with or use the line to their advantage. 

I just find it odd how some rules are all about standardizing and evening out the playing field, like the putting stroke, but other rules allow a level of personal decision like drawing lines to further alignment on a ball.

Thanks

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

Well, two thoughts came to mind...

The first is that it would be nonsense to try and press the person who lifted the ball to return it to the exact point that the ball was touching the ground initially.. Also, since the ball is regulated to begin with there is no advantage no matter where it is returned on the surface of the ball, and I think we all agree on that..

The second regarding the alignment line and most golf balls already have some sort of lines on it via manufacturer, and most of the time I am too lazy to draw a line so I just use the ball line no matter how small it is, it is still a line. So, the question is, does a little longer and bolder line really give an advantage to anyone? In my opinion, no..

I guess an approach to the first note is that there could be a detail that describes the process in placing the ball. Kind of like when setting your feet in a bunker, you're allowed to dig your feet into the sand to a point where you're not testing the sand. You would be able to place the ball on the green but not in a manner that is obviously lining the ball up.

 

I guess the second note is truly a matter of opinion. I know some people do it. I prefer not to. But i have seen where they line the ball up and then line the putter up with the line on the ball. Just doesn't seem like a legitimate put without a bunch of extras...

 

Thanks

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

I believe alignment aids are defined as something other than the ball or the club you are using for the stroke.  You are not really improving your lie with respect to the green either.  You are just orienting the ball so the lines are pointing in the direction you want to start the putt.

 

I don't use this technique myself because I find it distracting.  I generally place the ball so nothing is showing.


I'm very torn on the method of using alignment lines on the ball, I more often than not don't like the way the line looks when I stand over the putt, and I know I'm looking from a different angle than when I lined up the ball but I think it just screws me up worse when I stroke the ball on a different line than what the alignment one shows. I find I'm more comfortable stroking the ball towards a spot that's a little discolored or alongside a repaired mark. I think today will be a no lines showing day.

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by march11934 View Post
 

The fact that someone is placing the ball back in a manner that gives an advantage over the original resting position doesn't seem like outside of the spirit of the rules? To make things even, if a line were printed by the manufacturer, then everyone using that ball would have to deal with or use the line to their advantage. 

I just find it odd how some rules are all about standardizing and evening out the playing field, like the putting stroke, but other rules allow a level of personal decision like drawing lines to further alignment on a ball.

Thanks

 

There are many allowances given a player once his or her ball is on the green.  You can lift it and clean it.  You can fix ball marks.  You can wipe loose sand & soil from your line.  It does not seem out of line to allow a player to align the ball with either a pre-printed or added line.

 

That being said, the emphasis some players place on aligning their ball is a bit tiresome.  In a small way, the alignment aid on golf balls has made the game just a bit slower and that is a problem.

post #12 of 35

Just a word of warning.

 

If you are adjusting the alignment of your ball, make sure the marker is still in place. Don't remove your marker then, realising you need to realign the ball, forget to replace the marker before touching the ball.

post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

That's true about pace of play. 4 guys aligning their golf balls can add a few minutes to a hole.

 

Good point about the mark. Although i doubt the guys i play with would ever enforce a stroke on moving a ball that isn't marked. But that's another topic of discussion i've see on other posts.:-)

post #14 of 35

Before the idea of drawing lines on your ball became a common practice, people just lined the logos up.

 

It's allowed because how can you require people to put the ball down in the same orientation in which it lands? You don't have to do that any other time you get to place the ball, so why should you have to on the putting green?

 

And if the rule was simply that you cannot line something up to your target, who are you to say how close "towards your target" is? What if you put it perpendicular to your target? What if you drew a bunch of lines going all sorts of directions so that one of them was always close to the right line?

 

You can't really write a rule, so the rule is the much simpler "pick it up and put it back in the same spot, in whatever orientation you want."

 

Sometimes the "reason" a rule exists is simple practicality.

 

I don't line up my ball, btw. I just use a white area on the ball. You'd be amazed at how many people can't hit the cup with their lines on their golf balls from ten feet out.

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by march11934 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

I think the OP knows that it is legal. They want to discuss why it should or should not be.

Correct. To further my thought, I was just interested in what people think about altering a ball other than what the manufacturer printed on the ball. The fact that someone is placing the ball back in a manner that gives an advantage over the original resting position doesn't seem like outside of the spirit of the rules? To make things even, if a line were printed by the manufacturer, then everyone using that ball would have to deal with or use the line to their advantage. 

I just find it odd how some rules are all about standardizing and evening out the playing field, like the putting stroke, but other rules allow a level of personal decision like drawing lines to further alignment on a ball.

Thanks

 

I think that the relaxed attitude in the rules about this is partly due to the fact that the "help" one gets from it is mostly mental.  The actual physical assistance offered from a 1½ inch long line is minimal at best when setting up a 25 foot putt.  If you miss aim that line on the ball by even 1/64 inch, and otherwise set up to it perfectly, you will be 4.5 inches off line by the time the ball gets to the hole.  It really isn't much help compared to using an alignment rod, or placing some other object on the green to provide a better or longer sight line - these are what the rule is essentially intended to prevent.  

 

Those who use a line will swear by it, but I've tried both ways and I find that my method of spot putting (using an imaginary spot a foot in front of the ball) is more accurate, at least for me.  I've never known anyone using the line who was better than I am at starting the ball on it's intended path (which doesn't mean that the path I've chosen is always the right one, just that I usually hit the ball where I aim it :roll:  ).

post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

Before the idea of drawing lines on your ball became a common practice, people just lined the logos up.

 

It's allowed because how can you require people to put the ball down in the same orientation in which it lands? You don't have to do that any other time you get to place the ball, so why should you have to on the putting green?

 

And if the rule was simply that you cannot line something up to your target, who are you to say how close "towards your target" is? What if you put it perpendicular to your target? What if you drew a bunch of lines going all sorts of directions so that one of them was always close to the right line?

 

You can't really write a rule, so the rule is the much simpler "pick it up and put it back in the same spot, in whatever orientation you want."

 

Sometimes the "reason" a rule exists is simple practicality.

 

I don't line up my ball, btw. I just use a white area on the ball. You'd be amazed at how many people can't hit the cup with their lines on their golf balls from ten feet out.

 I agree, Erik. The RBs would rule it out if there were a way to convince ball manufacturers to make balls without logos. We would need further language in the Rules to prohibit "lines" in any form of identification mark and prohibit orientation of the ball on the putting green.

post #17 of 35
The same then, could be said about alignment aids on putter heads. Or the mark on the crown of a Driver... And to take it to the extreme, the implied lines on the irons where the grooves end can be used as an alignment aid as well. The makers of balls wouldn't like it very much if the rules dictated that no logos be put on a ball because they could be used as "alignment aids".
post #18 of 35

Don't you think that marks on a club are rather different? The mark is not in (the same) position during the stroke.

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