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Do Away with Alignment Aids on the Ball?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

During this morning's telecast on The Golf Channel, there was a discussion about Rickie Fowler's putting.  Notah Begay was saying that when Rickie aligned his ball with his intended line, he would then second-guess himself once he got over the putt and would sometimes miss some of the short ones.  Brandel prefaced his remarks by saying that he thought that the alignment marks should be illegal.  What?  He mentioned (if I recall correctly), players marking a ball with a stripe to assist.  Many golf balls already come with an arrow already imprinted on them.  Even if there was no stripe, original or self-drawn, players could still use the logo of the ball to assist their alignment.  He didn't really belabor the point, but I thought it was just a flip remark to make. I don't know if his beef is slow play or he thinks it isn't in the spirit of the game.  I don't even align my ball like that, but maybe I'll try it next time out.  Anyone else here use the alignment marks?  If so, has it helped?

post #2 of 38

I specifically avoid using any alignment aids, because I line my putter up well, and if the line is off or slightly imperfect, it would cause doubt.

 

They can't make drawing a line on the ball illegal because players are asked to mark their balls for identification purposes. Plus, as you noted, companies have to put logos and marks on the ball, and often (especially lately) those include lines or arrows.

post #3 of 38

I use alignment lines on my ball for pretty much everything over 4-5 feet. I find that it lets me forget all about line and focus on speed once I address the ball. You have to be very careful that you place the bell correctly so the line is correct but for me it helps eliminate the second guess because once I've lined it up I just trust it and focus on speed.

 

It's player preference and there is no correct answer.

post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

I specifically avoid using any alignment aids, because I line my putter up well, and if the line is off or slightly imperfect, it would cause doubt.

 

 

 

I agree with this.  I have tried to use them before, second guessed myself, and instead of backing off to realign, I would alter my stroke.  This typically gave me poor results.

post #5 of 38

I find 99% of the stuff that guys says to be annoying. I basically ignore if it comes from him.

post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 

I use alignment lines on my ball for pretty much everything over 4-5 feet. I find that it lets me forget all about line and focus on speed once I address the ball. You have to be very careful that you place the bell correctly so the line is correct but for me it helps eliminate the second guess because once I've lined it up I just trust it and focus on speed.

 

It's player preference and there is no correct answer.

Just wanted to add that I am very much in the minority on this one (at least here on the Trap), I also have a putter that doesn't fit my eye correctly so I may abandon the alignment line if I ever get a putter that suits me better.

post #7 of 38

i set my ball down so that i dont see any logo or lines.

 

 

anyways, yet another reason why Brandy is an asshat.

post #8 of 38

I can't believe people don't use alignment lines on their putts, if you can just eyeball it I take my hat off to you.

 

Infact, I use the alignment line for teeing off too, especially if it's a par 3, or if I'm trying to hit a draw/into a certain wind.

 

It kind of does take some skill out of it, but I don't think they could ever ban it, for the reasons you mention.

post #9 of 38

I thought they used the line to make sure they were rolling the ball correctly and their roll wasn't causing putts to go off line. Shows what I know. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pepsiplusconker View Post
 

I can't believe people don't use alignment lines on their putts, if you can just eyeball it I take my hat off to you.

 

Infact, I use the alignment line for teeing off too, especially if it's a par 3, or if I'm trying to hit a draw/into a certain wind.

 

It kind of does take some skill out of it, but I don't think they could ever ban it, for the reasons you mention.

 

Maybe I should try this. I just use spots in front of my ball to align it just like my putts but maybe a line would help more. 

post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwoodtigerdo View Post
 

I thought they used the line to make sure they were rolling the ball correctly and their roll wasn't causing putts to go off line. Shows what I know. 

 

 

Maybe I should try this. I just use spots in front of my ball to align it just like my putts but maybe a line would help more. 

You'd be surprised, I always notice the guys who I play with are aiming all over the place, albeit they aren't the best, but atleast aim where you are meaning to aim.

