NCG's Golf Glossary: What is plumb-bobbing?January 1, 2010 The Scoop
We take a look at the green reading technique used by a few players, including JB Holmes
The method is used by tour players across the globe but what exactly is Plumb-Bobbing? We take a look at one of the techniques that could be slowing down your rounds.
What is plumb-bobbing?
Plumb-bobbing is simply a green reading technique used by the likes of JB Holmes, Rickie Fowler and also by one of the best putters the game has seen, Ben Crenshaw.
How would you use plumb-bobbing during a round?
It’s a pretty simple technique which involves a player using the shaft of the putter and their ball to help read a putt.
The technique is mainly used on putts where there isn’t an obvious slope and it determines which side of the ball is higher, effectively telling you which way the putt will break.
To plumb-bob correctly:
- Crouch between 5 and 15 feet behind the ball but for longer putts, you may want to stand upright
- Hold the putter just below the grip with the club head just off the ground
- The shaft should form a straight line from the ball at the bottom of the shaft to the hole (top of the shaft)
- Looking through one eye with the other eye closed
- Note whether the green is higher on one side of the shaft
- Whichever side is the high side, the ball will break in the opposite direct
- For example, ff the high side is to the left, the putt will break right
- You may also notice that the hole tilts in one direction.
Why has plumb-blobbing caused controversy?
JB Holmes was criticised for using the technique on every putt at the 2019 Genesis Open. There were examples where Holmes used plumb-bobbing on 18 inch putts when in theory he could simply tap the ball in.
Despite the fact there isn’t anything in the Rules of Golf to punish slow play, people believed the American should have received a penalty, mainly due to his overuse of the method.