Golf Ball Markings: What They’re For and How to Use Them

When playing a round of golf with friends, it is customary to announce the golf ball you are playing when standing on the first tee box. Aside from different brands and the number of golf balls, most golfers will also announce a golf ball marking.

These golf ball markings can be used for a variety of reasons. Sometimes understanding what golf ball markings are used for will help ensure that you are not missing out on any great golf tips.

This guide will give you everything you need to know about golf ball markings and why you should be putting some kind of marking on your golf ball. 

What Do Markings On A Golf Ball Mean? 

Although golf ball markings may have a specific meaning to an individual player, they are typically used to identify a golf ball. If you and your friend play with a Titleist ProV1 with the number one on it, how will you know which golf ball is which? 

However, golf ball identification gets quite a bit easier when you put a line on your ball or three black dots. Through the years, the golf ball markings have changed, and many players have realized there are ways to use these markings to help improve your overall abilities as a golfer. 

Why Do Golfers Have Marks On Their Balls? 

There are many reasons why golfers have marks on their golf balls. As a serious golfer, understanding these reasons can help give you an advantage the next time you go out to play. 


The most common reason for marking a golf ball is to help you identify it. Golf ball identification is easier with the popularity of colored golf balls. However, it is still vital to ensure that your golf ball stands out from the others in your group. 

In addition, make sure that the way you mark your golf ball is unique enough to stand out from other players and helps you find and identify your golf ball. If you choose the same marking as your friend, it’s going to be hard to see which is which.

golf ball with black dot

Alignment Off the Tee

Many golfers will mark their golf ball with a line. Although the line will identify the ball, there are other ways it can help your game. The alignment line helps with aiming from the tee box. The tee box and the green are the only areas on the golf course where golfers can line up their golf balls. 

This is a significant advantage to place the golf ball on the tee the way that you would like to. Drawing the line on the ball ensures that you will have a bit of extra alignment help from the tee box. 

Some golf ball manufacturers encourage golfers to line up with the writing or line they provide on their golf balls. In addition, you can extend this line to help it appear the way you need it. Accuracy coming off the tee will have a significant impact on your game. 

golf ball line markings

Alignment On The Putting Green

Similar to alignment off the tee, alignment on the putting green is quite important as well. Putting requires quite a bit of precision, and if your putt is off by just a half-inch, it will not fall into the hole. However, using the line on a golf ball can help ensure that this does not happen.

With the way golf requires us to stand parallel to our target, the alignment can be difficult. The great thing about golf putters is that they often have a long line to help with alignment. You can match the line on the golf ball to the line on the putter. 

Check for Performance 

In addition, when you putt a ball well, you will notice that the line on the ball will roll end over end. This is a great thing to ensure that your putting stroke is perfect. Even if you are unsure about golf ball marking and what will work for your game, you can draw a line on your ball to practice your stroke and become a better putter. 

Sentimental Reasons

Sometimes golf ball markings are simply for sentimental reasons. Maybe your favorite number is 13 or your birthday is the 6th, and you write those numbers on your golf ball. Many golfers are superstitious and will only play with a golf ball that gives them confidence in the mental game. After all, golf is a challenging game. If all it takes is a number on the ball to help you play better, go for it!

Ways To Mark Your Golf Ball

The way that you mark your golf ball is entirely up to you. The great thing about marking your golf ball is that there are very few limitations. Some golfers get very elaborate in the designs that they put on their golf balls, yet this is acceptable under the rules of golf. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to mark your golf ball. 


Take a look at your golf ball. You will notice the brand name is on the front in large letters. On the side of the golf ball, the model of the golf ball you have chosen will likely be written. So you may see a Titleist and then the Pro V1 written on the side. The brand name is a bit big to use as a line and may not be exactly straight.  

However, the model is often written in a straight line, and it may even have arrows that point from either side of the golf ball model name. This area on the golf ball can be perfect for drawing and extending a line. 

You must draw a line straight to be effective. If you find that marking your golf ball with a line is the best thing for your game, purchase a small template that lets you keep this line as straight as possible. 


Dots are popular to put on a golf ball because they are simple to draw. In addition, writing on a golf ball can be a bit difficult. Therefore using the dimples on the golf ball and simply coloring one in by adding a dot is a good option for many golfers. 

Dots are typically drawn next to the name of the golf ball so that they are easily identified. One of the most popular ways to mark a golf ball is to put a dot on either side of the brand name of the golf ball. 


Writing a number on the golf ball is an excellent choice for those that have a lucky number. You will have to find a marker that allows you to write relatively quickly on the golf ball, as writing on the ball can sometimes be challenging. 

One unique option for the mental game is to write how many under par you would like to be or the number you are trying to shoot. If you have never broken 90 but are getting close, you can write an 89 on your golf ball to keep you focused on your goal the entire time you play your round. 

Unique Patterns

For the more artistic golfers, unique patterns are going to make quite a bit of sense. If you like to design and draw, you can develop a routine that works well for your needs. In addition, some of these golf ball marking patterns allow you to focus on alignment or pure impact. 

