To line or not to line, that is the question
The Great Putter Line Debate
A common question we get at the putting studio is whether a person should use a line to help align the ball toward the intended target when putting. The line is generally marked using a sharpie or already imprinted on the ball, and then is orientated on the green to help indicate the direction you want to start your putt. There are several variations from which to choose: a single line, a double line, a triple line, a cross, an arrow, and so on. This aid is primarily used to help better align your putter at address on the intended start line of the putt.
An additional benefit from the line would be the ability to check and see how you are rolling your putts. If the line does roll end over end and has some sort of wobble to the left or right, you might not be striking the putt correctly.
Used by many of the best players in the world, this arguably effective (both positive and negative) measure may not only assist you in lining up the putt better, but it may help breed some consistency in your setup/stroke/routine. However, there are studies and tests, that some will point to, which indicate there is very little merit to using a line and furthermore it is argued that this method can negatively impact your stroke dynamics, feel, and in some instances your initial aim.
So what do we do at Impact Zone Golf?
At the Impact Zone Golf Putting Studio we work with a wide array of golfers, from high handicappers to professionals, and in doing so we have observed both positive and negative results from using the line. Some of our clients benefit from the line; both in face aim and stroke mechanics, and conversely some perform worse when some type of alignment aid on the ball is used.
What does this mean for you and your putting?
Ultimately, it really depends. The easiest way to see if this is something that might work for you is to line up a few balls on the putting green and roll some putts. You can then determine whether your results improve, worsen, or stay the same.
Another alternative would be to come see us at the studio and test this out on our SAM PuttLab. Or you could visit your local pro and have him or her help determine if a line is a way to help improve your putting. This technique may not be for everyone, but those who experience benefits might discover the pathway to improved putting.