The pendulum or plump-bob technique sees players holding their putters from the top of the grip allowing the shaft to fall and intersect the target.
This hanging pendulum splits the potential putt into two halves allowing players to better assess the lie of the land on both sides of the putter shaft. Reading the line consistently is extremely important when putting as correct judgment of the surface’s contours will allow the golfer to correctly assess the speed at which the putt should be hit and how far outside a hole the ball should be aimed. Advocates of the pendulum or plump bob method say that splitting a putt in two by using the club shaft helps break up the green reading process into equal, simpler slices.
Imagine a 20 feet downhill putt turning severely from left to right across the green. This challenging putt is something all players will be faced with multiple times on multiple courses during the duration of a season. It’s a vital putt and you need to be sure of the read to be confident of stroking the putt down the green and possibly bagging a birdie. Use the following pendulum method to see if this form of green reading will work in your game.
1. Take four paces back from your ball on the green and crouch down low to bring your eyes down closer to the level of the grass.
2. Hold your putter out in front of your body by the handle with a fully extended arm. Allow the putter shaft to fall and intersect your ball lying on the green.
3. First, take in the lie of the land from beyond the green (to ensure you don’t miss anything obvious like being on the side of a hill!). Depending on your dominant eye (simple enough to find out with a simple test http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Your-Dominant-Eye) assess each side of the shaft in turn. If you are left eye dominant start with the left hand side and vice versa if you are right eye dominant.
4. See on which side of the shaft the land is higher.
5. Then move your vision closer the hole, again assess each side of the shaft. Judge again the height of the ground level on each side of the hole at varying distances from the hole to the ball until a firm pattern begins to emerge.
6. After the first reading, walk round the back of the hole and repeat the process. By judging the putt from both sides of the hole using the pendulum method it will be easier to be more confident about your read.
7. Come back behind the ball and decide your line and pace. Envisage the ball rolling down your selected line and dropping in the hole.
8. Step into the side of the ball, take a few practice strokes and roll the putt home.
There are many different methods for reading the line of putts and every person responds differently. Try the pendulum method whilst playing and see if you can incorporate it into your pre-shot routine.