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Line on Ball

Line on Ball – Good Idea or Just

an Illusion of Accuracy in Putting?


Drawing a line on the ball can help some golfers to square their putterface to the target. Others see the line as a visual distraction rather than a useful aid.

Placing Your Ball

Line on Ball with Line-M-Up Alignment Aid

Line-M-Up Pro

There are two approaches to how you should place your ball when you set it down to putt.

One approach is to use a line on your ball so that it aims in the direction that you want to putt. The other approach is to arrange your ball so that when you look down you can only see the white part.

Using a line or the logo on your ball draws on the argument that it is easier to aim at a target from behind than from the side. Nobody disputes the logic of this statement.

Contrary Argument

Why then would any golfer choose not to use this method or technique for aiming?

The argument against using a line on your ball is that it restricts the freedom on your stroke. Your stroke becomes too mechanical as you are fixated on your ball rather than on your target.

Golfers argue that when they look down, the line on their ball appears to be aimed incorrectly. This leads to indecision and a tentative stroke. The line acts as a visual distraction rather than an aid to aligning their putterface.

Line on Ball Accuracy

Another argument against using a line to indicate where you want to aim is that it is not as accurate as you would like to believe.

Laser Levels

Laser Levels

As your aimpoint increases in distance, your ability to aim the line on your ball accurately falls off. It is easy to aim the line at a target one foot away.

At six feet the direction of the line as verified by a laser beam can be several balls off to the side.

Don't take my word for it. Test yourself for how accurate you can aim the line on your ball over different distances.

Take the Test

Go down to your local hardware store and buy a laser level that beams a straight line over a flat surface.

Back at home draw a small circle on the skirting board as a target. With chalk, mark the carpet at one foot, two foot, three foot and so on.

Start at one foot. Aim the line on your ball at the circle on the skirting board and then direct the laser beam over the top of your aimline (target line). Check the accuracy of your aim. Continue to move further away.

Testing Accuracy of Line on Ball

Testing Accuracy of
Line on Ball

What you will find is that as the distance from the skirting board increases, the accuracy of the line on your ball will deteriorate.

You may also discover that you have a tendency to aim consistently to the right or to the left.

With this feedback you will be able to experiment to find:

  • How best to position yourself behind the ball when aiming.
  • What is the maximum distance (ball to target) of your accurate aim when using the line on ball technique.

Last Word

My recommendation is that if you are going to use a line, pick an intermediate target close to the ball and aim at this.

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