I ran into a situation last week in my state open where a fellow competitor didn't put any marks on his ball. On the 15th hole he hit a tee shot into some fescue. We found a ball of the same make/model/number, but he wasn't 100% sure it was his because there were no distinguishing marks he could use to identify it. A rules official had him play the ball, but the official could have easily ruled that there was no way to be sure it was the player's ball. It was a popular brand and number, and there were certainly a few others in play thoughout the 156 player field. The incident stressed the importance of putting identifying marks on your ball.
So TaylorMade Community, I ask: How do you mark your golf balls? Here's how I do mine. (I think @Blocker may have mentioned something about starting a thread like this, but I couldn't find one, so I started this)
Dot on the number
This is new for 2017. I used to order #12 balls, but the MyNumber program for TP5/TP5x wasn't up and running yet when I needed to order golf balls, so I gave this a shot.
Putting alignment line
I've been using a line since 2006. For me, it removes doubt about where I'm aiming. I can't use the printed alignment features of golf balls because they're too distracting.
Initials JL on the side stamp
I have been doing this so long that I can't remember when it began. It used to be the only visual mark I'd put on the ball. Incidentally, I've had lost balls returned to me due to the initials (of course, I've also had people put them in play and thank me for the ball!)
Whenever I put a provisional in play, I use a ball with the same markings as this, but I draw a line through the TaylorMade wordmark and the side stamp. It makes it easy to distinguish between the first ball and the provisional.
YES! Never started it but always meant to. I've always way over thought how I mark my ball. I've been pretty consistent with this the past couple of years though:
First thing to note is @jll62's post in the background. I don't like markings. I don't like stamps on my hands. I don't like sloppiness. 3 dots are quick to add and look pretty clean. I spray balls A LOT so need something I can do to quickly replace when playing. I don't like any sort of alignment when putting to try and keep the objective as natural and simple as possible: roll it in the hole.
It funny working for TaylorMade because we frequently play together so markings very quickly come into play. My usual group which includes 2 other TM guys is @ChrisEdwards who plays TP5x and another employee who plays Project (a) so sometimes I'll go no marking if its a more casual round.
Nice! I love the clean look of your 3 dots, but I also love that my playing partners and I know immediately if a ball is mine. The downside of all that ink is trying to quickly mark one up before putting a new ball in play. I'll give you that. Many smears have occurred when going too fast...
I've got a collection of golf balls from past tournament wins and it's interesting to see how my markings have evolved over the years. Always a blue Sharpie though.
Speaking of smudging, one thing I wanted to mention is my faint dots can easily become erased after a few holes, especially on a wet morning. So much so I've tried to go bigger/darker but old habits die hard.
I used to be strictly green sharpie as well but I try to go black on black with anything nowadays. #murderedout
Like Jesse, I usually play a My Number ball, #11. Matter of fact, Jesse may still have a #11 from me as a pay off of a bet!
But I have for years used 3 dots under the number. Unlike Blocker, I like big and dark dots! Fill the entire dimple. And I may have to re-apply as the round goes on.
Unlike Jesse, I use the --TP5-- to align putts and on tee shots. For tee shot, is a habit from years ago when it was said that the Lethal was longer if you hit it on the seam. Not sure if it is true, but hard to break the habit.
And my last marker is my Stitch Golf logo from Tin Cup. With my last name, I call it my Circle S!
I'm the guy who doesn't usually mark my ball. Of all the guys I play with, I'm the only one who uses an optic yellow ball, so there's not really any argument over which ball belongs to me. Since I don't play any tournaments anymore, it's never been much of an issue.
When I occasionally mark my ball, it's with a happy face. My grandkids gave me a gadget called a Tin Cup, basically a cup the ball fits in with a stencil you color in with a Sharpie Marker.