Putting Technique of Plumbing in Golf

Written by billy duberstein
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Plumbing, also known as plumb-bobbing, is a golf technique used to determine the break of a putt. While plumbing won't tell you exactly how much a putt breaks or the correct speed, it can help to either confirm your initial impression of the break or determine the break if you are unsure which direction it will go. There is some disagreement about the technique's effectiveness. Some golf professionals plumb their putts often, while others don't even know how to plumb.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    How to Plumb-Bob

  1. 1

    Stand about 10 feet behind the ball with the ball directly between you and the hole.

  2. 2

    Hold the putter out in front of you, with your thumb and forefinger at the top of the grip. Let the putter dangle so that gravity takes effect. Mark the bottom of your grip next to a doorway or other vertical line to confirm that the putter hangs perfectly vertical. Make sure the toe of the putter is pointed at the hole, so that the putter is evenly balanced.

  3. 3

    Cover the ball with the shaft of the putter, using your dominant eye,

  4. 4

    Look up the shaft, keeping your head still. If the shaft is to the right of the hole, the putt breaks right to left. If the shaft is to the left of the hole, the putt breaks left to right.

Tips and warnings

  • The distance between the shaft and the hole is not the exact amount of break, which will depend on slope, speed and distance. To get a feel for the corresponding break, try plumb-bobbing on a putting green (preferably one with a lot of breaks), then putt to see how the break corresponds to the plumb. Plumb-bobbing in windy conditions is difficult because the wind blows the putter around, which can affect the accuracy of the plumb. Plumb-bobbing is also not as accurate for putts with two or more different breaks.

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