I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I find practicing short putts along a chalk line extremely helpful. There’s something about physically seeing a straight line on the ground between your ball and the target that helps to get the ball rolling along the correct path and into the hole time and time again. For years I had no clue how Pros actually managed to set up this form of practice aid. What was a chalk line? Did they draw the line on the ground using a straight edge and a stick of chalk? Would the chalk damage the green afterwards?
The answer is actually really simple. A chalk line is a device more commonly found on a builders tool belt rather than in a golf bag. It’s normal use to mark out blah de blah. Available from all good DIY & hardware stores they are relatively inexpensive and you’ll be glad to hear, very easy to use. The chalk itself comes in a variety of different colours but through trial and error I have found that white seems to show up best on the lush dark green grass here in Malaysia at least. The picture below shows how I use the chalkline in conjunction with my T3 Putting Arc.
After finding a nice straight putt from around 6 feet I set the Putting Arc up and knock several putts into the middle of the hole. Assuming the putt is confirmed as straight the line is then pulled from the holder (covering it in chalk in the process) and then secured into the ground using a tee peg directly behind the middle of the cup. The line is then pulled taught and placed along the ground running through the point where the ball is to be played from. A quick ‘twang’ on the line leaves a perfectly straight, thin white guide behind on the ground. Recently I have added a small spot of chalk directly beneath the golf ball too. This is a great target to focus on once the ball has been struck to avoided the aforementioned head lift. Please excuse the excessive twisting of the putter head in the picture below, I was putting one handed whilst taking the photo with the other!
The chalk is washed away either when it next rains (often a daily occurrence here in KL!) or the following morning when the greens are watered and or mown. On a number of occasions now I have finished practicing using my line only to see a fellow golfer jump straight onto it when I’ve left the putting green. For less than the price of a dozen golf balls you can purchase this handy tool and start practicing your short putting the way pros have done for years. Just remember to set it up on a straight putt and watch the spot under the ball until you hear the rattle of the ball on plastic.