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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 / 4137 viewsLast Reply

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1 minute ago, saevel25 said:

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. 

Seriously.  That shit is hard.  If the ball was a cube or even a cylinder, sure I could probably do it, but a sphere?  Forget it.

(Please don't ask how I would putt if the ball was a cube, though.)

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1 minute ago, Golfingdad said:

Seriously.  That shit is hard.  If the ball was a cube or even a cylinder, sure I could probably do it, but a sphere?  Forget it.

(Please don't ask how I would putt if the ball was a cube, though.)

There is an putt putt game were the ball can take on random different shapes, one is a cube. 

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4 hours 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.

The author makes a very poor case for this, however. A line on a ball is not an "object." To make his point, he even has to extend his rule to include manufacturer stampings/markings.

2 hours ago, Big C said:

Honestly, I found it poorly argued and logically inconsistent.

Completely agree.

2 hours ago, Big C said:

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?

He made that case, I think. Or I might have read it on another site.

Plus, what counts as a "line"? If I color in two dots, or three dimples, on the ball and they happen to be straight in line with each other… would that count as a "line"?

2 hours 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?

Indeed.

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4 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

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.

Again that's a pretty weak argument. An alignment stick NEVER moves. A ball and a club both move during the swing. 

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21 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Again that's a pretty weak argument. An alignment stick NEVER moves. A ball and a club both move during the swing. 

When is alignment important to what happens to the shot? Its all beforehand. Anything you learn from an alignment stick post shot can only be used on shots afterwards. The value is in lining up the shot, the same as the mark on the ball. An alignment stick moves at the important part, setup. 

Edited by Bonvivant

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7 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

When is alignment important to what happens to the shot? Its all beforehand. Anything you learn from an alignment stick post shot can only be used on shots afterwards. The value is in lining up the shot, the same as the mark on the ball. An alignment stick moves at the important part, setup. 

You're not making sense, isn't the alignment aid on the club also preshot? 

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16 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

You're not making sense, isn't the alignment aid on the club also preshot? 

I should restate it. Pre impact. As soon as you pull it away the aiming point is lost. The alignment stick and the line on the ball offer alignment for the whole time up until impact. 

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Titleist started putting double lines on their balls. For some reason that really clicked with me vs the single line. I used to just place the ball so i could read the logo as a reminder to focus on the ball and keep my head down.

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

The author makes a very poor case for this, however. A line on a ball is not an "object." To make his point, he even has to extend his rule to include manufacturer stampings/markings.

Definitely agree. The author didn't do the best job for making the case against the line on the ball. I think the best case is that because we have lift, clean, and place doesn't mean that you should be able to orient the ball however you please (to gain advantage). In typical play, one player may be 100 ft from the hole, but get an "advantage" because he is on the green, while another player could be 10 feet from the hole and not be afforded the same liberty because his ball is 0.5" off an arbitrary surface.

In this example, clearly you would like to be the player just off the green and nearer the hole, but I don't think that the person that is on the green should get a privilege of an alignment aid. I understand that this could be extended to the privilege of cleaning the ball, but I would be ok with going backwards in time on this too. I don't think that it is necessary, but could definitely see an argument of "you can't have one without the other".

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31 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I think the best case is that because we have lift, clean, and place doesn't mean that you should be able to orient the ball however you please (to gain advantage).

So if you are going to lift, clean, and place… you have to maintain the exact orientation of the ball? Huh?

31 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

In typical play, one player may be 100 ft from the hole, but get an "advantage" because he is on the green, while another player could be 10 feet from the hole and not be afforded the same liberty because his ball is 0.5" off an arbitrary surface.

You think that being 100' from the hole is an "advantage" here?

And Frank, come on man… the putting green is a defined area of the course. Sometimes you hit one 290 but are 0.5" out of bounds while someone else tops one 190 but is in bounds and hitting two while you're re-teeing hitting three.

And everything in the Rules of Golf is "arbitrary."

31 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

In this example, clearly you would like to be the player just off the green and nearer the hole, but I don't think that the person that is on the green should get a privilege of an alignment aid.

Once again… in the 90s, I'd just point "Titleist" at the hole.

Some balls have a seam that could be used as an alignment aid.

In trying to "solve" a "problem" that's not even a problem at all, you're introducing a bunch of crap. Go ahead and write this rule, Frank. Let's see you try.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

So if you are going to lift, clean, and place… you have to maintain the exact orientation of the ball? Huh?

Not exact, just not advantageous.

 

13 minutes ago, iacas said:

In trying to "solve" a "problem" that's not even a problem at all, you're introducing a bunch of crap. Go ahead and write this rule, Frank. Let's see you try.

