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Bonvivant

Should Lines On Ball Be Illegal?

Ball alignment  

55 members have voted

  1. 1. Should extended lines drawn on to the ball and used for alignment be prohibited?

    • Yes. It's against the spirit of the rules.
      9
    • No. You should be able to draw what you want on your ball.
      46


121 posts / 4049 viewsLast Reply

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3 minutes ago, darthweasel said:

been a while since I have seen it but at one point there was a study shown that showed it actually HURT. People who did the line missed more putts. e the line of people "well it helps me", good for you, overall the stats, at least in that study, said for most golfers it doesn't, and yes I am sure you are the outlier.

Umm... did you read my post... I said, I didn't see any benefit from it. 

No idea why you are calling me an outlier. 

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Those lines do not give an advantage, if anything they hinder proper alignment. This is one of those things I hate, people are too damn concerned about what others are doing. If drawing a line "feels illegal" to you then don't do it. Hell, you can even get some satisfaction in knowing that the people that are doing it are probably hurting themselves. BUT, to try and get it made illegal because you don't like it makes you a busy body. 

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I don't add lines to my ball. I usually just mark with a couple colored dots to identify.

Voted no, but like others have said, I wouldn't mind if the lines were disallowed for pace of play. Personally, when I put my ball down before putting, I like to position it so that when I am over the ball ready to putt, all I see is the ball, no logos/markings. Any alignment aids on the ball seem to goof up my aim and stroke.

Sometimes for tee shots if I am having trouble aligning myself, maybe on a hole that has tricky perspective, I will use the line on the ball to help with that.

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1 minute ago, CarlSpackler said:

Why do we have to keep trying to changing the game? If it doesn't really help much, why does there need to be a rule about it?

Did you read the article? The main argument I took away from it is that it is illegal to place anything on the course to aid in alignment and the author extends that to the ball. I happen to agree with this.

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8 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Did you read the article? The main argument I took away from it is that it is illegal to place anything on the course to aid in alignment and the author extends that to the ball. I happen to agree with this.

I don't agree, you are allowed to mark your ball in any manner that you choose, and in replacing a ball, you may replace it in any orientation that you choose.  The Interpretation to 14.2 specifically allows the player to align marking on the ball (for example, a trademark).   The author of the article would like to redefine a marking on the golf ball as an "object", and then extrapolate that to the player setting down an object to assist in alignment.  I just don't accept that a bit of Sharpie ink qualifies as an "object".

The author also uses Tufts quote:

 "The purpose of the rules, at least according to former USGA president Richard Tufts, “is to make sure, as far as possible, that everybody plays the same game.”"

Well, every single player has the right to mark his ball in any way he chooses, and replace the ball in any orientation he chooses.  How does this contradict Tufts?  It doesn't.

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10 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Well, every single player has the right to mark his ball in any way he chooses, and replace the ball in any orientation he chooses.

What if I'm allergic to Sharpie ink? I jest. Another great reply. Thanks.

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I keep my ball pristine until I putt.  Then I pick it up and use a sharpie to draw a curved line to show me the break.  J/K

On a more serious issue there's a guy I will no longer play golf with.  Charming, conversational, intelligent.  But he's a 15 handicapper who aligns his golf ball line an average of 3 times before each putt.   So we're talking an extra 90 seconds per putt.  And he still misses the putt most of the time.   I'm a fast player so that just annoys the hell out of me.

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1 minute ago, Double Mocha Man said:

On a more serious issue there's a guy I will no longer play golf with.  Charming, conversational, intelligent.  But he's a 15 handicapper who aligns his golf ball line an average of 3 times before each putt.   So we're talking an extra 90 seconds per putt.  And he still misses the putt most of the time.   I'm a fast player so that just annoys the hell out of me.

I think that most people can relate to this....if they can't, then they are probably the charming, conversational, intelligent one, lol

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32 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Did you read the article?

No, and I don't intend to.

26 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

The main argument I took away from it is that it is illegal to place anything on the course to aid in alignment and the author extends that to the ball. I happen to agree with this.

Then it should also be illegal to have a mark on the top of the putter? Is this not also an alignment aid? Where does it end?

image.png

It is illegal to put something on the course, not your equipment.

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2 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

It is illegal to put something on the course, not your equipment.

Actually, its illegal to take your stance using a club which has been placed on the ground to indicate the line of play.

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1 minute ago, CarlSpackler said:

No, and I don't intend to.

Your input isn't as productive then. You are responding to a post about an article you haven't read.

 

3 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

Then it should also be illegal to have a mark on the top of the putter? Is this not also an alignment aid? Where does it end?

The difference is that you are placing the ball. Now that we mark on greens, we are no longer playing it as it lies, though we are replacing it in the same place some people choose to purposefully replace it in a different orientation to give an advantage. I think that the playing as it lies rule is good and should be upheld as tightly as possible, and the line-up technique doesn't really fit in with that. Obviously the rules allow for it now, but it is something that you could easily make an argument to do away with.

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Actually, its illegal to take your stance using a club which has been placed on the ground to indicate the line of play.

I didn't word that very well. I meant that you can mark your equipment however you like, not that you can use your equipment as an alignment aid. I used to park my push cart parallel to my line of play, but stopped doing so because that could be considered an alignment aid.

5 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Your input isn't as productive then. You are responding to a post about an article you haven't read.

That's fine. I will gracefully bow out of the conversation here.

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2 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

I used to park my push cart parallel to my line of play, but stopped doing so because that could be considered an alignment aid.

I've seen this move with both trolleys and buggies. I've never called anyone on it but I sure have thought about it.

4 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

That's fine. I will gracefully bow out of the conversation here.

I'm not trying to push you out or be overly confrontational. The article is a decent read, even if it's just to see the other side (my side) of the (non-existent in the greater scheme of things) debate. I posted the article because that is what I saw, and agreed. Easier than me typing out all of my thoughts on it or repeating more of what was said in the article.

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18 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Actually, its illegal to take your stance using a club which has been placed on the ground to indicate the line of play.

Thought about this very thing this past weekend. 

Missed another green and had to chip. I dropped the putter disgustedly down near my ball. Looked at it for a moment before I realized what that looked like and got the putter away before I took my stance.

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24 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

The difference is that you are placing the ball. Now that we mark on greens, we are no longer playing it as it lies, though we are replacing it in the same place some people choose to purposefully replace it in a different orientation to give an advantage. I think that the playing as it lies rule is good and should be upheld as tightly as possible, and the line-up technique doesn't really fit in with that. Obviously the rules allow for it now, but it is something that you could easily make an argument to do away with.

I think its always a good idea when suggesting a change in the rules to ask, exactly how would you want the wording changed?  Is there a limit to any straight-line marking on the ball, including both the manufacturer's imprints and anything added by the player?  Or would you have the player replace the ball in its original orientation, even if it does have a line?  Write a rule, and let us see what you think should be done.

And understand, I don't think the rule change is warranted, I don't believe that a 1.5 inch line drawn on a curved surface can be very effective in accurately aligning a 5 or 10 or 30-foot putt.

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4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

And understand, I don't think the rule change is warranted, I don't believe that a 1.5 inch line drawn on a curved surface can be very effective in accurately aligning a 5 or 10 or 30-foot putt.

This is fair, and is borne out in results I think, maybe just anecdotes. I know I've been scolded in the past for talking about how something feels scummy to me, so I have been trying not to go down that road. Preferred lies (or lift clean and place) has always rubbed me the wrong way. Last week I watch Hovland get to line up a putt....from the fringe, which really hit me hard so when I saw this article, I had to post and get opinions.

8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I think its always a good idea when suggesting a change in the rules to ask, exactly how would you want the wording changed?  Is there a limit to any straight-line marking on the ball, including both the manufacturer's imprints and anything added by the player?  Or would you have the player replace the ball in its original orientation, even if it does have a line?  Write a rule, and let us see what you think should be done.

I think you've told me this in the past on something (probably slow play/amount of time per shot), and I really couldn't come up with anything. The same might be the case here.

My initial thought is to have someone else in your group, not your caddie, place the ball for you, but that brings in the problem of them intentionally lining it up incorrectly as opposed to placing it randomly.

I need to think about it more. I'm glad I posted this and have loved the feedback and other opinions.

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