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## A Golf Lesson on Plumb-bobbing

Keeping is not just a feeling. It is also about information processing. In other words, the better the greens you read, the more likely you are to sink the putt. You don’t need a golf tip to tell you that. Plumb-bobbing is an old-school technique for generating useful information on placement. Some players swear by it. Others ignore it. The question is whether it can help you sink the putt.

The biggest knock against plumb-bobbing is that it tells you how the putt will break but not how much. But a few years ago Frederick Haney, Ph.D. A computer model developed by is changing the way golfers think about plumb-bobbing. Haney’s model suggests that there is more to it than meets the eye, and with a little effort you can help it determine how much of a putt breaks. Improve your putting and you’ll soon be chipping strokes off your golf handicap.

The art of plumb-bobbing

Before we get into Hani’s findings, let’s look at plumb-bobbing and how to do it correctly. Here are six tips on plumb-bobbing:

1. Stand behind the ball

2. Extend one arm

3. Hold lightly

4. Align your dominant eye

5. Flex your knees

6. Align the longest point of the shaft

Stand behind the ball so that the hole, the ball and your dominant eye are aligned. Keep your eyes parallel to whatever slope exists on the part of the green you are standing on. Flex your knees slightly. Let your body lean along the slope of the green. Extend your arms slightly, holding them lightly between your thumb and forefinger. Let the putter hang freely in your grip.

Next, using your dominant eye, align the putter so that the bottom point of the shaft covers the ball. Without moving your head, look up the hole. If it appears to the right of the shaft, the hole slopes to the left. If it appears to the left, the hole slopes to the right. If it lines up with the putter, the hole is flat. It’s all there. You can learn everything you need to know about plumb-bobbing in the first 5 minutes of a golf lesson.

Determining the plumb-bobbing distance

If you plumb-bob correctly, you’ll notice that the putter makes a point to the left or right of the hole on the putting surface. The distance from that point to the center of the hole, Haney explains, is the plumb-bob distance (PBD), a measure of slope and distance in ball. In a level putt with no right or left break, the PBD is zero. But for all other puts, plumb-bobbing produces a different price. That value is an indicator of how much the ball will react around the hole.

Using PBD, Haney developed a computer model on plumb-bobbing. It takes into account the different speeds of the greens, the distance of the putt, and the amount of slope (both sideways and up or down). It also takes into account the effect of friction on the belt. When you first stroke the ball, it first slides and then rolls. Both are considered in computer models. The force of friction slows the ball down. Haney’s goal was to find out if you could use a plumb-bobbin to determine the actual amount of brake.

Computer Model Guidelines

After examining several examples and producing several charts, Haney concludes that for normal green speeds (at 9 stmmeters) and level putts (no uphill or downhill slopes), the amount of break varies slightly more than the PDB for gentle slopes. 1-1/2 times PBD for steeper slopes.

The above guidelines assume you’re following Dave Pelz’s suggestion to leave your missed putts 17 inches past the cup. If you want to hit your putts on the hole, you should allow for a steeper slope of about 2 to 4 times the PBD.

For similar conditions, moderate uphill puts break as half the PBD. Downhill putts can break eight to 10 times the PBD. Obviously, downhill putts break more than uphill putts. Green speed has as much impact as uphill and downhill putts. The break is greater for faster greens than for slower ones.

Retention is about cognition and information processing. The better feel you have and the more accurate your information processing, the more likely you are to play a lower golf handicap and become the type of putter I talk about in my golf tips. Keep in mind, however, that there is no magic formula for determining a break in a lease. But by experimenting and using PBD as additional information, you can improve your green-reading skills.

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