 

Just like putting, if you are aiming slightly off a few degrees, by the time the ball reaches the green 160 yards away, it's a mile out. 

post #11 of 38

Coming back to this after a few minutes did made me think. Can we draw alignment lines on our shoes? Hmmmm. I may be a scratch golfer in no time. 

post #12 of 38
I'm with Rickie in that the alignment lines tend to make me second guess myself more than they help me set up, but I would be against banning them.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwoodtigerdo View Post
 

I thought they used the line to make sure they were rolling the ball correctly and their roll wasn't causing putts to go off line. Shows what I know. 

 

I put a line on my ball for exactly that reason. It makes no difference whatsoever to me on the putt I am attempting but it does tell me if I am making a perfect roll or not.

 

It's only feedback for me.

post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post
 

I use alignment lines on my ball for pretty much everything over 4-5 feet. I find that it lets me forget all about line and focus on speed once I address the ball. You have to be very careful that you place the bell correctly so the line is correct but for me it helps eliminate the second guess because once I've lined it up I just trust it and focus on speed.

 

This is why I prefer no alignment lines on the ball.  On the tee and on the green I place the ball so only white is showing.  For me the line is just another distraction.  I just trust that my read and alignment of the putter itself is correct and concentrate on hitting the ball exactly in the direction the putter is aimed at the right speed.  Of course, I'm not a super good putter, so...

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post

This is why I prefer no alignment lines on the ball.  On the tee and on the green I place the ball so only white is showing.  For me the line is just another distraction.  I just trust that my read and alignment of the putter itself is correct and concentrate on hitting the ball exactly in the direction the putter is aimed at the right speed.  Of course, I'm not a super good putter, so...
Like I said, personal preference and no "right" answer.
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

Like I said, personal preference and no "right" answer.

 

Yeah I was agreeing with you.  Just noting that for you it helps you enough mentally that it overcomes the difficulty you were admitting does exists in getting the alignment exactly right, but for me it's the opposite, where having the alignment there actually hurts me mentally, only doubling down on the cost of the invariable minor errors in setting the line on the ball!

post #17 of 38

Lines on the ball seem to throw me off. I do better aligning the face and path, though that may have a bit to do with the fact that my eyes are aging and precise alignment is difficult at best. :loco:

post #18 of 38

I go through phases between using the line on the ball or just picking an intermediate target. I went for 2-3 years without ever using the line because it distracted the heck out of me. But now, I do use the line, so go figure. My guess is over time I have figured out a way to use the line to my advantage. 

 

The basic routine is:

 

1) get a quick 1st impression read (aimpoint assisted to varying extents)

 

2) aim the line on the golf ball on my intended start line

 

3) step six or seven feet behind the ball and check the line, as I tend to have a much better perspective of things from this vantage point. I also tend to make 1 or 2 practice strokes just looking at the line and hole from here (stole this from Fil). 

 

4) go back and make adjustments to the line on the ball (I almost always have to make an adjustment here as my aim is terrible when crouching that close to the ball (step 2))

 

5) make a couple practice strokes focusing purely on the most aggressive stroke I can make and still "die" the ball into the hole during the putt's last 4-5 feet of roll.

 

6) make a stroke.

 

Seems to work. I have an Edel that was fitted to me without an aim line on the head, so I wasn't sure if this would screw up my eye or not. So far, it's been the opposite: It has been helpful. For now, I like it. There hasn't been much second guessing about line over the ball lately, if any. I'm not claiming to make everything, but this particular routine has been my most consistent one in a while. And even if I wrote it out in six steps, I can go through it pretty quickly. 

 

So yea, that would stink if they took the line away. Thankfully, like the others have said, they won't.

 

Whether it's a legitimate advantage or not, I don't know. All I can say is that I'm not good at naturally aligning myself . Often times, a square alignment feels 5 or 6 degrees to the left. It almost feels like I'm about to pull the ball or something. But I've missed putts right enough times to know what some of my bad tendencies are. The line on the ball helps me combat that. 

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