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Using a line on the ball for putting


Jim53
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Did a quick search and did not find a thread about this, I imagine it has been discussed at some point but I will ask anyway. 

 

I started using the ball logo line to line up putts (like you see some folks do and most pros) and at 1st it just seemed to be another thing to stress over, but since the Sunday round is always slow and we are waiting on every hole I started using it and man I am making a lot more short to mid length putts. I have of course tried it before playing around but never trusted it, for the few seconds it takes and if I trust my read it really seems to help. 

 

Is this just common knowledge or did I stumble onto the key to sucess for a guy that has missed far too many 4-6 footers? 

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Kinda common knowledge, everyone is different. I use a line on my ball and aim from behind the ball and when I address the ball I setup to that line and I'm having a lot more success. I do think because of my crappy eyes when I'm over the ball I'm not aiming where I think I'm aiming so everything is way off.

 

I should learn how to aim from address for extra help but for now this works.

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If it works for you then stay with it.

 

I tried it and felt as you mention I stressed over it. I pick my line and find a spot 12" on that line in front of my ball I roll my ball over. I found that works better for me. To many times I lined my ball up and felt the need to readjust it. 

 

A friend of mine uses the line method and he is always redjusting the line before he actually putts. It drives me crazy but he thinks it helps him using the line so I keep my thoughts to myself.

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I’ve shifted this way as well, and if it works… don’t change!

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I use a line for the majority of my putts.  If a putt has a lot of break in it then I find it is hard for me to trust it and I don’t use it.  If, after adjusting the line twice it doesn’t look right at address then I turn it over and putt it without the line.  Otherwise I find it helpful.  
some of what I like about it is not related to aiming properly, although it does help with that for sure.  It gives me a line to square my feet, hips and shoulders.  I use it almost like an alignment stick on the range.  When I’m perfectly square I make a much better stroke and this ensures it.  I also really like the feedback the line gives me.  You can tell so much about how you are rolling it by how that line looks when it’s rolling…

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I use a line for anything within 15 feet but outside that I like to let my eyes do the lag distance and line judging. Inside 15 I find it helps give me two things: feedback on how well I struck the putt if the line is rolling true and straight and how I read the putt. 

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18 minutes ago, LeftyMatt24 said:

I use a line for anything within 15 feet but outside that I like to let my eyes do the lag distance and line judging. Inside 15 I find it helps give me two things: feedback on how well I struck the putt if the line is rolling true and straight and how I read the putt. 

I do the same, not having a line on longer putts help you focus on speed 

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It worked really well for me, too, as my perceived aim is shockingly off most of the time. Very hard skill to master, IMO. 
 

But I stopped using it. 

The one thing that turns me off is the fiddling and adjusting that you have to do if you want to do it right. 
 

Lately, I’ve had great results with Monte’s “Voodoo green reading”. The priceless upside of that technique is that you can read your putt before it’s your turn, at least most of the time. And for casual rounds, that’s just good etiquette. As an 18 hcp, no putt is THAT important, I’d rather play fast. 

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3 hours ago, MattM97 said:

Kinda common knowledge, everyone is different. I use a line on my ball and aim from behind the ball and when I address the ball I setup to that line and I'm having a lot more success. I do think because of my crappy eyes when I'm over the ball I'm not aiming where I think I'm aiming so everything is way off.

 

I should learn how to aim from address for extra help but for now this works.

I was struggling with eyesight as well and it was showing up worst on the green.  After decades of using an Anser style putter, I switched to a two ball this year.  Man what a difference.  Now I'm not looking for that little, blurry line on top of putter, but just lining up 3 round circles.

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Doesn’t work for me but I know it does for a lot.  I hate having to readjust the line based off the read, don’t have the patience for it.   I set the lettering on the ball at the hole and adjust my feet and read based off what I feel in my feet and read from behind.  

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22 minutes ago, OnTheBag said:

I was struggling with eyesight as well and it was showing up worst on the green.  After decades of using an Anser style putter, I switched to a two ball this year.  Man what a difference.  Now I'm not looking for that little, blurry line on top of putter, but just lining up 3 round circles.

 

It's not the line on my putter that's the issue it's me looking at the hole when I'm at address. To me it looks straight to anyone else I'm aiming right so there are times where the ball is lined up to the hole but the line on the ball looks like it's going left when in reality it's straight.

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I’ve been using the logo on the ball for all length putts for the last 5 years or better.
I don’t like anything showing on my T ball, just the white portion of the ball. However with all the logos and large “alignment “ strips on balls now it’s getting harder and harder to get an unobstructed look at the ball!

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21 minutes ago, Motoboss said:

I’ve been using the logo on the ball for all length putts for the last 5 years or better.
I don’t like anything showing on my T ball, just the white portion of the ball. However with all the logos and large “alignment “ strips on balls now it’s getting harder and harder to get an unobstructed look at the ball!

 

Bridgestone balls probably have the smallest branding. Might look into those if you haven't already.

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I use the line with good success. My best rounds I have really concentrated on using the line on straight putts or ones that have just a little break. On severe side hill putts I use feel. I have not hit my irons well at all lately and I have found myself getting lazy on using the line. My putting is far less consistent when I don’t use it but I did have an oddly good putting round Friday when I didn’t use it. 

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I've been using the line on balls for decades (except for 1 - 2 footers). Almost can't imagine not doing it at this point - it is so much a part of my routine.

 

Squat down to green level (tho not as extreme as Camilo) and look, align the line on the ball, stand up and give a look and make any minor adjustments to  the ball, remove the ball marker, one and only one practice swing, align feet, shoulders, and putter head to the ball line, and putt. That sounds more convoluted and time consuming than it actually is. Took me three times as long to write that sentence as it does to actually do it ... ;). In fact, I also use the alignment line on the tee (though I align it horizontal to the clubhead instead of perpendicular as I do with putts, somehow helps me with visualization). Depending on whether I'm going for a draw or fade, the alignment changes. 

 

Biggest point is that I want to do all my thinking - be it driving or putting - prior to taking my final stance. Once the line is right, I can align body and club to it. Don't look at anything but the ball. Then one practice swing and one waggle (with the driver) and one practice swing with the putter. I have found, over the years, that when I start thinking over the ball I'm in trouble. Quicker I pull the trigger, the looser and more natural the swing.

 

I do know this is deeply personal to individual golfers. Some take a long time over the ball. Everyone has their micro-routines. Tiger always took exactly two practice swing for putts, then aligned his body and club, final shift of the feet, then putted almost immediately. Was watching Bryson drive this week ... practice swings, then the club settles (he thinks for a couple of seconds, probably visualizing), couple waggles, then lifts the club off the ground above the ball, then he lowers it (still off the ground) to the exact height of the ball, and the second he gets there he swings.

 

I get that this is a really detailed, obscure conversation, but it is why I love WRX. Weekenders don't get this, but pros, and good amateurs all have one thing in common - they want consistency, the Holy Grail of golf. And consistency in swing is directly related to consistency in the pre-shot routine. Every good player I have known (or watched on TV) has a pre-shot routine that is identical for every stroke. They vary greatly, but they all have one customized to their game and psyche.

 

I used to draw my own line, but these days many (if not most) OEMs have been manufacturing balls with alignment lines stamped on them (this wasn't necessarily the case two or three decades ago - Tiger famously could sharpie an almost perfect line freehand). I've been using ProV1s since they came out. They always had a single line, often/usually with arrowheads at the ends of the line - they've changed a number of times, only subtly, with each new release. In fact Titleist recently released what they call their "AIM" ProV1 models (pic attached below). You kind of have to look for it (they don't really market it), same ball, same price, just two additional alignment aids. I really like it.

 

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1 hour ago, MattM97 said:

 

Bridgestone balls probably have the smallest branding. Might look into those if you haven't already.

Funny you say that, the only ball I buy is Bridgestone for probably the last 8 years and TreSoft since inception, until this Fall. While looking to find a replacement , since the TreoSoft was discontinued around 4 years ago I have switched to Vice Pro Soft. Me likey!!

 

but I still have 6 dozen Treo’s in the cabnit.

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For me it's important for a bit different reason....missed putts.

 

If I miss a putt and the line rolled true, I know it was my speed or read that was off......

 

It's hard to know if my read was good if I don't know if I rolled the ball true

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10 hours ago, OnTheBag said:

I was struggling with eyesight as well and it was showing up worst on the green.  After decades of using an Anser style putter, I switched to a two ball this year.  Man what a difference.  Now I'm not looking for that little, blurry line on top of putter, but just lining up 3 round circles.

Have you considered single vision contacts? 

 

I tried playing in my glasses both bi-focal and progressive lenses and I couldn't play in them.

 

I noticed my putting struggled the most trying to see that blurry ball. Over all my scores went up around 10 strokes when the ball started looking blurry. My green reading skills suffered too.

 

 When I was at the optometrist some yrs ago I asked him if there was anything we could try to help my vision playing golf since I failed trying to play in my glasses. 

 

He set me up with contacts for distance. I can see the writing on the ball when it is on the ground now. I just can't see the writing holding it up to my face so I still carry ready glasses.

 

My scores and putting came back quick wearing contacts. I've been wearing them for ten yrs now and can't image not wearing them to play.

 

 

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It seems if I just trust the 1st read it works well. It seems everytime I make a small adjustment it is off by just that much. 

I imagine those of that have played for a long time instinctively know the correct line at least to the degree you can with all the variables.

It does seem to take the stress over the line out of the putt once over the ball and then it is just speed and rarely in the last couple of rounds have I had more than a kick in on misses due to the line being off or grain or the pull of the moon....

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I've made many more putts (or missed a lot closer) since committing to using lines on the ball.

 

Prior, I would read a line, stand over the ball and change my mind. Doubt caused more misses than anything. And, used properly, this method helps eliminate some of that.

 

It took a few rounds to convince myself I was putting better, but when the skin winnings increased, and the scores came down I was sold.

 

I'm a fan of the triple track balls, and even bought a three line stencil to mark any ball I'm using.

 

I don't mind bogies, but man I hate to three putt!

 

This is not a try it for one hole to see if it works method. Take it to the practice green, then play it for a round or three, then decide.

 

ymmv

 

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I'm totally a feel putter. I prefer just seeing a clean white ball at address with no logo, text or line.

 

But if it works for you then certainly keep using it!

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I use a line for anything inside of about 12-15 feet, and have been doing so for a long time. 

 

For putts outside of that, I place the ball so it's totally logo/line free from address and pick a spot about 2 feet in front of my ball as a target. I've found trying to use a line on longer putts does more harm that good as you tend to focus too much on the line and totally ignore the speed aspect. 

 

Just don't be the guy that takes 5 minutes on every putt trying to get his ball lined up in the perfect spot 😉.

 

 

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For years I went with the feel route and putted pretty well, but never got "good" at putting. To me the first way to improve your putting is to know if you're rolling the ball on your intended line, if you're not doing that you're compensating somehow and eventually it will hurt you. If you can get to a point where you're hitting your line consistently, then you can rule out the variable of whether a miss was a bad roll or a bad read and from there it's all on your ability to read greens. And that leads to a more confident stroke as well.

 

But at the same time, don't be the guy lining up every putt and re-lining it up when not comfortable, that takes forever.

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6 hours ago, Greenie said:

Have you considered single vision contacts? 

 

I tried playing in my glasses both bi-focal and progressive lenses and I couldn't play in them.

 

I noticed my putting struggled the most trying to see that blurry ball. Over all my scores went up around 10 strokes when the ball started looking blurry. My green reading skills suffered too.

 

 When I was at the optometrist some yrs ago I asked him if there was anything we could try to help my vision playing golf since I failed trying to play in my glasses. 

 

He set me up with contacts for distance. I can see the writing on the ball when it is on the ground now. I just can't see the writing holding it up to my face so I still carry ready glasses.

 

My scores and putting came back quick wearing contacts. I've been wearing them for ten yrs now and can't image not wearing them to play.

 

 

Thanks.  I will check into those.  I wear glasses for pretty much everything now, but can't get them in the right spot on the course.  I do ok in normal life except for reading or anything within 5 or 6 feet.  But trying to wear them on the course was miserable.  The object was either too close or too far away.  It has become the running joke in one of my groups that I need a ball finder dog.  

 

I read a putt by what my feet feel more than my eyes.  So I just pick a spot a few feet from my ball and line up for it.  Since changing to a two ball, I'm hitting my mark again.    

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I find that I seem to putt better without it, with nothing showing at all really. Some of my best putting rounds in the last year have been without any sort of line, with putters that have minimal alignment aids, and taking the least amount of time to line up after making my read. I've tried triple track, the srixon divides, lines either drawn on or the manufacture one, and for me it just becomes another variable. Golf has taught me at that (at least when it comes to golf) I am mentally weak haha. The more thoughts I have the more strokes it seems to take to get that stupid little ball in the hole. That said I will sometimes use the line on a short putt that I feel uncomfortable with. As long as I pick a line and commit, that can work. 

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I’ve used the line and also gone through periods where I haven’t. I find I commit better to a putt if I use the line but equally I’ve putted just as well without using the line and trusting my stroke.

 

Whatever method you use you have to be able to read a green and that’s more important.

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20 hours ago, MattM97 said:

 

It's not the line on my putter that's the issue it's me looking at the hole when I'm at address. To me it looks straight to anyone else I'm aiming right so there are times where the ball is lined up to the hole but the line on the ball looks like it's going left when in reality it's straight.

 

Dude I've had this same issue! Found a Youtube video randomly at some point that essentially said adjust how close you are to the ball until the line looks dead at the hole. Spent a few practice sessions working on it and then consciously did it for a couple rounds and now every time I look at the line "feel and real" are the same. Don't remember the last time I had over 31 putts in a round now.

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