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How to Plumb Bob a Putt

By Lindsey Robinson Sanchez

When it's time to putt, a few degrees of slope on the green can mean the difference between sinking your shot and missing it. While plumb-bobbing is not an exact science, it may help you visualize the less obvious slopes of a green. Some golfing experts argue that plumb bobbing is too dependent on your position relative to the ball and the hole to be an accurate determination of slope. Practice plumb-bobbing on your own, and if it helps you estimate slope accurately, consider it another useful tool in your golfing arsenal.

Finding your Dominant Eye

Step 1

Select a small focal point a few yards away, such as a small figurine on a nearby table. Keep both eyes open.

Step 2

Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. Hold your hand out at arm's length and encircle the focal point with your thumb and forefinger.

Step 3

Close your left eye, then open it and close your right eye. If the focal point is still encircled when your left eye is closed, you are right-eye dominant. If it is encircled when your right eye is closed, you are left-eye dominant.

Plumb Bobbing

Step 1

Move 3 to 5 feet away from the ball, with the hole behind the ball. Make sure you can see the hole clearly. Line up your dominant eye with the hole and the ball so that all three form a straight line. Straddle this imaginary line with your feet shoulder width apart.

Step 2

Close your non-dominant eye and hold your club at arms length just below the grip, with your thumb and forefinger. The club should be directly in front of your face. Let the club hang straight down, and allow the shaft of the club cross over your ball.

Step 3

Examine the position of the hole with your non-dominant eye closed. If the hole appears to be to one side of the club shaft, the green may slope in that direction. If the hole is in line with the shaft of your club, then the green does not have a significant slope from the ball to the hole.

Step 4

Compensate for the slope by putting slightly to the opposite direction. In other words, if it appears that there is a slope to the right, aim slightly to the left.

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