Missing a putt by 1 inch is just as bad as missing it by a foot. If you can’t read the break near the hole, you will never make those 3 footers or those 10 footers. The best way to lower your score is to cut your number of putts as they count for almost half of your strokes on every round of golf. .
Our blog released August 20, 2018 covered the important rules for putting. We also mentions using your putter as a Plumb-Bob (PB) to determine the break for your putts. I have received so many requests to clarify PB that I decided to explain the 2 important factors for PB: Calibrate Your Putter and PB only measures the angle of the slope where your putter is hanging from your hand.
Special NOTE to Justin Rose
I often see Justin Rose and other professional golfers on TV using their putter as a plumb-bob to determine the slope of the green. They are wasting their time trying to PB from behind their ball because they are only measuring the slope where they are standing.
ONLY PLUMB-BOB A PUTT NEAR THE HOLE IF YOU REALLY CAN’T TELL THE SLOPE OF THE GREEN NEAR THE HOLE. The most break occurs as your ball slows down at the hole, so plumb-bobbing by standing on a line from behind the hole to your ball is the most important slope that you should be measuring. Of course the changing slope that you see on your putting line to the hole is also important as it will throw your ball in different directions as it roles along that path. Always check the changing slope by observing it from the low side of the slope to estimate the impact on your putt line.
1/ Calibrate Your Putter
Every putter head is weighted differently and is attached to the shaft differently so the putter will not always hang perpendicular to the ground. If you don’t determine your correct eyeball and the correct direction to face your putter when it is perfectly perpendicular to the earth, you should NOT EVEN TRY to use your putter to plumb-bob.
Inside a building hold your putter with 2 fingers in front of you and close ONE of your eyes as you line up the straight line of ONE SIDE of the shaft of your tapered putter shaft with a door frame about 6 to 10 feet away from where you are standing. Try turning the putter and changing your open eye to determine the PERFECT MATCH to line up THE LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE of the shaft with the door frame. [In my case I use my right eye (left eye is closed) and position my putter face directly at the door and only line up with the left side of my putter shaft.] You have to remember: 1/the eye, 2/the direction of the putter face and 3/ the side if the putter shaft to use every time you PB. [Don’t include the grip as part of the putter shaft.]
2/PB to Determine the Break at the Hole:
Make sure that the slope on your putting line behind the hole is similar to the slope at the hole. Stand about 3 to 5 feet behind the hole and visually line up the hole with your ball [without using your putter]. Then hold your putter up, to line-up with the hole at the BOTTOM of your shaft. If the top end of your shaft ends up on the left or right side of your ball then that is the high side of the slope. Your ball will curve down from that side of the green as it slows down near the hole.
Would someone please pass this blog to Justin Rose and ask him to call me if he doesn’t understand this. Don’t forget to practice putting with a flat leading wrist straight up your putting line for consistency using your GOLFSTR+ . Buy one today at www.golfstr.com