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Why Do Some Players Read Their Putts With A Plumb Bob MethodPossibly the least understood and confusing method of reading a green is plumb bobbing. Almost three quarters of all golfers have at some time tried to read a putt this way, without knowing both how to do it and what it is meant to show you.

The idea behind the method is for the vertical line, or in this case your putter shaft to give you a reference point to whether or not there is any break in the putt you face, and if so whether its from the left or the right. So what do you actually do to plumb bob your line?

The first thing you need to do is to stand directly behind your ball on the green, holding your putter in your dominant hand by the finger tips at the top of the grip. Allow the putter to hang directly vertical from your fingertips. You want to stand so that you are directly behind the ball in a straight line to the hole, keeping both eyes open.

Close your least dominant eye and you will see the shaft run through the ball. Wherever the hole is relative to the shaft of your putter is the side the putt will break from. It will be either to the left or right of the hole. The bigger the gap between the shaft and the hole, the more break you need to allow for. There is one very important factor that you need to remember - the plumb bobbing method doesnt take the slope of the green into account. This means that you need to factor into your read if your putt is uphill, downhill or even if you have to putt up or down a tier in the green.

One final point to consider before you think of reading greens in this manner is that plumb bobbing is not a proven method of successfully reading greens. This is due to the fact that there are very few putters that have a shaft that truly hangs vertical, and ultimately your plumb line must hang vertical if it is to work.

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There have been a number of tour players over the years that have used the plumb bob method, and the majority of them moved over to another method of green reading after a while. This is because you can not become a good putter if the method you use to read the greens can not effectively read the amount of break in a putt.

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The plumb bob method can create a number of problems when trying to read the green, especially if you have a longer putt. It is difficult to use this method on large breaking putts.

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The only thing that plumb bobbing confirms is that your subconscious read of the slope of the green was probably right. It has nothing to do with the amount of break. The visual confirmation you get when you approach the green and the feeling for the amount of slope in your feet will serve you better when it comes to judging the amount of break to allow in your putt.