A recent Golfmagic forum thread about possible cheating - where a member claimed an opponent mysteriously 'found' a ball in play that he was convinced had previously been hit out of bounds and lost - brought up the importance of personalising your golf ball.
If you clearly mark your ball with distinctive dots, lines, your initials or even a smiley face - there can be no dispute that it's yours. It's not enough to declare 'it must be mine, it's a TaylorMade'
Tour professionals all have their own ways to make their golf balls distinctive and also to line up putts, like Tour pro Gary Boyd.
But being able to identify your ball isn't just for fun. The Rules of Golf recommend it (Rule 6-5 states: 'The responsibility for playing the proper ball rest with the player. Each player should put an identification mark on his ball.')
Play the wrong ball in strokeplay and you’re penalised two strokes; in matchplay you lose the hole. If two players can’t decide whose ball belongs to whom, they must declare them both ‘lost’.