Whether you are a golfer or just an enthusiastic follower of the game, you’ll probably have heard of golf ball markers. It’s an essential aspect of golf tournaments, and its history dates back to several decades ago. So, what is a golf ball marker used for?
The term golf ball marker denotes a small flat object designed for marking the place on a putting green where a golf ball is lifted from. In recent times, it’s also been used to refer to devices that golfers use to add identification marks or any kind of marks on their golf balls.
The remaining part of this article will focus on explaining everything you should know about a golf ball marker and how you can use them. Read on to learn more.
Types of Golf Ball Markers Explained
There are two different types of golf ball markers. An understanding of these types of markers would help for correct usage. Here, let’s review these two types of ball markers and what they represent.
1. Ball Markers Used on the Putting Green
We’ve already explained above that golf ball markers are typically used to mark the position of balls in putting greens. However, the type of ball markers used for this purpose is unique. It is a small flat object. To use this ball marker, you’ll need to place it directly behind the golf ball before lifting it. You can then replace the ball directly in front of the ball marker on its original spot.
Ideally, experts advise using a small, flat object such as a coin for this purpose. However, some golfers would prefer to buy specially manufactured items for this purpose. Such items would usually carry the manufacturer’s logo of the name of a popular golf course.
2. Golf Ball Markers Used For Adding Identity to Golf Balls
As explained earlier, golf ball markers can also serve the purpose of creating identity marks or patterns on golf balls. It can also be used to draw lines on golf balls for easier and better alignment.
As part of the rules of golf, you must add an identity mark of some sort to your golf ball before playing. These marks can come in different forms: dots, series of dots, your initials, or some elaborate designs.
Choosing The Best Golf Ball Markers To Use
Choosing the ball marker to use is crucial, just like choosing what clubs to buy or what balls to play. Most times, it boils down to personal preference.
Most golfers pay attention to the golf ball markers they use because they want them to tell a story. As you’ve probably guessed, there are so many options out there to use, and you can choose from an assortment of styles and sizes. Of course, you can opt to use the ball marker attached to your glove, but what’s the fun in that? Yes, it means more convenience and practicality, but man, it’s also so blase. Personally, I’m a fan of showing some personality on the course, so I wouldn’t fancy being nonchalant about my golf ball markers.
The ball marker is also an opportunity for you to express yourself. It’s an opportunity to tell the story of where you have played, what your alma mater is, what your favorite home club is, what your favorite logo or color is, etc. You can express all these subtly, yet boldly, on your ball marker.
What’s interesting about all these is that you can even own a favorite ball marker that’s not at all related to golf. For instance, you can have markers that honor new friendships formed or places you’ve visited before. Irrespective of what it is, as long as it tells a story you can relate to, then it’s absolutely okay to enjoy the fun that comes with it.
Perhaps, my least favorite style is the poker chip. While this can be a favorite option for many people, I hardly see the fun in using it. Maybe that’s because I’m a gambler. I see them as merely cheap and gimmicky. I’d instead prefer to use the plastic freebies that some bucket-list courses give out. There’s no shame in grabbing more than one for a few friends if you are playing at a famous course.
Tools You Can Use to Mark Your Golf Balls
If you are marking your golf ball to add identity to it, your marks have to be unique. Nearly all manufacturers add numbers to their golf balls. These numbers are designed to help you identify your ball if your partners are playing the same brand of balls as you. However, you must also check to ensure that no other person in the group is using the same number as you. On the other hand, you can add other unique marks to identify your ball. Some tools you can use to add these marks include:
You probably already know this one. After all, it’s the simplest and most flexible option when it comes to marking tools. Permanent markers come in various sizes, and you can choose one that would fit into your golf bag.
Permanent markers will allow you to place any kind of mark you want on your ball. Many golfers prefer to fill specific dimples on the golf ball. You can mark dimples to create a smile on the ball. It serves as a reminder to many people to have fun while playing golf.
There are several templates that you can choose from. In the end, it’s all about leaving a pattern of your choice on the ball. Choose permanent markers that guarantee consistent flow and do not bleed, smear or dry out.
Personalized Ball Stamp
Another option worth considering is a personalized golf ball stamp. These stamps are available with special designs to allow you to personalize your golf balls for easy identification. These golf ball stamps feature permanent inks to create a waterproof and smudge-free imprint on your golf ball.
You can personalize the stamp to contain your initials, company, or course name, depending on your personal choice. You can also use unique patterns, as long as it fits within a 3/8 inch circle of the golf ball.
Another reason why you may want to mark your golf balls is to identify the balls you used for milestone plays like your breaking 100, hole-in-one, or your first professional tournament.
Finally, you can choose to add alignment to your golf ball. Although this is a controversial area within the golf community, many golfers still opt for it. After all, the rules allow you to add any mark you want, as long as it would help you identify your ball.
Manufacturers typically use the name of specific balls in the range to form alignment indicators. In the end, the alignment mark that ends up on your ball is dictated by your personal preference. Some players would choose thick lines over thin lines, while others would prefer thin lines. In the end, it boils down to what works for you.
Recap: What is a Marker for Golf Balls?
Whether you are a pro or an amateur golfer, there’ll always be the possibility of hitting the ball offline from time to time; hence, the need to identify your golf ball. Fortunately, marking your ball does not only give it identity, but it also helps to ensure you avoid penalty strokes. It allows for better alignment on the tee and simpler alignment on the green.
Although some golfers consider golf marking a controversial topic, it is still widely accepted and recommended. So far, we’ve highlighted everything you should know about golf ball markers and how you can get the best for your need.