I will give it a shot, just for something to poke holes in.

"When placing or replacing a ball, the player shall not line up any marking or markings on the ball with their intended line of their forthcoming shot"

Their could be a clause in this to allow it or disallow on the tee box. It doesn't offer as much of an advantage (as there are already tee markers, though sometimes they can point you wrong) and doesn't take nearly as long here, so I could take it or leave it off the tee.

Edited by Bonvivant

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2 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Not exact, just not advantageous.

 

I will give it a shot, just for something to poke holes in.

"When placing or replacing a ball, the player shall not line up any marking or markings on the ball with their intended line of their forthcoming shot"

I’ll line up dimples with the line of my shot then.

And what if a ball comes to rest aligned that way?

And please define “advantageous.”

Fact remains: you won’t be able to write this rule let alone actually justify it.

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9 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I will give it a shot, just for something to poke holes in.

Look....I agree with Erik a lot. But damn...you’re really going at an empty piñata here don’t you think?😙

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

I’ll line up dimples with the line of my shot then.

And what if a ball comes to rest aligned that way?

And please define “advantageous.”

Fact remains: you won’t be able to write this rule let alone actually justify it.

Dimples aren't markings so it isn't covered by my purposed rule.

If the ball comes to rest that way, then you did not place or replace it. The ball was either dropped, or hit into that position and the line up would be sheer luck, the same way as "playing it as it lies" is.

My justification was that lining up markings is the equivalent of putting down a mini alignment tool, which are not allowed to be placed by players, but may be used if they are already on the course.

Just now, Vinsk said:

Look....I agree with Erik a lot. But damn...you’re really going at an empty piñata here don’t you think?😙

Not much candy in this one. I'm stubborn, but like to think that I learn from these discussions.

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18 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

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.

I agree it is not against the rules as written. We do have a ‘guideline’ of 40 seconds to play a shot. The people who use the line tend to violate this guideline, especially Pros.

15 hours ago, 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.

The green is the only place we don’t have to play it as it lies.

I tried the line a long time ago one half season. It was slower and didn’t seem to help. Then I read a Stan Utley’s The Art of Putting in which he stated that many good putters don’t even have there dominant eye directly over the ball. I did the test in his book and my dominant eye was inside and behind the ball by about and inch. So using the line, which requires my dominant eye above the ball, would require me to change my stance. So I got fitted.
 

The result of the fitting was my aim was pretty good (1/2 cup left). A few adjustments to loft, lie and length and I was dead center. Now I put the ball down with no markings at all to distract me. I use AimPoint to read, which is fast and take no practice swings, which is fast. If my ball is clean and not in the way of another player, I don’t even move the ball at all.

It makes me crazy when I see Bryson D take two minutes to line up a putt with the line and his putter shaft and remark and move 5 times. I get overjoyed when he misses.

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7 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Dimples aren't markings so it isn't covered by my purposed rule.

You didn’t define markings.

7 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

If the ball comes to rest that way, then you did not place or replace it. The ball was either dropped, or hit into that position and the line up would be sheer luck, the same way as "playing it as it lies" is.

I’m saying that I do replace it after it came to rest in that orientation.

And since we can perfectly recreate the lie, we can mark and replace.

Also nowhere else in the rules are we required to replace how a ball came to rest re:orientation. So are you changing the definition of “moved” too?

7 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

My justification was that lining up markings is the equivalent of putting down a mini alignment tool, which are not allowed to be placed by players, but may be used if they are already on the course.

An alignment tool it’s mostly to line up the player. I’ve seen people use the marking on a ball on their tee shots, too. That’s legal.

You have no real justification here. Like Laz it relies on a line being an “object.”

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Maybe we should go back to the Vardon Gutta Percha Balls. Wait, upon further inspection this only confuses the issue. Looks like a built in alignment aid to me. Time to move on from this topic. 

image.jpeg.4ca5af6e2f130013162094e0f99863cf.jpeg

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8 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Their could be a clause in this to allow it or disallow on the tee box.

If THERE is going to be an exception on the tee box, then you are contradicting yourself. Using a line on the ball to line it up is either legal or not. Placing an alignment stick down on the tee box is just as illegal as putting one on the putting green.

8 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

It doesn't offer as much of an advantage (as there are already tee markers, though sometimes they can point you wrong) and doesn't take nearly as long here, so I could take it or leave it off the tee.

It offers just as much advantage on the tee box as it does the green. It assists a player in lining up a shot. I sense the conflict within you. Let go of your hate.

Added: For the record, I did read the article, and it reminded me why I don't read the mindless drivel in golf mags.

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