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There are plenty of options when it comes to a golf ball alignment aid, whether it’s a simple line or arrow or a pattern. 

Of course, many of you prefer to draw your own line on your ball, while many don’t use one at all, preferring to trust their eyes. But whichever tactic you utilise, there are many benefits to using an alignment aid.

But what are the benefits of using alignment aids on your golf ball?

Drawing a line on your ball can be massively beneficial. The most common of which, of course, is the ability to line up your putts – not only during your round but on the practice green, too. It gives you a solid visual and helps you line up your ball to where you want to aim, which is going to give you a better chance a starting your putts on the right path.

But a more recent trend with manufacturers is to go one step further and utilise pattern designs.

It’s a slightly different tactic from a simple line on your ball, but while the intention is to get your ball away on the preferred line, it has the added benefit of being able to see the revolutions of spin and roll on and around the green.

While every golf ball manufacturer has their own way of doing it, we’re going to focus on TaylorMade for the purposes of this article, but the information is relevant regardless of your preferred brand. 

TaylorMade make aesthetically pleasing golf balls and have great success in this department – notably with the Tour Response Stripe and TP5 Pix.

TaylorMade TP5 Pix
The TP5 Pix golf ball. (Credit: TaylorMade) 

You will have undoubtedly seen Tommy Fleetwood using the TP5 Pix on tour as its very eye catching, especially on the green. TaylorMade have made changes to the the TP5 Pix design so it is no longer triangular in pattern. This ClearPath alignment, as they call it, is to help you see the revolution of the ball better, particularly in your short game. 

So we caught up with Matt Nuthals from TaylorMade’s golf ball vis-tech team – that’s visual technology to you and me – to chat to him about the changes and benefits of the new TP5 Pix and Tour Response Stripe to see what the benefits are for you…  

What are the main differences between the TP5 Pix and Tour Response Stripe designs? 

The Pix is really about feedback and alignment and clear path and you can really see spin very well, while with the Stripe you have alignment on the tee box and green also.

What inspired the new design on the TP5 Pix? 

So, what we saw with the triangle is it really created a nice contrast and you really saw that ClearPath design. What we were able to do by the enhancements of the diamond is the further away from the centre that you have black it actually gives you and even more vivid line so that the contrast gives you a lot more.

How does this perform with your wedges? 

I think this one does a much better job on feedback with your wedges when seeing spin while also giving you that incredible ClearPath when you’re putting. So by moving certain colours out and changing the shape it allowed us to take the idea of feedback and alignment to another level.

What is it you like about the Tour Response Stripe design? 

I like to line it up on the tee and when I hit it right I can see it in the air and that’s a good visual for me. Now on par-3 holes I can actually see it bounce as well because of the contrast of red and white. 

And what’s it like to putt with? 

When I get on the greens I can have this ball completely lined up. When I get over it, it sometimes feels like I could be aiming right or left even though I know it’s lined up correctly and all I need to do is hit it online and see is that perfect roll.

TaylorMade tour response stripe
The Tour Response Stripe golf ball. (Credit: TaylorMade) 

So should you use an alignment aid on your golf ball?

I often find myself in awe of those people who are happy to just toss their ball down and hit the putt using nothing but their eyes as a guide.

But there’s a reason every brand includes an alignment aid on their golf balls – whether as a line or a pattern – and why millions of golfers draw on their own markings.

Having an alignment aid takes away an entirely avoidable risk. Whether you’re on the practice green or out on the course, it allows you to set your ball to your target line and then focus on the job in hand – making a nice stroke and getting it in the hole in as few shots as possible.

Golf is hard enough as it is, and all we want to do is shoot lower scores. By using an alignment aid on your golf ball, you essentially have a free pass at making it just that little bit easier.

While you’re here, you should really subscribe to the bunkered YouTube channel. We release a video every Friday, where you’ll see the latest gear in action.

author headshot

James Tait is bunkered’s Gear Editor. Want to know how the latest Callaway driver, Vokey wedge or Scotty Cameron putter performs? He’s the guy to ask. Better yet, just watch his videos on the bunkered YouTube channel. One of the biggest hitters in the UK, James also competes on the World Long Drive circuit and is a descendent of former Amateur champion Freddie Tait.

Gear Editor

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