Finding a unique pattern can become your signature. Try out a few rounds with different types of markings and see which one works best for your needs.  

How To Mark Your Golf Ball

Now that you have some different ways to mark your golf ball and understand what it means to mark it, it’s time to get the proper procedures to mark your golf ball. For some golf ball designs like a simple dot, marking the golf ball is easy. However, there are some steps that you should take to ensure your golf ball markings stay in place. 

Step 1: Ensure Golf Ball is Dry 

A golf ball must be dry to start marking it. Therefore, we recommend marking your golf ball the night before your round. This will ensure that your golf ball has time to dry before you head out to play your next round of golf. 

When you are on the first tee, your golf ball could be wet, your hands wet, etc., and the marking on the golf ball will likely smudge or change before you even get the ball in play. 

Step 2: Use Golf Ball Marking Tool & Proper Markers 

If you are just putting a dot on your golf ball, you will not need a golf ball marking tool. However, it is essential to ensure that the line is straight for any line drawn on the ball. With a golf ball marking tool, you can ensure the line on your ball is perfect. Here is a great and inexpensive golf ball line marketing tool you can pick up on Amazon.

The problem with drawing your own line is that if it is not perfectly straight, it could impact your alignment and ability to get the ball near the hole. The golf ball marking tools allow you to place the golf ball inside and draw various patterns on the ball. 

However, using permanent markers to mark your golf ball correctly is essential. Any other type of marker will cause the ink to smudge the minute your golf ball hits a patch of wet grass. The permanent markers like a Sharpie will come in several different tips, and this is important to ensure that you get the thickness of the line you need. In addition, you can find markers in a variety of colors.

Best Ball Line Marking Tool
CUALFEC Golf Ball Line Marking Tool Kit
  • 2 Golf Ball Marking Stencils
  • 4 Color Permanent Markers
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05/30/2023 11:53 am GMT

Step 3: Let Dry 

Last, you must ensure that you give your golf ball marking adequate time to dry. Typically just a few minutes before putting the ball into play is going to be enough time. Mark your golf ball before your round of golf. If it has to be done on the first tee, ensure your golf ball has at least a minute to dry. 

Golf Balls With A Line On Them 

Some golf ball manufacturers have caught on to the fact that players like the line concept on their golf balls. However, to make things easier on players, some golf ball manufactures have started to put a line on the golf ball so that players don’t need to draw it on themselves. Here are a few golf balls that would be a good choice that gives you a head start on the golf ball marking. 

Callaway Chrome Soft Triple Track 

Callaway Chrome Soft Golf Balls (Triple Track White)
  • Premium golf ball 
  • Easy alignment on the green and the tee
  • Pairs well with Triple Track putter technology 
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05/30/2023 10:34 pm GMT

The Callaway Chrome Soft Triple Track allows golfers to see a ball run end over end on the putting green. The Triple Track can be paired with some of the Triple Track putting technology to help players know how a ball should roll on a putting green. In addition, you can use these Triple Track balls to help off the tee as well.

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls

TaylorMade TP5 Golf Balls
$52.99 $46.99

The TP5 is TaylorMade's flagship golf ball alongside the TP5x. It has a 5-layer construction, a seamless Tour Flight Dimple Pattern, and a cast urethane cover.

  • Excellent distance
  • Nice feel
  • Impressive spin
  • Outstanding workability
  • Firm compression for faster swings
  • Mid-to-high launch
  • Can feel too soft for some
  • Less durable than the previous options
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05/30/2023 06:24 pm GMT

With the TaylorMade TP5 golf balls, you can see an easy place to draw a line on either side of the TP5 logo. If you don’t want to get involved with additional marking on the ball, the line that states the TP5 is more than enough to help you line up your golf shots. 

Titleist Pro V1

Titleist Pro V1

The Titleist Pro V1 is known as the best golf ball in the game, but it shows its full potential for golfers with faster swing speeds.

  • Premium quality
  • Excellent greenside spin
  • Great distance
  • Consistent ball flight
  • Penetrating trajectory
  • Low long-game spin
  • Not optimal for slow swingers
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05/30/2023 05:18 pm GMT

The Titleist ProV1 gets an update each year. Sometimes the ball material or cover is changed. But the thing that can vary from one model to the next is how the model of the ball is written on the side. The new Titleist Pro V1 has arrows that also help to identify the ball. 


Hopefully, you now feel you can understand what golf ball markings are and what you can use them for. If you have ever played the wrong golf ball, you know how frustrating this can be. Therefore it makes sense to ensure that you can recognize your golf ball from any angle.

However, getting creative with your golf ball markings can help you add to your routine and traditions as a player, and it may even help you roll in a few extra putts. So keep this in mind the next time you head out for a round of golf and see what a golf ball marking can do for you. After all, marking your golf ball is entirely legal in the rules of golf.  

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli is the founder of TopRankGolf, a passionate golfer with decades of experience playing this amazing sport. He's dedicated to helping golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf.