No, I’m not talking about the act of placing a coin or marker behind your ball before picking it up from the putting surface, mind you, that’s been quite a controversial topic of late, maybe I’ll ramble on about that another time…
I’m talking about the marking of your golf ball with a pen so that you can easily identify it as yours. Ok, those of you that have played golf with me will no doubt have noticed that I like to go a little ‘over the top’ in this department and cover my golf balls in an array of different coloured lines and dots. There is however, method to my apparent madness.
My eyes aren’t so good. Actually, they’re bloody awful so marking my golf ball in this way makes it much easier to identify my golf ball from a distance without having to crouch down and squint at the number. With most players in professional golf using the same brand of ball (Titleist has been the #1 ball in golf since I first picked up a club!) it’s fairly common that all three players in a group can be using the same ball, maybe even the same number. Marking your ball in an individual way allows you to quickly establish who’s ball is who during a round. There’s fewer feelings worse on a golf course than looking down and realising the ball you’ve been playing isn’t actually the one you teed off with at the start of the hole.
To avoid this potentially card wrecking situation –
* Always carry a permanent marker pen in your golf bag.
* Mark a couple of balls prior to teeing off so you’re not scrabbling around in the bottom of your bag trying to quickly scrawl on a provisional ball.
* Remember to mark balls of the same brand and number differently, otherwise you won’t be able to tell the provisional ball from the original if it all goes pear shaped and you start hitting balls off piste.
* Inform your playing partners if you decide to change your ball before teeing off, for example, “This is a new ball guys, Titleist 2 with a green dot / smiley face / stripe etc.
I’ll leave out the Professionals name but I was once somewhat in awe of a playing partner back in the UK that announced his ball on the first tee to be a “Bridgestone 1 with a huge pair of tits on” To his credit, if he didn’t make it as a player he could always have taken up art, it was a fine pair indeed!