PLUMB BOBBING

August 6, 2018

DOES PLUMB BOBBING WORK
OF COURSE IT DOES

 


See PGA Pro, Matt Flenniken to go through a putting lesson that can include the art and science of Plum Bobbing, it can change your reading from negative to amazing. 
 
There are records of utilizing Plumb Bobs during construction programs going back 4000 years. In more recent times, the introduction of Spirit Levels and Lazar Beam instruments have significantly reduced the use of the Plumb Bob as a working tool. They have however, not reduced its value as a tool to find a vertical plane. 
 
DOES IT WORK FOR GOLF
OF COURSE IT DOES, IF USED CORRECTLY
 
There are many articles written claiming to prove that Plumb Bobbing does not work. Each of these articles omits one or more of the essential set up procedure for effective Plumb Bobbing. The results being the methods they use are predestined to fail.
 
Tension and anxiety on the putting green induces self-doubt, and a lack of confidence in the stroke you are about to make. Stress can also contribute to on-course suicidal tendencies and the body contortions frequently exhibited as the ball travels toward the hole.  Any tool that can reduce the stress and allow a confident stroke to be place must surely deserve at least a try. It cost nothing and is therefore much cheaper than a new putter.
 
Employing a putting aid that helps you to select a specific line for the putt and improves your success rate will obviously reduce the tension and anxiety.
Using a physically correct Plumb Bobbing technique will provide you with a more positive approach to putting and improved results. It is worth noting that the vast majority of Pro’s and Amateurs use an incorrect Plumbing technique and as a consequence some claim Plumb Bobbing does not work.  
 
We do not carry an engineering Plumb Bob in our golf bag, how can we therefore develop a sound Plumbing Bobbing procedure. The answer is, we must improvise by utilizing our putter as a Plumb Bob tool. This can present a problem, as when we suspend a putter between finger and thumb, for most putters the center of gravity of the putter does not align itself with the vertical plane. This causes the putter shaft to hang at an angle to the true vertical line. However the following simple procedures allows us to overcome that problem: -
 
The Two Essential Rules For Plumb Bobbing: -
1)    The putter shaft must hang on a vertical line
2)    The player must align themselves in the correct position
 
Finding The Vertical Position.
How do we get the putter shaft to hang vertically, the answer is simple. Owning a Honu putter makes it simple as the putter hangs perfectly straight, but if you don’t do this : Select a back ground that is vertical, a door frame, or the edge of a brick wall etc. Holding the top of he putter grip, suspend the putter loosely between finger and thumb with the top of the shaft at about head height. Now align the top of the shaft, just below the grip, with the edge of the chosen structure. You will notice that the putter shaft hangs away from the vertical object. Continue by slowly rotating the putter until you reach the position where the length of the shaft appears to be in line with the vertical structure. Now observe the direction in which a line drawn from heel to toe along the putter face is pointing. To identify the line, imagine you are standing with the putter suspended over a horizontal clock face. The 6 o’clock number closest to you pointing to 12 o’clock, directly ahead of you. Now check how the putter face is aligned on the clock face.  Example the putter face, heal to toe, is aligned with the heal at 2o;clock and the toe pointing to 8 o’clock.  You have now established the position at which your putter hangs vertically. By suspending your putter as described with the line along the face pointing from heal at 2 O’clock to 8 O’clock. You can use your putter as a substitute plumb Bob. In practice all you need to do to ensure your putter shaft is hanging vertical, is to hold it at eye level and rotate the shaft until it aligns itself with the time on an imaginary clock face. As detailed in the above procedure I.e. heel at 2 o’clock to toe at 8 o’clock
 
Excluding a Honu putter each type of putter may align itself to a different time on the clock face. if you change your putter make sure you recheck it’s vertical position.   
                                                          
Establishing The Correct Body Alignment -Stand or crouch behind the ball, in a position where an imaginary line drawn from your preferred sighting eye would pass through the ball and the center of the hole. Raise the putter suspended from your finger and thumb, a little distance away from your sighting line, ensuring the putter head is pointing in the correct direction (e.g. from 2 to 8 o’clock). Without moving your head, move the suspended putter to the position where the edge of the bottom of the shaft is aligned with the center of the ball. The edge of the shaft will now indicate the line along which the putt must be played to hit the hole. For a straight putt the shaft will be aligned with the center of the hole. For a borrow putt, the center of the hole will appear to be left or right of the putter shaft edge, indicating the amount of borrow. (See diagram).  All that remains is to stroke the ball along the line indicated by the vertical putter shaft. Pick a mark and visualize an imaginary hole on the line indicated by the putter, exhale and play a straight putt to that spot.
 
Do not move your head to assist in lining up the putter shaft, or change the eye with which you are sighting the line, either action will result in misaligning the putt. Your preferred eye must remain directly in line with the ball and hole. If you align the putter using the center of your body, i.e. between your eyes, you can introduce significant errors in alignment. For maximum consistency and accuracy sight with one eye only, preferably your strongest eye.
 
Neutralizing the effect a sloping green.  (Alternative lining up procedure)An alternative to lining up using your strong eye, is to use a point positioned on your big toe when your feet are together. With your feet together measure what point of your big toe is vertically in line with your eye. The average male measure approximately 7 cm between the centers of the eyes, 3.5cm from the center of the nose and the vertical center line of your body. To determine the alignment point on your big toe, simple measure the distance between centers of you eyes, eg 7cm. Then with your feet together place a 7 cm measure across your toes to determine your personal alignment spot. 

 


You can use the point on your toe as your preferred method of alignment. Aligning with the toe is an advantage when standing on a green with a significant slope, If on a slope you prefer to use your eye for alignment, simple place your eye is vertically above you toe point. This will ensure you are not leaning from a true vertical with your body as there is a natural tendency to lean off the vertical plane to keep your balance.
 
Just as with other putting systems, consideration must be given to green speed and slope. There will be times when abnormal allowances for borrow will have to be made, to cater for the combination of high green speeds and excessive slope.  Particularly when slope and green speed combine to reaches the angle of repose (the angle where the gravitational force on the ball will overcome the surface frictional resistance of the green,) In this situation the ball will continue to roll until the slope is reduced. No matter which putting system you choose, you will encounter this problem at some time. 
 

 

 

 

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