How many putting lines should you use on your golf ball and how can the putting lines help you putt better?
Similar to the alignment or directional lines you may see on some putters, manufacturers have discovered the benefits of using the principles of Vernier Visual Acuity to better aim the golf ball while putting.
The use of this method has been around for a short while, however, not all golfers may be aware of the significant benefits of this simple putting tip.
I attended a NFPGA Teaching and Coaching Summit at TPC Sawgrass – (yes, that TPC Sawgrass), for continuing education credits last season and one of the topics was: Putting, Short Game and Player Development by Mike Shannon, Putting Coach at the performance Center at TPC Sawgrass.
Mike shared some very interesting statistics with us about lines on a golf ball and how they help to improve putting. We learned that with one line on a golf ball, there is a good possibility that you are going to putt 4% worse than with no line at all.
That was startling news, since I’ve used that method on and off over the years. However, the good news is that if you use three lines on a golf ball, you could putt up to 15% better. Especially if the outer lines have a contrasting appearance (the juxtaposition of two images) in both size and color. In particular, using red and blue.
Three Contrasting Lines for Better Putting
Mike discussed that Vernier Visual Acuity, is the term used to explain the ability of the brain to process subtle differences detected in alignment by the eyes. Using this three line pattern, thicker and thinner lines with contrasting color helps your brain align the ball better than a single line would, essentially perceiving a more accurate aim. He also shared that this same technology is used on landing strips of aircraft carriers and on sights of guns.
In testing the theory, golfers using a single line tended to line up the ball with their dominant eye. The misses were attributed to an aim miscue. With the three lines, it was noted that it was easier for the the golfers dominant eye to stay on track and not drift off center of their aim, so there were less aim miscues.
Whether you make two thin blue lines and one thick red line on your golf ball yourself using a ball stencil, or use the Callaway ERC Ball (with Triple Track Technology), the experts say you will see a definite improvement in your consistency and the amount of putts made.
Up to a 15% improvement in putting can mean up to 4 strokes saved.
Give this tip a try and keep on putting.
Phillip Jaffe, PGA Member
Founder & President PalmBird Putter Grips
PalmBird Putter Grips