Shouldn’t You Change the Way You Mark Your Ball?


Some people, when they’re having trouble with their golf game, take a lesson or even sign up for golf school, but others make a slight change in the way they mark their golf ball while also switching to a different color of Sharpie, the official ball-marking pen of the world of golf. At any rate, that’s what I did recently. And—who knows?—maybe my new ball-identification strategy will add thirty or forty yards to my tee shots. In the photo above, the ball on the left is marked with my old, discredited pattern and color, and the ball on the right is marked with my new. I made the change because Rick had suddenly begun marking his ball almost exactly the way I was accustomed to marking mine. Or maybe he’d always marked his ball that way and I’d only just noticed. Either way, I was ready for a change, and I was happy to have an excuse to order an entire box of red Sharpies:


When most golfers mark their ball, they don’t mark it enough, in my opinion. Whatever technique you use, you should make sure you can identify your ball without touching it, no matter how it’s lying on the ground. I use eight widely spaced dots, and even when my ball is in the rough I can almost always see at least a couple of them. Too many players check their ball by picking it up, then putting it back down in an obviously better lie. Who do they think they are? Tom Brady?

2 thoughts on “Shouldn’t You Change the Way You Mark Your Ball?

  1. Gosh, the commenters over at your “blog’s official home” at Golf Digest are sure a mean bunch. And I’m sure your new marking regimen will be good for at least 30 more yards off the tee.

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