Yes, I too once watched people plumb bob and thought to myself.... what in the **** is this ******** doing?
About a month ago I decided to try to figure it out, frustrated that my green reading has been pretty poor. I worked on the putting green for a few weeks then I took it to the course and gave it my 100% faith. I've done this for 4 18-hole rounds now. My putts per hole has dropped from 1.95 pre-plumb bobbing... to 1.55 post plum bobbing. Incredible. That's like 4 shots per round and my scores have been showing it. No changes at all except for my pre-putt routine now incorporating plumb bobbing, and me giving it my faith even if my eyes disagree.
I'd prefer this to not be a thread about plumb bobbers vs non plumb bobbers. I'm more keen to hear from those who do plumb bob. How do you do? How do you use it?
While I'm not sure I've figured out all the specifics yet, I have found a few things that seem to be important:
1) the ground I'm standing on needs to be a similar slope to the one I'm trying to read.
2) My dominate eye needs to be exactly in line with the ball and the hole. Like, EXACTLY.
3) I need to hold my putter in the exact orientation that allows it to hang perfectly vertical (i use a toe-hanging putter). THIS IS IMPORTANT
4) It seems to work best on fairly flat and simple puts - ie. no multi breaks and wildly variable breaks.
5) whether the putt is uphill or downhill seems to impact the read, but I haven't figured out exactly how yet.
6) i need to be standing, not squatting, and its best to have my weight evenly distributed across both feet.
I've only been doing this for a little while now, but I've pretty much found that I'm able to at least get the break direction correct in 95% of putts, and if the above conditions are met I can also generally get a pretty good idea of how much break. Literally, if its a fairly simple green and putt, I can get a reliable aim-point in less than 2 seconds.
Anyone have any plumb-bobbing wisdom and experience to share?