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Pinseeker81

Plumb Bobbing (Putting) Master Thread

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23 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

If someone could explain the science behind plumb-bobbing to me, I might start to look more closely at it.  As it stands, I've heard the process described, in several different (and sometimes contradictory) ways, but nobody can tell me how it works, other than providing a (hopefully) vertical reference line.  

There is no science or geometry behind it. It doesn't do anything except what you said at the end there.

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Once I was paired up w/ a gentleman who showed me how to do this “plumbing” or “plumb bobbing,” or whatever. I tried it for a little bit, but I found all it does is make you more nervous when you stand over the putt.

The only thing I deliberate on is getting the speed of the putt right. Speed comes from having a good stroke. I think the break requires relatively minor adjustment, and a lot of it is solved by having the right speed.

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15 minutes ago, softjones said:

I'm having trouble letting go of this because it means I look like a dummy out there with my club out in front of me. Hate to look like/ be "that guy"

So stop being that guy. :-)

Check out the rest of the site. Get the rest of your game on the path to improvement.

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3 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

If someone could explain the science behind plumb-bobbing to me, I might start to look more closely at it.  As it stands, I've heard the process described, in several different (and sometimes contradictory) ways, but nobody can tell me how it works, other than providing a (hopefully) vertical reference line.  

The way it was shown to me, years, ago, is that the eye, ball & hole have to all be on the same vertical plane. Hang the putter straight down (if it's a flange putter, turn it 90 degrees so the toe points at the hole so it doesn't hang at an angle). Cover the ball with the putter shaft. Look up at the hole - whichever side the hole is on, it breaks that way. So I guess the "science" is having everything on on plane & having the shaft serve as the 'plumb' like surveyors do (come to think of that, if we have any surveyors here maybe they can explain...I'm just an urban planner lol).

As I said earlier, I use it as a decision-maker. I read the putt in the traditional methods, but sometimes & I just can't seem to get the 'read' down that way...so I have doubt. I'll plumb-bob to just make up my mind. At times it may lead me to the wrong choice, but at least I made a choice & I can commit to a line. Which is something rather important - to commit to a line. If you have no idea which way it breaks, then it really doesn't matter where you aim, right?

So I guess I would suggest to use it when needed, but not as the 'only' method to read a putt - look from behind, walk the putt, find the high point, all that stuff. If that doesn't crystallize the line in your mind, bob it. 

Edited by zipazoid

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1 hour ago, zipazoid said:

The way it was shown to me, years, ago, is that the eye, ball & hole have to all be on the same vertical plane. Hang the putter straight down (if it's a flange putter, turn it 90 degrees so the toe points at the hole so it doesn't hang at an angle). Cover the ball with the putter shaft. Look up at the hole - whichever side the hole is on, it breaks that way. So I guess the "science" is having everything on on plane & having the shaft serve as the 'plumb' like surveyors do (come to think of that, if we have any surveyors here maybe they can explain...I'm just an urban planner lol).

This is pretty simple geometry.  A line and a point define a plane (your vertical putter shaft and the ball, for instance).  If the other two points, the hole and your eye, are on the same plane, then both the ball and the hole will appear to be directly behind the putter shaft.  If they're all on the same plane, this is a fact, not interpretation of any kind.  The only way for the hole to appear to be left or right is if its not on the same plane.  This may appear due to a subconscious tendency to stand on the "low" side of the line, and perhaps that tendency is why plumb-bobbing works for some people.  But that subconscious stuff isn't science or geometry, its psychology, and its not going to be consistent for all people.  If you really want a decision-maker, I suggest you learn to read the ground with your feet, as AimPoint asks you to do.  Even without taking a class, you can physically sense a slope, and that's likely to be more accurate than plumb-bobbing.

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I've messed with AimPoint a little & am intrigued by it. But the bobbing is kinda ingrained...even if I did AimPoint I can still see me bobbing at times. It's almost subconscious now lol.

Edited by zipazoid

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13 hours ago, zipazoid said:

I've messed with AimPoint a little & am intrigued by it. But the bobbing is kinda ingrained...even if I did AimPoint I can still see me bobbing at times. It's almost subconscious now lol.

Let go of your feelings. Trust your feet Luke.

obi wan.jpg

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13 hours ago, zipazoid said:

I've messed with AimPoint a little & am intrigued by it. But the bobbing is kinda ingrained...even if I did AimPoint I can still see me bobbing at times. It's almost subconscious now lol.

If you took an Aimpoint class you wouldn't give bobbing a second thought.   

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32 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

If you took an Aimpoint class you wouldn't give bobbing a second thought.   

Maybe I should.

Here's what I know about Aimpoint - it's basically about feeling the slope with your feet, right? You're supposed to find the part of the putt that has the most slope in it, then based on how it "feels" thru your feet, you assign a digit to it, from 1 to 4...say it's 2. You then stand behind the ball & put up 2 fingers next to the hole & that's your aiming point. Do I have that correct?

