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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 / 4127 viewsLast Reply

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8 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

I think that the ball should be free to pick its own orientation. 

It is 2020 after all. OT post, but funny nonetheless.

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15 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

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.

To me, its much easier to find a fault with the rules than it is to come up with a change for the better.  So many rules relate to some other rule, and a change to one can throw other things out of balance.  If you haven't, I recommend you read the book by Tufts that the article references.  Its on sale now for just $1.50 at the USGA website.  It hasn't been updated after the 2019 rules changes, but its still pretty relevant in most ways.  It really helped me to understand the rules as a complete unit, rather than as a collection of individual circumstances.

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I read the article when it was first published a few days ago and I re-read it more closely this morning. Honestly, I found it poorly argued and logically inconsistent.

The author essentially admits that players have been lining up the trademark on their ball for decades (and presumably he sees no issue with that), but that drawing a line with a sharpie is just going too far. 

So what then? What happens when the manufacturers respond by making their trademarks longer and longer until they start to resemble a line? Do you then start to restrict the size of what can be stamped onto golf balls? And if someone orders a custom imprint on their balls (a feature that many manufacturers offer), do they need to have those balls approved by someone before they can be put into competitive play? And if so, who? And what about those handful of guys in my men's club that underline their number as a way of marking it. Do they have to start using dots or hearts, because lines are no longer allowed in any capacity?

Jeez, talk about opening a can of worms to solve a problem that doesn't really exist.

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19 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Its on sale now for just $1.50 at the USGA website.

Do you have the link, I’m having trouble finding it on the mobile site? I’m interested in reading this. 

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1 hour 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 read the article, but what I take from it is the fact the author "feels it's illegal" and then makes some, IMHO, weak arguments to support his "feel". There are alignment aids on almost every piece of golf equipment, why would the ball be any different?

1 hour 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.

Who are these people some of you play with, and where do they come from. I've never seen someone do something like this and I play probably 50 rounds a year paired with strangers. I will say, it seems a little exaggeratedI that it takes him an extra 90 seconds a hole. 90 seconds is a long time; not that an extra 30 seconds wouldn't be irritating considering the fact it doesn't help anyway.

 

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40 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

I think that the ball should be free to pick its own orientation. 

😂

4 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I read the article, but what I take from it is the fact the author "feels it's illegal" and then makes some, IMHO, weak arguments to support his "feel". There are alignment aids on almost every piece of golf equipment, why would the ball be any different?

Who are these people some of you play with, and where do they come from. I've never seen someone do something like this and I play probably 50 rounds a year paired with strangers. I will say, it seems a little exaggeratedI that it takes him an extra 90 seconds a hole. 90 seconds is a long time; not that an extra 30 seconds wouldn't be irritating considering the fact it doesn't help anyway.

 

I think they are aliens who come up to the Northwest from Roswell, New Mexico to annoy me.

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5 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I read the article, but what I take from it is the fact the author "feels it's illegal" and then makes some, IMHO, weak arguments to support his "feel". There are alignment aids on almost every piece of golf equipment, why would the ball be any different?

I thought the same thing. He offers no evidence that this is helping or hurting the game but talks about the spirit and what the ghosts from the hallowed grounds would feel if they could see this happening. 

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9 minutes ago, Big C said:

Do they have to start using dots or hearts, because lines are no longer allowed in any capacity?

That’s what I was thinking. I don’t put a line on my ball or line it up, but we “should put an identifying mark” on the ball (rule 6.3a). So if I wanted a way around a rule prohibiting a “line”, I would probably use a series of dots. That would then bring up the question about what kinds of identifying mark is allowed or not, as others have mentioned.

21 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

Do you have the link, I’m having trouble finding it on the mobile site? I’m interested in reading this. 

PG1960_20Principles_20Behind_20The_20Rul

USGA Members, please sign in to receive your Member discount: Sign In SALE - 50% Off This 72-page booklet is an update to the original version of The Principles Behind The Rules of Golf, according to the current rules...

 

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5 hours ago, saevel25 said:

This is how I feel about it. I use to do it, then I found it took me so long to get it lined up correctly that I decided it was too much of a pain. I honestly didn't see any benefit from it. 

This. And...with my golf OCD...I don’t like to look down at a ball in the fairway that has its line ( or worse the 3 lines on triple track) completely skewed from the line I’m hitting it on...

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The article is a lot of feelings and pretty light on fact. The author says "it feels unfair" but it isn't. As someone else in this thread already said, everyone is free to put a line on their ball.  I also don't agree with the author's contention that a line on the ball is, itself, an object. It strikes me as a very semantic, navel-gazing argument grounded (again) in feelings more than fact

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8 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

This. And...with my golf OCD...I don’t like to look down at a ball in the fairway that has its line ( or worse the 3 lines on triple track) completely skewed from the line I’m hitting it on...

It drove me insane that I could not get the damn line to be lined up with the precision that I wanted, LOL! 

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6 minutes ago, krupa said:

I also don't agree with the author's contention that a line on the ball is, itself, an object. It strikes me as a very semantic, navel-gazing argument grounded (again) in feelings more than fact

I mean, ink is matter, but definitely semantics here.

 

28 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

There are alignment aids on almost every piece of golf equipment, why would the ball be any different?

The ball doesn't move (until you hit it) just like an alignment stick, whereas all of the other pieces of golf equipment you are talking about are clubs I would assume, and will be moving as soon as the swing starts.

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11 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

I thought the same thing. He offers no evidence that this is helping or hurting the game but talks about the spirit and what the ghosts from the hallowed grounds would feel if they could see this happening. 

Along with use of distance measuring devices, motorized carts, not wearing a tie, and maybe a bunch of other things.

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1 minute ago, Missouri Swede said:

Along with use of distance measuring devices, motorized carts, not wearing a tie, and maybe a bunch of other things.

I mean, play the ball as it lies should have been his main argument here if he wanted to stick to old school, and it is probably the strongest argument against on-ball alignment aids.

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Just now, Bonvivant said:

I mean, play the ball as it lies should have been his main argument here if he wanted to stick to old school, and it is probably the strongest argument against on-ball alignment aids.

Then no cleaning of the ball on the green, no fixing of ball marks, no removal of loose impediments, no stymie rule.

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1 minute ago, Missouri Swede said:

Then no cleaning of the ball on the green, no fixing of ball marks, no removal of loose impediments, no stymie rule.

I would actually be ok with all of this, but obviously these won't happen. The marking rule could change, but as @DaveP043 pointed out, I don't have a good way to word a new rule.

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27 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

It drove me insane that I could not get the damn line to be lined up with the precision that I wanted, LOL! 

This is basically why I've never done it and never plan to; because I don't trust that I can line it up perfectly and don't want to set myself up to miss my aim before I've even hit the ball.  I'm not getting down on the ground like Camilo, and I just don't have that kind of deliberate patience.

As far as a rule for the rest of golf, I agree with everyone here who thinks it's entirely unnecessary.  (If they made it a rule and it sped up the guys on TV, then I won't argue with that)

Ambivalence is the best word to describe my feelings on this, I guess.

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1 minute ago, Golfingdad said:

This is basically why I've never done it and never plan to; because I don't trust that I can line it up perfectly and don't want to set myself up to miss my aim before I've even hit the ball.  I'm not getting down on the ground like Camilo, and I just don't have that kind of deliberate patience.

The amount of times I tried to place the ball down and it would roll slightly and I had to re-adjust it. When I see people line it up once and get up to putt and I just think, "No way that is how you want it." I think its more of a mental thing then anything. 

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