Ball Markers
By Snyper on 11/2/10
Matt is an opinionated* golf enthusiast from Pennsylvania. He coaches at the high school level, molding the minds and swings of our next generation. His column will appear each Monday on ClubSG. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions of Matt in the comments. Don't hold back- because Matt won't.

It seems like a relatively small role in the grand scheme of golf, but a ball marker is a big deal to a lot of golfers. Whether it is the functionality of the ball marker or just the sentimental value, I know a lot of guys who value their ball makers as much as their clubs. I have to admit, I'm one of those guys.

For me, it's got to be a magnetic. I've been rocking the magnetic ball marker on my hat, but I had a recent epiphany with my magnetic hat clip. Clipping it on my hat was marking up my hats and starting to annoy me, so I started clipping it on my belt. Changed my life! Instead of digging around in my pocket for five minutes trying to find a ball marker, it’s right there on my belt waiting for me! The move to the belt has also helped me to avoid the occasional criticism for the feminine appeal of the magnetic ball marker on the hat. I don’t know why, but since several of the ladies on the LPGA sport the ball marker on the hat and none of the guys on the PGA have caught on, there seems to be some who believe that magnetic ball markers are for women only. Well, I’m here to say that is absurd! I’m not sure what’s wrong with the guys on tour, but unless your ball marker is pink and full of bling, there is nothing feminine about using a magnetic ball marker! It just makes good sense and everyone who is not on board yet is missing out!
Clipping it on my hat was marking up my hats and starting to annoy me, so I started clipping it on my belt. Changed my life!

Another popular form of ball markers, which I really like, is the poker chip ball marker. While these tend to be a little large for me, and obviously not magnetic, I am a big fan of cards and I do appreciate the application. Larger ball markers do have some upsides. First of all, they are easily located in your pocket. In case you haven’t caught on yet, it is one of my biggest pet peeves on the golf course when I have to wait for a guy to search for his ball marker as I’m trying to putt. So, I like that the larger markers are a quick find. They are also easy to locate on the green. Whether you are looking around to see where everyone is so that you don’t step in their line, or if you are looking for your mark to read your putt from the other side of the green, a larger ball marker does help the cause. The biggest downside, of course, is that they are more of a roadblock for other putts and need to be moved quite often. If you leave your putt within a couple feet of the hole and you choose to mark it, that manhole cover that you call a ball marker is going to, most likely, need to be moved. A little aside here for those of you who are unfamiliar with the process of properly relocating your ball marker while your playing partners are putting. If you move your marker and forget to move it back, it is a penalty. This does happen quite easily and more often than you might think. I recently played with a guy who had a great suggestion about how to avoid forgetting to move your marker back to its original spot. He simply flipped his marker upside down when he moved it. Thus, when he went to putt, if his marker was upside down, he was immediately reminded to move it back before putting. While simple, I found that to be brilliant.

The traditional flat plastic ball markers with a spike on the bottom are always a good choice as well. I tend to keep one of these in my pocket for those times that I mark my ball close to the cup and know that my marker may interfere with other putts. Most times, if you use one of these flat markers, your playing partners will not even bother to ask you to move your mark because they know it is not very likely to effect their ball even if they roll over it. Since I’m lazy, I like this characteristic. So, while they are small and usually take a little time to locate among the tees and ball mark repair tool in my pocket, I do usually have a flat plastic marker on standby.
Whether it is a penny or a quarter, change will always work. Money is not the best option because of its likeliness to be stolen or lost, but when all else fails, it gets the job done.

If I find myself totally unprepared and I am out of options, the last choice for a ball marker is the good old metal currency. Whether it is a penny or a quarter, change will always work. Money is not the best option because of its likeliness to be stolen or lost, but when all else fails, it gets the job done. I do try to avoid the pennies though as they tend to be tough to relocate on the green. I can’t stand walking around for five minutes trying to find my marker and I have definitely done that a time or two when using a penny. On the upside, my buddies are way less likely to swipe the penny from me as apposed to my disappearing quarters!

In conclusion, if you have never given any thought to your ball marker in the past, perhaps it is time to find the one that is right for you. Whether you take the time to go out and design your own personalized ball marker, or just find one that you think is cool, I recommend finding a ball marker that you look forward to using. I love my magnetic ball marker and belt clip enough that it motivates me to hit more greens just so I can use it! Though not as technologically advanced as tees, ball markers can be fun and an enjoyable part of the game. Check out your options, but I won’t be surprised if you too are soon on the magnetic bandwagon!

* Matt's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

[ comments ]
nbryden says:
Thank you for the flipped marker suggestion - I will be using that in the future.
EWidner says:
magnetic ball markers are available on the ball mark tool and tool is easy to find in your pocket amongst tees and etc. You will more than likely need the tool anyway to fix ball mark(s) on green so you have it in your hand already. Even when u put your tool back in your pocket and your marker is on the green, you dont necessarily have to retrieve it to replace your magnetic marker because it normally will migrate back to its place on the tool by itself due to its magnetic properties. voila!! ready for use next time. If perchance it doesnt migrate by itself, just a few finger movements within the pocket will cause the marker to move around and find its rightful place!! Lots of nice tools and designs available for the for us that like the snazzy stuff.
martin1956 says:
When treating myself to a holiday in Mauritius I bought a lovely little ball marker, double sided with a seashell on one side and an arrow reminder on the other so if you moved your ball you wouldn't forget to put it back and knew where it should be.

Good idea eh!
Penny says:
I have this exact Ryder Cup Marker - out of all of the ones I have bought, if I lost this one I would be totally devastated and need counselling to get over it! :D
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