I just need to restate this, as I don't want anyone to think I have some kind of devotion to bobbing...I don't. I read the putt in the traditional methods, and 9 times out of 10 I get my line that way. But sometimes the break is just too nuanced to tell, so I do a quick bob to give me one last piece of information if needed. I don't like dead-straight putts...I want to play 'some' kind of break so I have more of the hole to work with. So if the bob shows a bit of movement to the left, then I'll aim right lip (or whatever).

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16 hours ago, zipazoid said:

As I said earlier, I use it as a decision-maker.

It's a bad way to make a decision.

14 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

This is pretty simple geometry.  A line and a point define a plane (your vertical putter shaft and the ball, for instance).  If the other two points, the hole and your eye, are on the same plane, then both the ball and the hole will appear to be directly behind the putter shaft.  If they're all on the same plane, this is a fact, not interpretation of any kind.  The only way for the hole to appear to be left or right is if its not on the same plane.  This may appear due to a subconscious tendency to stand on the "low" side of the line…

That's what I've said, and yeah, that's the simple geometry of it. If you're standing on the line, the putter shaft will go through the line and the hole, even if the green had 45° slope to it.

6 minutes ago, zipazoid said:

Do I have that correct?

Not quite. I recommend you take a class.

6 minutes ago, zipazoid said:

So if the bob shows a bit of movement to the left, then I'll aim right lip (or whatever).

The "bob" doesn't show you anything that you aren't determining yourself: you're standing off to the low side of the line between the ball and the hole.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Not quite. I recommend you take a class.

 

Okay...they got one coming up in Miami on July 29th. I will definitely look into it. Thanks. 

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Here's what I've gotten from here. Most people think it's stupid and doesn't work.

But it depends what you mean by "work". Bobbing is not a magic method that reads the whole green perfectly and instantly. It's something you can use to confirm what you think the break is after you've gone through your mental checklist. This can all be done while walking up to green or waiting for your turn, then a bob takes 3 seconds.

You do have to know how your putter is weighted to hold it straight. And use the correct arm and eye. This can be done on the practice green and it becomes second nature.

Don't see what's wrong with finding vertical.

That said, I don't want to be a hypocrite. I am going to listen to the skeptics here and take a break from using it and see if it really is helping or hindering me.

Either way, flame on folks.

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1 minute ago, softjones said:

 it depends what you mean by "work".

1

Lol, hard to argue with that. By my definition of "works", it doesn't. 

1 minute ago, softjones said:

Bobbing is not a magic method that reads the whole green perfectly and instantly.

 

Give Aimpoint a serious look. It is just as fast as Bobbing and it does work. I'm a terrible golfer due to a serious lack of time to work on my game, but I regularly astound people with the putts I am capable of making.

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3 minutes ago, softjones said:

Here's what I've gotten from here. Most people think it's stupid and doesn't work.

But it depends what you mean by "work". Bobbing is not a magic method that reads the whole green perfectly and instantly. It's something you can use to confirm what you think the break is after you've gone through your mental checklist. This can all be done while walking up to green or waiting for your turn, then a bob takes 3 seconds.

You do have to know how your putter is weighted to hold it straight. And use the correct arm and eye. This can be done on the practice green and it becomes second nature.

Don't see what's wrong with finding vertical.

That said, I don't want to be a hypocrite. I am going to listen to the skeptics here and take a break from using it and see if it really is helping or hindering me.

Either way, flame on folks.

That's what I was trying to get at. If it helps me arrive at a decision & therefore a commitment, heck, that's half the battle right there. In order to putt well you have to be fully committed to a line, and if bobbing does that, then that's a good thing. YES, I understand when its pointed out that it doesn't necessarily give you the CORRECT line, but as @softjones just said, if it's only at the end of your process & only if the info you've gathered doesn't result in commitment to a line, then I don't see the problem with doing something that puts in your mind, "That's the line I'm going to go with" - it will result in a more confident attitude to the putt.

Having said all that, I am certainly intrigued by a better method of greens reading than bobbing, and Aimpoint seems to be that. So I am going to look into it. It's all about making the putt, right? Therefore I'm all about doing something that makes that happen more often.

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9 minutes ago, softjones said:

Here's what I've gotten from here. Most people think it's stupid and doesn't work.

..........

Don't see what's wrong with finding vertical.

Please don't misinterpret.  I see nothing at all wrong or stupid with finding a vertical reference, and you're obviously aware that you need to have your putter in the right position to get a proper vertical reference.  If plumb-bobbing helps you to locate an intermediate target along your intended line, that makes sense to me.  I've simply never seen any explanation of how plumb-bobbing can possibly determine (or confirm) the break, other than the (possible) subconscious tendency to stand on the low side of the line.  Just a guess on my part, but if you do have that subconscious tendency, you're probably reading the slope with your feet without even thinking about it.  

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