golf ball marking

Golf Ball Markings

If you’ve been around golf long enough, you might have noticed personal brandings, company logos, or simple marker lines on the golf ball. Have you ever stopped to think about what are they supposed to mean?

Well, golf ball markings are there for a reason. And it’s not just for identification. Many players believe that it helps them putt more efficiently when the time comes.

In this post, we plan to dig deep enough to find every reason why there are golf ball markings on the ball and if you should use markings on your golf balls.

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Why Do Players Mark Their Golf Balls?

There could be many reasons. It might be personal. It might be professional. But there are some common reasons behind the existence of golf ball markings.

#1: Identifying Your Ball

We know this is the most obvious one on the list. But it’s true. The primary reason why you might want to mark your golf ball would be to identify it. You are not the only player on the course. Other players are swinging their expensive drivers or fairway woods in the same direction as you.

When you approach the ball after your first shot, how do you know it’s the one you hit? What if it’s another player’s ball. If you make the mistake, you will face a penalty according to golf guidelines, anywhere in the world.

Even Rule 6-3a of the golf guidelines state that “The responsibilities for playing the proper ball rests with the player. Each player should put an identification mark on his ball.” So, you now know the primary reason why golf balls are marked.

#2: Business Purpose or Charity

It’s another common reason why you would see markings or stamps on a golf ball. It’s common knowledge that only the privileged and professionals play golf.

In either case, branding plays a big role. You may want to promote your business while you’re having fun with a business logo on your ball. For professionals, it might be the logos of their sponsors!

As for the charity purpose, you may want to mark your ball and give them to your patrons as a token of appreciation. These are all hypothetical situations. You may have a different reason and you are welcome to mark your ball!

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#3: Alignment

Coming down to one of the mains reasons, especially among rookie golfers, the alignment. When you’re on the green and so close to the hole, it’s only understandable that your heart is pounding.

A simple mistake can cost you more strokes, something you don’t want.

And so, you put alignment marks on your golf ball to get a direct line to the hole and align your shot accordingly. It will help your putting skills to improve with time as well.

The science behind using alignment marks is not yet proven. But if it brings mental peace for you, then why not?

What Does the Guideline Say About Golf Ball Marking?

Well, according to Rule 10-2b of the Golf guideline, it says “The player or caddie must not set an object down anywhere on or off the putting green to show the line of play.” It clearly indicates that you cannot use any aid to help you with your alignment.

But if you read that again, you would notice that there are no restrictions on marking the golf ball. And that’s the loophole manufacturers and golfers take advantage of. Does it even matter if you cannot draw a line from your ball to the hole? You can draw one right on the ball!

Rule 6-3a comes to help in this case well. We’ve already talked about that rule and it said that the players are responsible to identify their balls. It doesn’t matter whether you do it with a dot, a straight line, or your company logo.

Read: Golf Rules to Know

A Few Common Golf Ball Markings

If you go around the world, you may find hundreds of variations about how people mark their golf balls. But some are more commonly in circulation than others.

Straight Line

Primarily done by the rookie players, a straight line on the ball is supposed to aid with the alignment. You may have the best stroke in the world or you could be at the pinnacle of your golfing career, but a simple misalignment of your shot can set you back several points.

A simple straight line can bring everything together and help you put the ball right in the hole, where you want it.

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Dots or Brand Stamps

If alignment is not your primary goal, you can go wild with your imagination on what golf ball marking to use. It can range anywhere from a simple dot to your portrait if you are comfortable with it. But you should be careful about what you do because the rules also indicate that the marking cannot be distracting to other players.

T- Line

If you want to take the alignment game a notch higher, you may go with the T-Line marking. It helps with squaring the putter to the right angle even more.

It’s needlessly to say it’s an amateur move. No one likes to look at a golf ball with all kinds of markings on it. Only use it if you’re clueless about how to putter.

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Some Tools You Can Use for Golf Ball Marking

There are a plethora of ways you can go when making your marks on the golf ball. But there are a few tried and tested ways that won’t get you into any kind of trouble.

Permanent Markers

One of the most common stationery items lying around the house will do the job just fine. Just make sure you don’t use a whiteboard marker because it will disappear after a few strokes. Markers are inherently very small in size and will fit easily inside your pocket or bag.

If you do enough research, you will find plenty of templates that you can follow to make your golf ball really unique. Or, you can simply put your initials on the ball. However, when you do invest in a permanent marker, make sure that it is high-quality and doesn’t bleed or smear when you do your golf ball marking.

Golf Ball Stamps

You can simply share the dimensions of a golf ball and make a personalized stamp. It saves you the trouble of marking each of your balls manually with a marker. All you have to do is take the stamp and press it against the ball. Voila! You’re done.

The stamp can practically contain anything you can imagine, as long as it’s not controversial or illegal. You can stamp your initials, your company logo, your sketch, your kid’s name, your dog’s name. The list keeps going!


Stickers are a great way to personalize your golf ball, as long as they are thin enough to not interfere with the ball’s characteristics. You can find ready-made stickers on the market designed to go on golf balls. Or, you can order a pack with your custom design if you want.

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Let’s Take a Look at Some Professionals

By now, you should have a clear idea about how golf ball markings work and how they can help you. If you’re still not sure what you want to do with your ball, let’s look at what some of the most famous golfers do.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has become a household name among golf enthusiasts with his magnificent performance and out-of-the-world skills.

Many sources dictate that Tiger uses a Milwaukee Inkzall marker to mark his ball. He generally sticks with a clear straight line for most of his competitions.

Bubba Watson

There’s no doubt the Bubba is a magician with his clubs. And he is a big supporter of the fight against breast cancer. He symbolically uses a pink pen to draw a circle around the ball for alignment.

Danielle Kang

If you want a thick black line your golf ball for assistance, you’re not so far off from Danielle Kang. The line she draws is so thick that you can see it even if the ball lands upside down.

Final Words

If you know how to do it right, a golf ball marking can definitely help you improve your putters. If you were confused about what the guideline says and how you can do it, our effort behind this post should suffice for that as well. Just go out there are mark your territory as you like!

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