Putting is more of an Art Form than Science. Every putt changes with the slope of the green, the height and moisture in the grass and the distance to the hole. The Art Form can only be learned by feel and practice for each putt. Fortunately, determining the break can actually be determined by Science. Just use your putter as a Plumb Bob.
Putts break more as they slowdown. That’s why you should be more concerned with the break or slope of the green at the hole instead of the slope near your ball. On November 6, 2017, we released a Swing Tip about reading putts using your putter as a Plumb Bob. That tip is correct but my recent experience proves that you can speed up the process by focusing more on the break at the hole.
Rules for Plumb Bobbing (PB):
1/ Don’t waste your time with PB if the break is easy to see. Only use it when you are not sure about the break at the hole where the slow rolling speed of your ball magnifies the break.
2/ If you can see 2 or more breaks in your putt, DON’T Plumb Bob. Use your experience to make your best guess at the breaks in your putt.
3/ Your ball will break more as it slows down (near the hole) so you should focus on the break at the hole (NOT the break near your ball).
4/ Don’t try to PB if you have not calibrated your putter
How to Calibrate Your Putter
Hang your putter by the grip with 2 fingers and line up the shaft with a vertical line (corner of a building or door frame). Close either one of your eyes and rotate the putter until it lines up with the vertical line. Ideally you should try to find the matching vertical lineup when your putter face is facing the vertical line. That will make it easier for you to recall the CORRECT PUTTER FACE direction, the CORRECT EYE to keep open and the CORRECT SIDE of the putter shaft for your PB. [Without those 3 pieces of information, you will never be able to use your putter correctly for PB.]
When you line up your putter with the hole and your putter grip is to the left of the ball, that is the high side of the hole.
How to Plumb Bob (PB)
1/ Because the putt breaks the most when it slows down, don’t waste your time checking the break from behind your ball. Go behind the hole and keeping only your CORRECT EYE open, line-up the hole with your ball.
2/ Then hold your putter up with the CORRECT PUTTER FACE direction so that the CORRECT SIDE of your shaft is lined up with the hole.
3/ If the upper end of you shaft falls to the left (as shown in this image) or right of your ball, that side is the high side of the slope of the green. Your ball will break from the high side back to the hole. The wider the gap the greater the break in your putt.
Plan Your Putt
1/ Stand perpendicular from your putting line to determine if your putt is uphill or downhill.
2/ Know that uphill putts will break less and downhill putts will break more as they approach the hole.
3/ Based on your PB, you know the high side of the green where your ball will break (or curl) down to the hole.
4/ Build your confidence using PB on the practice green. Plan to minimize the break by always stroking to hit your ball about 12 to 18 inches past the hole.
Using your putter to Plumb Bob for the break at the hole will give you more confidence to sink more putts with a committed putt at your ball. Practice the perfect flat wrist swing with your GOLFSTR+ by locking your leading wrist and bracing your hips as you rock your shoulders to putt straight at your target point. Buy one today at WWW.GOLFSTR.COM
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