Using the line on the ball to line up your putt...

I brought this up on another thread about using your putter to line up your putt, but didn't want to get any farther into hijacking that thread. I mentioned that I'd like to see them make that practice illegal, mostly to discourage club players from duplicating the increasingly popular tour move of putting the ball down, addressing it, adjusting the aim, addressing it, and continuing to do that until the player is satisfied it's all lined up and then eventually actually striking the putt. I had the unfortunate experience of playing with someone doing that, and it was not fun.
I don't know how many guys on tour are doing it now. I don' know if Furyk is still doing it, but I remember watching him go through that routine and thinking, "welcome to the 6 hour round"...the idea that this could filter down into club play is scary to me.
It seems to me that banning the practice would be in keeping with other rules designed to eliminate help lining up, like not having your caddy behind you while you aim, and not being allowed to lay clubs down next to your ball, etc. etc.
What do you think the ruling bodies are thinking, if anything, about the increasing use of this routine?

FORE RIGHT!!!!
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Comments

  • thesamwisethesamwise A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man Members Posts: 555 ✭✭

    I share the frustrations with slow rounds and am all about doing anything we can to speed rounds up, but there's no way to enforce this short of the shot clock. It, like most other things on the course, can be done quickly. Visualize while others are putting, place ball, line up the line in three to five seconds, step over, hit the putt. I've played with folks who do this and are quicker than folks who don't.

    It's the multiple adjustments that's a killer, and man that drives me crazy, too. Shot clock is the only solution, I think.

  • QEightQEight FinlandMembers Posts: 3,438 ✭✭

    I have not seen an increase in using the line.
    You are talking about speed, but the effect on PoP is very small, I think. Biggest effect on PoP would be if people were moving and hitting the ball instead of not.

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  • P.E.P.E. Members Posts: 94 ✭✭

    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.
    What would you do if a player replaced his ball at random on the green with the alignment line pointing in the general direction of the hole?
    Call someone over to ascertain if the intention was to align the ball and then give the player a penalty?
    What if the alignment mark was aligned incorrectly?
    Would you still give someone a penalty?
    Would you tell the ball manufacturers to stop printing their logo on the balls because they normally are printed in a straight line on the ball?
    PoP is really an issue and should always be a consideration but I don't think banning alignment aids would really work.

  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,528 ✭✭

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,528 ✭✭

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    Thank you. If you think my post was silly, I feel much better.

  • LodestoneLodestone Members Posts: 3,342 ✭✭

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    Thank you. If you think my post was silly, I feel much better.

    Rather than starting from the requisite that it be "enforceable", how about if we start with a discussion of whether it would be desirable?

    FORE RIGHT!!!!
  • jmkenn0jmkenn0 Members Posts: 699 ✭✭

    A rule change I would like to see is you can't move the ball only set it down. So no rotation, if it moves remark/replace. Cause I agree watching people line up putts in this method makes me want to claw my eyes out.

  • hacker49hacker49 Members Posts: 506 ✭✭

    The way I see it putting is the most difficult part of the game so it should get the most attention. When hitting drives, if you swing well you will have a good result and the ball will go where you want it to. The same with irons. Sure the course; lie, wind, layout, etc will play a role in what happens to your ball but for the most part if you swing well the ball will end up where you want it. Plus you aren't aiming at a specific 4 1/4" target. When you hit your drive you may aim for right side or left side. On your approach you are normally aiming for a quadrant of the green. Putting is so much more complicated. You have to anticipate break and speed. So you could strike the ball well but have a good outcome. I don't think folks lining up their putts are slowing up the game.

    Why is society nowadays so focused or obsessed with making everything more convenient or quicker or simpler or easier? There is the same number of hours in a day there was 50yrs ago. I guess I am just getting old.

  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,894 ✭✭

    I use a line, read my putts and I'm ready to go when it's my turn. It takes practice, but I very seldom realign my ball after my first read. I have followed Jim Furyk in tournament rounds, and he is the most aggravatingly fidgety player I've ever seen. His line on the ball is the least annoying thing he does.

  • P.E.P.E. Members Posts: 94 ✭✭

    @jmkenn0 said:
    A rule change I would like to see is you can't move the ball only set it down. So no rotation, if it moves remark/replace. Cause I agree watching people line up putts in this method makes me want to claw my eyes out.

    Is it more enjoyable to watch a 2 putt or worse from 4 feet because the player can't align the putter face to the target line?

  • sui generissui generis Members Posts: 3,886 ✭✭

    @jmkenn0 said:
    A rule change I would like to see is you can't move the ball only set it down. So no rotation, if it moves remark/replace. Cause I agree watching people line up putts in this method makes me want to claw my eyes out.

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  • DaveLeeNCDaveLeeNC Members Posts: 5,208 ✭✭

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    That rule would seem to me to provide a real advantage to ball manufacturers (past and present) such as Taylormade or Bridgestone vs. (for example) Nike. Or at least it would require the latter to come up with a long model name.

    dave

  • antipantip Members Posts: 479 ✭✭

    @DaveLeeNC said:

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    That rule would seem to me to provide a real advantage to ball manufacturers (past and present) such as Taylormade or Bridgestone vs. (for example) Nike. Or at least it would require the latter to come up with a long model name.

    dave

    I've just patented my new ball's name. "Theballthatnevermissesifyoualignitcorrectly", hmm, gonna be a squeeze in the 2.64 inch circumference of the ball.

  • TocgolferTocgolfer Members Posts: 23 ✭✭

    I can imagine ball manufacturers sitting down thinking about not making lines on the golf ball just in case someone wants to use the brand of the ball to line their putts up with.
    Next the ruling authorities will ban any sort markings on golf balls that might be used to align putts and they will provide templates of what is legal and what is not legal to identify balls.
    I am going to grab the popcorn 🍿

  • LodestoneLodestone Members Posts: 3,342 ✭✭

    @P.E. said:

    @jmkenn0 said:
    A rule change I would like to see is you can't move the ball only set it down. So no rotation, if it moves remark/replace. Cause I agree watching people line up putts in this method makes me want to claw my eyes out.

    Is it more enjoyable to watch a 2 putt or worse from 4 feet because the player can't align the putter face to the target line?

    Yes, it is, compared to watching someone line it up, address it, get back behind it, rotate the ball a smidge, address it, (how the suspense builds, wondering if the putt will soon be struck!!), and then repeating the process, and THEN, missing the putt.
    A touring pro should be able to line up a 4 foot putt, and an amateur shouldn't be spending the time going through the machinations.
    I'm not really a purist when it comes to the rules of golf. I didn't, and still don't give a ratsa$$ about long putters, anchoring etc, because it doesn't bother me at all if it doesn't look like "the olde gowfe". But I thought the practice of having the caddy stand behind the golfer and help him/her line up a putt or shot contrary to the elemental challenge golf presents. Likewise having a detailed book telling you how the green breaks, or laying clubs down on the ground to help line up a shot.
    I think having the line on the ball would have been OK, should have been OK, but I don't see how, if this practice of multiple addressing etc catches on, will be good for the game.
    Relying on something like a shot clock will never work on the club level, anyway, so that's not really an option.

    FORE RIGHT!!!!
  • LodestoneLodestone Members Posts: 3,342 ✭✭

    @antip said:

    @DaveLeeNC said:

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    That rule would seem to me to provide a real advantage to ball manufacturers (past and present) such as Taylormade or Bridgestone vs. (for example) Nike. Or at least it would require the latter to come up with a long model name.

    dave

    I've just patented my new ball's name. "Theballthatnevermissesifyoualignitcorrectly", hmm, gonna be a squeeze in the 2.64 inch circumference of the ball.

    Would it be possible to make the rule read something like "using a marking on the ball to indicate the line of play is allowed, however repositioning it after taking one's address is prohibited"?

    FORE RIGHT!!!!
  • HonestPlayerHonestPlayer Members Posts: 41 ✭✭

    I don't mind it apart from speed of play. I feel like I'm slowing myself down and ruining my flow if I do it. I wouldn't enjoy playing with someone that kept aligning their ball on putts unless they did it quickly.

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  • BlackDiamondPar5BlackDiamondPar5 Members Posts: 5,292 ✭✭
    edited Jun 10, 2019 12:19pm #20

    I'd rather have a rule that only allowed you to mark the ball once on the green or if requested by another player. This would allow for marking and cleaning upon arrival only. Otherwise leave the ball alone and be ready to putt when it's your turn.

  • LodestoneLodestone Members Posts: 3,342 ✭✭

    @HonestPlayer said:
    I don't mind it apart from speed of play. I feel like I'm slowing myself down and ruining my flow if I do it. I wouldn't enjoy playing with someone that kept aligning their ball on putts unless they did it quickly.

    I experimented with it briefly, but I never felt as if the line was exactly right. I do better finding a small speck of something on the line about a foot and a half ahead of the ball, and visualizing a line through that.
    Different things work for different people.
    The guy I played with who was doing the Furyk was doing on his tee shots as well.
    it was ****.

    FORE RIGHT!!!!
  • jmkenn0jmkenn0 Members Posts: 699 ✭✭

    @P.E. said:

    @jmkenn0 said:
    A rule change I would like to see is you can't move the ball only set it down. So no rotation, if it moves remark/replace. Cause I agree watching people line up putts in this method makes me want to claw my eyes out.

    Is it more enjoyable to watch a 2 putt or worse from 4 feet because the player can't align the putter face to the target line?

    Frankly I'm not sure its an either/or proposition. The people I see doing it the most, ie lining up the ball/relining, are generally terrible putters that never make them anyway.

  • nsxguynsxguy Just anudder user FloridaMembers Posts: 5,780 ✭✭

    @Lodestone said:

    @antip said:

    @DaveLeeNC said:

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    That rule would seem to me to provide a real advantage to ball manufacturers (past and present) such as Taylormade or Bridgestone vs. (for example) Nike. Or at least it would require the latter to come up with a long model name.

    dave

    I've just patented my new ball's name. "Theballthatnevermissesifyoualignitcorrectly", hmm, gonna be a squeeze in the 2.64 inch circumference of the ball.

    Would it be possible to make the rule read something like "using a marking on the ball to indicate the line of play is allowed, however repositioning it after taking one's address is prohibited"?

    jmkenn mentioned that in post 9.

    Assuming the ruling bodies did anything, that might work. Orient the ball any way you want. Once you get up or lift your ball marker that's it (unless it moves of course).

    Frankly, pretty much anything the Pros do is fine with me. I'll just change the channel. But when I'm playing,,,,,,,,,

    I tried using the line and it drove me crazy(er). Never looked right. Even when I thought it was lined up perfectly I'd stand up to the putt and it didn't look right. So I stopped.

    That said, the 3 lines on the new Cally balls seems to work better - not sure why.


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  • Bushwood Country ClubBushwood Country Club Bushwood Country Club Members Posts: 842 ✭✭

    If people lining up their putts is such a bother, may I suggest you find another sport. According to your logic , “ if you don’t like it, or you think it takes more time than you do, it should be illegal” .

    I guess we could also:

    • make the cup larger, like a manhole cover
    • Shorten all holes to 150 yards
    • Eliminate scoring
    • Eliminate penalty strokes

    File this under #ridiculousideasforrulechanges...

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  • LodestoneLodestone Members Posts: 3,342 ✭✭

    @Bushwood Country Club said:
    If people lining up their putts is such a bother, may I suggest you find another sport. According to your logic , “ if you don’t like it, or you think it takes more time than you do, it should be illegal” .

    I guess we could also:

    • make the cup larger, like a manhole cover
    • Shorten all holes to 150 yards
    • Eliminate scoring
    • Eliminate penalty strokes

    File this under #ridiculousideasforrulechanges...

    I love golf. If this practice becomes the norm, I will have to find another sport. I don't have enough years left to spend them watching people do all of this.

    FORE RIGHT!!!!
  • Bushwood Country ClubBushwood Country Club Bushwood Country Club Members Posts: 842 ✭✭

    Or maybe we just ban using anything as an alignment, because **** it takes so long for people who don’t use an alignment line to find a speck on the green to aim at.

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  • LodestoneLodestone Members Posts: 3,342 ✭✭

    @Bushwood Country Club said:
    Or maybe we just ban using anything as an alignment, because **** it takes so long for people who don’t use an alignment line to find a speck on the green to aim at.

    we seem to have hit a nerve.

    FORE RIGHT!!!!
  • Mr. BeanMr. Bean Members Posts: 4,001 ✭✭

    @sui generis said:

    @Roadking2003 said:

    @P.E. said:
    I am not sure how a rule not allowing a player to use an alignment mark really would be enforceable.

    They could prohibit balls with lines on them.

    Dear me, you test the boundaries for silliness regularly.

    I sure could not have put it better in words!!! Way to go, Sui!!

  • buckeyeflbuckeyefl Members Posts: 5,666 ✭✭

    @QEight said:
    I have not seen an increase in using the line.
    You are talking about speed, but the effect on PoP is very small, I think. Biggest effect on PoP would be if people were moving and hitting the ball instead of not.

    You understand that by mulling over getting your like on the ball exactly right that you are not moving when you could and should bee, right?

  • NolesNoles Members Posts: 1,431 ✭✭

    It's not like this is a new thing. I did this in high school in the late 80's. Why now would it be something that needed to be addressed.

  • QEightQEight FinlandMembers Posts: 3,438 ✭✭

    @buckeyefl said:

    @QEight said:
    I have not seen an increase in using the line.
    You are talking about speed, but the effect on PoP is very small, I think. Biggest effect on PoP would be if people were moving and hitting the ball instead of not.

    You understand that by mulling over getting your like on the ball exactly right that you are not moving when you could and should bee, right?

    15% (?) of players using line, but 60% just being slow overall.

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