Sink More Putts: The Plumb Bob Method Explained

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The Plumb Bob Method

Do you want to sink more putts, we explain the plumb bob method in this article to help you do just such a thing. Are you aware that the ancient Egyptians technique of plumb bobbing can be a game-changer when it comes to reading greens on the golf course? If you’re struggling to accurately determine the break and slope of a putt, from right to left or left to right, it’s time to revive plumb bobbing, this lost art, and unlock its secrets.

Key Takeaways

  • Plumb bobbing is a traditional method used by golfers to read greens.
  • It has been overshadowed by advanced green reading books and systems.
  • Plumb bobbing originated in ancient Egypt as a construction tool.
  • The plumb bob method can help determine the line of a putt and improve the short game.

The History of Plumb Bobbing

Plumb bobbing, a method used by golfers to read greens, has a fascinating history that dates back to ancient Egypt. But did you know that plumb bobbing isn’t only used in golf, but also in other sports? This technique has been adopted by sports like cricket and snooker, where players use it to determine the line of a delivery or the angle of a shot.

The science behind plumb bobbing lies in its ability to help golfers determine the slope of the green. By aligning a putter or a plumb bob with a straight line and observing its direction, golfers can get a sense of how the ball will break. This method works because gravity acts as a reference point, allowing players to visualize the path the ball will take.

Plumb bobbing, with its rich history and scientific basis, is a valuable tool for golfers looking to improve their putting skills. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, incorporating plumb bobbing into your game can help you read greens more accurately and make those crucial putts.

How to Master the Plumb Bob Method


To master the Plumb Bob method for reading greens, start by ensuring that your putter hangs vertically. This is crucial for accurate readings. Here are some tips and tricks to help you become a pro at using the Plumb Bob method:

  • Maintain consistency: Hold the putter in the same place every time you read the green. This will help you develop a reliable technique and give you a better chance to read a putt.
  • Setup correctly: Position yourself correctly on the putting green with your putter head above the ball, your feet shoulder-width apart and you standing behind your ball this will give you a stable base for better readings.
  • Close your non-dominant eye: Closing one eye (non-dominant) and use your dominant eye will help you determine the break of the putt more accurately.
  • Avoid common mistakes: Don’t use the Plumb Bob method for long putts or double-breaking putts. It’s best suited for shorter putts where subtle breaks are more prevalent.
  • Line of your putt up: Once you’ve read the putt, stick with your first thought and hit the putt, don’t second guess yourself, use this method and watch the golf ball sink in the hole.

Remember the plumb bob may be a useful guide if you’re not sure on a subtle slope but it’s not a given, and it also won’t help you determine if the putt is up or downhill.

Enhancing Your Green Reading Skills

To further improve your green reading skills, there are additional techniques and strategies you can incorporate into your game.

One of the most important factors in becoming a better green reader is practice and learning how to plumb bob a putt. The more you practice, the more familiar you’ll become with the nuances of different greens and the better you’ll be able to read them accurately.

Additionally, there are a few tips that can help improve your green reading accuracy.

First, take the time to study the green before making your putt. Look for any slopes or breaks that could affect the path of the ball.

Second, pay attention to the speed of the greens. The faster the greens, the more break you’ll need to account for.

Finally, trust your instincts and be confident in your read.

With practice and these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master green reader.

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Exploring Alternative Green Reading Techniques

plumb bob method

One alternative green reading technique that can complement plumb bobbing is visualizing the line and break of the putt by using your finger as a guide. This technique allows you to create a mental image of the path the ball will take and make necessary adjustments to your stroke.

Here are some key points to consider when exploring alternative green reading techniques:

Pros and cons of using AimPoint over plumb bobbing:

  • AimPoint provides a more precise and scientific approach to green reading.
  • It requires training and practice to master the technique.
  • Some golfers find it to be more time-consuming and prefer the simplicity of plumb bobbing.
  • AimPoint can be beneficial for reading complex and undulating greens.

Exploring the use of technology in green reading techniques:

  • Green-reading books and apps provide detailed information about the slope and break of the greens.
  • They can help golfers make more informed decisions on the putting surface.
  • However, relying solely on technology, rather than learning to plumb bob, can hinder your green reading process, feel for the greens and understand when a putt will break.
  • It’s important to strike a balance between technology and traditional techniques.

Understanding the Limitations of Plumb Bobbing

What are the limitations of using the plumb bobbing technique for reading greens?

While plumb bobbing can be helpful in determining subtle breaks in the green, it’s important to understand its limitations. One common misconception about plumb bobbing is that it can accurately determine the slope of the green. However, this technique isn’t suitable for determining uphill or downhill putts, or for identifying the slope or grain of the green.

Additionally, plumb bobbing isn’t recommended for long putts or double breaking putts. To get the best results, it’s beneficial to combine plumb bobbing with other green reading techniques, such as pacing off putts and looking at them from different angles.


Q: What is the role of the dominant eye in the Plumb Bob process?

A: Keeping your dominant eye open in the Plumb Bob process to help golfers determine the line of the putt. By using the dominant eye to align the putter shaft with the target, golfers can gauge the direction of the putt.

Q: Can the Plumb Bob method help in reading multiple breaks on a putt?

A: Yes, the Plumb Bob method can be useful in reading putts with multiple breaks from right to left or left to right. By using the plumb line and aligning it with different parts of the green, golfers can better understand the complex breaks on a putt.

Q: Is plumb bobbing a widely accepted way to read greens?

A: While plumb bobbing may not be universally accepted, many  average golfers find it to be a helpful tool in their green-reading process. It is a technique that some golfers prefer to use to aid in reading putts.

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