Which type of ball marker is best for playing golf: poker chip or normal? That’s Debatable

April 15, 2020

In GOLF’s all-new series That’s Debatable, sponsored by Cisco WebEx, we’re settling some of golf’s most heated disputes. Our writers and editors have been seeded 1-16, battling head-to-head to determine whose takes are most on point. Up next, two of our staffers debate the merits of markers, specifically, which type you should use during your next round.

It’s one of golf’s true “this” or “that” arguments: what is the appropriate ball marker to use during your round? The large, customizable, personality-filled poker chip, or the smaller, efficient, unobtrusive ball mark? In That’s Debatable’s 8-9 matchup, it’s a pair of managing editors, Josh Berhow and Jonathan Wall, squaring off. You can check them out in the video above, or read their arguments below.

In favor of normal ball-markers (Wall)

  1.  The don’t look like they were made by someone who has never played golf before. Seriously, who thought something the size of a manhole cover was a good idea?
  2. You don’t have to worry about sabotaging your playing partner’s putt or chip with your giant ball marker. 
  3. They’re cheap! You’ll never sweat losing a dime or plastic marker.
  4. They aren’t a major distraction on the green. No one wants to see your giant neon green and yellow poker chip out of the corner of their eye while standing over a putt.
  5. It’s the most common option on the pro circuits. There’s a reason why poker chips rarely see the light of day: they’re unnecessary.

In favor of poker chips (Berhow)

  1. Personality. Let’s show some style and character, people!
  2. Things evolve. Courses change, equipment improves and our own golf attire goes through transformations over the years. Why can’t we just accept golf accessories — like the marvelous poker chip — evolve too?
  3. They tell a story. Where have you been? Where have you played? Poker chip ball markers tell a story of our golfing life. They are conversation starters with playing partners.
  4. They are cool! Come on, admit it.
  5. They aren’t that big. The main gripe against them is their size, but let’s get real, just be respectful and keep them out of your playing partner’s line, no different than any mark. And if your buddy still has an issue with a slightly larger ball mark near his putting line, tell ‘em to get a golf shrink, because his game has bigger problems.

Winner (by judge’s decision)

Normal ball markers. Berhow’s impassioned plea falls short against Wall’s utilitarian argument. Wall will go on to face the Alan Bastable who took down Dylan Dethier earlier this week. Keep it locked on GOLF.com and @GOLF_com on social media to follow along as “That’s Debatable” continues every day at noon!

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