Infamous Sharpie Line

The infamous sharpie line! <b>Friend or enemy?</b> Do you use it? Or do you use it as a mental form of torture for you and your playing partners.

The infamous sharpie line! Friend or enemy? Do you use it? Or do you use it as a mental form of torture for you and your playing partners.

I find most golfers spend more time worrying about the line then they do anything else. The other issue is you second guess whether the line is properly lined up to your intended target once you’re over the ball. It always looks so different so you don’t fully commit to the putt.

Well if this sounds familiar then watch today’s quick little fix to learn how to steady you’re eyes and focus on putting the best stroke on the ball.


  1. Ianoue

    November 21, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Practised this today. “Seemed” to help. Will let you know after Wed outing. Thanks!

    • Dan Tanner

      February 27, 2017 at 11:41 am

      I also have a dot on the center of the top of my putter face focusing on hitting this dot to the dot on the ball and a spot 2 inches in front of the ball. Doing this really helps with pulls and pushes.

    • David Marlow

      September 29, 2019 at 12:46 pm

      That was funny especially the comment about “very little eye movement”. If I can remember to laugh or keep it light that also helps, after all it’s just golf and I don’t play for $.

  2. John Butcher

    February 26, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I like the line but will try the dot. I actually draw the 90 degree line from the template as well, which helps me align the putter to the line more squarely.

  3. Caleb

    February 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    You should instead use the Check Go Pro to balance and put a line completely around the ball, now you have a more accurate “line up” of the direction you want your putt to go. This also helps in squaring up the putter to the ball. Now you can forget about the line and just concentrate on the speed.

    • Jason Gordienko

      April 18, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      I completely disagree. I use eye line golf ball maker, it is a line around the equator, a cross line for square face alingnment and a dot center for your concentration point.

      1)stand behind the ball and Align your equator line to your target line with the dot straight up.
      2)stand over the ball, square to the square face line.
      3)stare at the dot and trust your line.
      4)putt and sink it

      I used to do just the dot up top like video suggested and averaged about 2.1 putts per hole a round, now I average 1.7 putts per hole per round.
      I have given away 5 of the 6 ball markers because people are impressed with them so much after I let them use one.

  4. Ron Sisson

    April 20, 2017 at 10:31 am

    100 % correct. The line leads to endless indecision and second guessing, not to mention the added time it takes set it up, step back and check it, re-tweak it, step back again, see that you over-tweaked it, readjust it again, only to then several minutes later, stand over it, completely uncommitted to your putt, and make a second guess stab at it instead of a putting stroke and roll it 4 feet by… aaannnd then repeat the whole process over again. On anything other than a dead straight putt, the speed is going to affect the amount of break the putt actually takes. So even if you get the line exactly right and the putter is dead square to the sharpie line and you make a stroke that puts the ball exactly on the line you’ve chosen, too much pace and you’ve hit it through the break. Too little pace, and it bleeds off and you miss it low. Spend 90% of your practice on pace control and getting your feel for speed down pat. While the line is important, it is not even remotely as important as having control of your speed.

    • Jim Zelazny

      October 17, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      Right you are, RS! And it’s maddening to watch and endure – especially if are in the group behind this ‘professional’ 4-some… ???

  5. Dave

    April 20, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for this tip. I’m against using this line for two additional reasons: 1) in my opinion, it violates the Rules of Golf (8.2. Indicating Line of Play) and 2) it slows play when a player repeatedly marks, adjusts the line and re-marks the ball. We’ve all seen this done by pros on TV. As for the Rules, here’s the text:

    8-2. Indicating Line of Play

    a. Other Than on Putting Green
    Except on the putting green, a player may have the line of play indicated to him by anyone, but no one may be positioned by the player for that purpose on or close to the line or an extension of the line beyond the hole while the stroke is being made. Any mark placed by the player or with his knowledge, for the purpose of indicating the line of play, must be removed before the stroke is made.

    Exception: Flagstick attended or held up – see Rule 17-1.

    b. On the Putting Green
    When the player’s ball is on the putting green, the line of putt may be indicated before, but not during, the stroke by the player, his partner or either of their caddies; in doing so the putting green must not be touched. A mark must not be placed anywhere for the purpose of indicating a line of putt.

    • Jeff

      July 19, 2017 at 8:33 am

      Rule 8-2 is referring to the line of play, as in having someone place a mark on the green for you to putt over or standing behind you during your stroke to make sure you’re on line. Using a line on the ball is no different than noticing a brown spot on the green a couple inches in front of you that you will aim for.

    • Caleb

      August 23, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      It is not against the rules yet, but it might be in 2019. If what you said were true, they would have DQ’d most of the pros, who have some sort of line on their balls. The mark not placed anywhere is referring to the green, I am guessing; at least they have not ruled against this yet.

  6. Lanneau Smith

    June 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

    I totally agree! Watch the Pro’s who use this line! How many times do you see them line the ball up and then get over the putt and stop and mark it again and line it up. I think it’s adding more delays! I think your idea of a single dot makes a lot of sense!

  7. Owensby

    July 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    That would make every titlest pro V1 out of play because it has a line with arrows for directional play. Most people use a line all the way around the ball for identification, as I do . The rule you suggest refers to a line in front of the ball that is touched by you or anybody in your group either behind or in front through the line of the hole

  8. Rob

    July 17, 2017 at 5:38 am

    Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  9. jamie

    July 17, 2017 at 6:20 am

    I agree with the single dot but would position it on the back of the ball directly opposite the line of play. Although this is somewhat an alignment aid, it is not that precise and seldom if ever requires realigning. It does keep a single focus and the focus is the spot on the ball where you want the putter to contact the ball. I actually don’t use the dot, but rather place the alignment line already on the ball on the back of the ball, mostly below the equator.

  10. Jim Foy

    August 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    So, if it violates Rule 8.2, why can the pros use it in competition and not be penalized?

    • DGH

      April 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      I’ve used a dot method putting for several years. The line to me is a distraction. The dot helps me concentrate better and I’m that annoying guy who makes three or four twenty footers every round.

  11. Joe Perez

    August 23, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I use a line, but it’s more relevant to me when lining up my DRIVER than my putter. On the green, I’ll line it up just as initial reference, but after having a *real* good look at the line, I’ll use it as a “guide” (juuuuust a little to the right of where the line is pointing, etc.).

  12. Butch E.

    August 23, 2017 at 11:14 am

    FWIW: I see no need for a line or a dot. If you can read the greens, know how to putt, then all you need is a ball.

    • Hollywood

      November 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

      Right on Butch!!

    • Ben mason

      November 13, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Then you should try the line. Rather than be exceptional, you would be world class. You
      can forget the line once it is described on the ball, and just think about speed. If your
      putter head hits the ball at the back of the line and exits at the front of the line, your stroke
      will be on your intended line. All other irregularities will be eliminated from your stroke.

      Why wouldn’t you discover what most of the exceptional pros have discovered.

  13. Fred Closs

    February 13, 2018 at 9:08 am

    Dave Pelz has studied it and his data shows those that use a line putt 20% better than those that do not use a line. Those that use a red line, putt 20% than those that use any other color of line. I use a line.

  14. Fred Closs

    May 26, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Dave Pelz has the data…those that use a line putt 20% better than those that do not use a line. Those that use a red line putt 20% better than those that use any other color of line. The line helps me often and, it doesn’t have to be perfectl;y aligned, so long as you know it. Having said that, most people don’t use enough force and leave putts short. If you want to putt better, get the ball to the hole. You will make more putts and three-putt a lot less.

  15. Ron Larrivee

    April 18, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    find the line – pick your spot – walk to ball – waggle the distance – putt the ball

  16. Bob Dignan

    November 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Interesting tip and feedback. I generally try to mark my balls so that I can easily tell them apart from others. I don’t use a line but generally do position the ball in such a way that the markings on it (they vary, since I generally play balls I have found in the rough)suggest the general direction in which I want the putt to roll. Then I look at the ball but mentally focus on a spot between the ball and the target (the hole when putting) that I want the ball to roll over on its way. By the way, my handicap is currently 18, and I am not a good putter, so you probably don’t want to copy my approach. 🙂

  17. David Hodson

    November 14, 2019 at 1:44 am

    I think the sharpie line works for some people but for me I just want to focus on where I’m going to hit the ball and the weight. I’ve always thought it was to do with spacial awareness. In England we often have posts that restrict the width of cars that can go through on certain roads. Some people come to a stop to go through but others (me included) just drive through at a regular speed. I think this is similar to putting. Some people can visualise the line but other have to have tools to mark the line.

  18. Ross

    February 7, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Try floating your ball in a super saturated salt bath. Spin the ball in the bath. If you find your ball ends up on one side after each spin your ball is unbalanced. Switch ball manufacturers to find which ends up on a different spot each time. By putting your personal identifying ball mark your inner artist can paint with a Sharpie on this balanced ball you can put the ball on the green in any position relative to the ball only having to consider the line, speed and direction to the hole.

  19. Bob Kapp

    October 5, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Got to give this a try. Right now, I position the ball with NO marks on top–not the manufacturer’s name, the type of ball, nothing. I’m putting with a blank canvas. Look out, here comes the dot. Great idea, as usual.

  20. W Asher

    October 6, 2020 at 11:28 am

    I disagree. I have a dominant eye, and if I don’t use a line I always miss the putt by2-3 degrees. If I use the line and follow it when I stand over the putt all I have to concentrate on is the weight of the putt. The trick is to believe the line when you are over the putt. Since I started using the line l have sunken at least 50% more putts.

  21. David

    October 6, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Line has worked just great for me for years. Rarely change my initial set.

  22. John Herman

    October 16, 2020 at 5:48 am

    I am an optometrist (retired) and a scientist, having published many papers. I have studied this and the line definitely helps, especially for those who do not have equal vision in the 2 eyes. I have put a putting green in the basement of my retirement home and tested this ad nauseum, as well as spending hundreds of hours chipping and putting on many practice greens. Use the ball spinning gadget, get a putter with 3 lines, and match your putter lines to the ball, and it will help greatly. Great practice technique – use 4 balls, putt (or chip) to a tee set on the green, and try to hit the next 3 as close to the 1st ball as possible (up/down/sidehill), great for speed control. The pace of play? a pet peeve of mine, so do your ball aligning before your turn to putt whenever you can. 85% of the pros cannot be wrong. Watch Deschambeau, he uses the putter shaft superimposed on the lines to gain more accuracy and to be sure that his lines are aiming just where he wants them to aim relative to the hole. Reading beak in putts? Use the 360 degrees technique, it can change your thoughts frequently. Is this infallible, NO, but it helps greatly.


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