It’s old school, for sure, but the tried-and-true method of reading greens that’s been around for at least 50 years is the good old “plumb-bob” technique.
It’s especially effective when you’re playing on bent grass greens, like the ones at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, the site for the men’s and women’s Olympic golf competition at these Tokyo games.
First, the greens at Kasumigaseki are absolutely, positively perfect. They should be, no one has played on them for nearly three months coming into this beautiful course located 35 miles northwest of Tokyo.
That was evident during the opening round. Players were running in 20-footers on a regular basis, maybe with the exception of Justin Thomas, who couldn’t buy a birdie on day one and made 18 straight pars.
So let’s give a quick primer on plumb-bobbing.
First, straddle the line of your putt, you’ll stand about four our five feet behind the ball and this may vary depending on the length of the putt.
Second, hold the putter grip between your thumb and forefinger and you’re going to close one eye, for most, it’s the left eye.
Third, you line up the blade of the putter with the ball. On putts that break left-to-right, the shaft of the putter should be to the left of the hole and will show you the degree of the slope. If it’s a right-to-left putt, the shaft will appear on the other side.
It’s quick and easy and will save you time. You want to use it in combination of a visual as you walk up to the green.