Ideas on How to Mark Your Golf Balls

Personalized AlignXL Golf Balls, Available at

Personalized AlignXL Golf Balls, Available at

If you go to a golf museum and study 100-year old golf balls, you will notice the earliest mass-produced balls carry no numbers. It wasn’t until the 1930s that it became accepted practice for manufacturers to put numbers on golf balls. The purpose is to distinguish your ball from your playing partners’ golf balls if you are playing the same brand.

The penalty for playing the wrong ball is two strokes in stroke play and loss of hole in match play. Golf balls are numbered the same in every three-ball sleeve: With one sleeve for the numbers 1-2-3-4 or 5-6-7-8 in a dozen ball package. Players can develop a fondness for their favorite numbered ball. Some prefer the high numbers for their relative rarity, while others are scared off by numbers they don’t want to see on their scorecard. These players maintain a fondness for the 1s and 2s.

Despite a player’s number preference or superstitions, marking your golf ball is a useful part of gameplay. Read on to learn more about why it’s important and how to mark your golf ball like a pro.

Why Mark Your Ball?

There is no rule that says competitors have to place an identifying mark on the golf ball, but Rule 6-3a encourages the practice. The rule book states: “The responsibility for playing the proper ball rests with the player. Each player should put an identification mark on his ball.”

For this reason, tournament professionals always mark their golf balls before play as a matter of habit. This is a golf “best practice” because you need to differentiate your ball not just from your playing partners’, but from all the other golf balls lying in wait on the course. If you are playing a Titleist 3 and hit your ball into a hazard where other Titleist 3s have been hit, you must correctly identify your ball. If you are unable to, you will have to declare a lost ball with a penalty of stroke and distance rather than just one stroke for hitting into a hazard.

And that’s just the beginning of the possible penalties that could arise from not being able to identify your ball. For this reason, ball marking has become a standard in pro golf and in plenty of amateur golf leagues all over the country. But marking your ball doesn’t need to be a quick scribble with a sharpie, in fact, marking your golf ball is a great way to personalize your game!

Golf Ball Marking Ideas

Many players simply color in one or more dimples with a Sharpie and are done with their identification duties. Others put more effort into creating cool golf ball markings. For example, Bubba Watson became so associated with the color pink because he used a bright pink pen to mark up his golf balls. He even ended up signing a contract to play exclusively pink balls for a year!

Inked initials are also a popular marking technique. South African Louis Oosthuizen favors a letter from a family member next to his standard dot. Adam Scott honors his native Australia by creating the pattern of the Southern Cross from the Aussie flag with his dots.

Golf Ball Markings For Alignment

There is no rule against marking the golf ball in such a fashion to aid your alignment. Some players prefer a thin line that goes all around the golf ball; others like a thick straight line that practically demands that you set up with your alignment perpendicular to your target. To supercharge the image of proper alignment, some players add arrows to the line. For players who find it difficult to address the ball with a square clubface, intersecting lines can be drawn to help place that clubhead in the correct position. Jordan Spieth marks his ball with a “Z” as a reminder to focus on his shot when he looks at the golf ball. Similar mind tricks can be used by marking your ball with a bullseye or concentric circles to enhance concentration.

If you’re looking for a durable line while also getting a performance boost from a straight alignment aid AND want a customization feature, look no further than Personalized AlignXL golf balls. This exclusive ball customization design not only helps you to easily identify your golf ball among your playing partners but also gives you a leg up with a perfectly straight alignment aid. Available in four colors, it will not rub off like you get with a Sharpie.

Personalized AlignXL Golf Balls

Personalized AlignXL Golf Balls

Personalize Your Golf Ball Marking

There is no need to worry about creating identifying marks every time you go to the tee. Luckily, you can create personalized golf balls with text or monogrammed golf balls with an exclusive design, in your favorite brand or color. This will not only offer a sure-fire way to differentiate your ball, but also offers a bit of personalized style to your game.

With personalized golf balls, and in addition to Personalized AlignXL golf balls, there is another way to avoid the awkward practice of drawing alignment lines on your ball. ID-Align golf balls deliver a putter alignment aid and ball identifier in one, featuring your initials and your choice of line style on your favorite ball type.

Additionally, you can opt for photo golf balls, in which you upload your own photo for an extremely personal and unique way of marking your golf ball.


Examples of Customized Golf Balls from

Examples of Customized Golf Balls from


Golf Ball Marking: Wrap Up

At the end of the day, marking your ball can be a huge advantage on the green. It can help differentiate your ball from others on the course, add some personalization to your game, and even help with ball alignment at the tee. There’s a reason why the pros always mark their balls – and it’s not because the rule book demands it – it’s because it offers a huge gameplay advantage.

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