How to Plumb Bob with a Putter

By Kevin D. Boehler

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Plumb bobbing is a method used on the putting green to find which way a putt will break. Plumb bobbing is when you squat down behind the ball with your putter handing in front of your eyes, and read the line of the putt based on how your putter hangs.


Difficulty: Easy
  1. Crouch 10 to 15 feet behind your golf ball as it sits on the putting green. Look for any breaks you can see so you can account for them when you take your practice stroke.
  2. Stand six to eight feet behind your ball. Hold the putter just under the grip with your thumb and forefinger so that the putter dangles in front of your body perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Line up the shaft of the golf club so that it intersects both the golf ball and hole. The ball will appear to be at the bottom of the shaft and the hole will be toward the top.
  4. Look at the hole with your dominant eye. To determine which eye is dominant, hold up your thumb to an object in the distance and look at the object with each eye individually. The eye that makes your thumb move away from the object the least is your dominant eye.
  5. Look at which side of the shaft the hole appears to be on. This is the way the putt will break. If the hole appears on the left side of the shaft, the ball will break to the left and vice versa.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practicing this on a putting green with a known break will help you determine whether you're performing the plumb bob technique correctly.
  • Trust your eyes when it comes to the plumb bob technique. To the naked eye, you may have a hard time seeing the break, but if you see it when you plumb bob, you know it's there.
  • Do not use this method on a putt that has multiple breaks. Plumb bobbing a putt with more than one break will show only which way the ball will travel on the break closest to the hole.

About the Author

Kevin Boehler attended the University of Nebraska, where he attained a degree in professional golf management. Boehler enjoys teaching golf to others, helping them not only play better, but love the game as well. He has a vast knowledge of the golf swing and a variety of other golf-related information.