For as rich in history and tradition as the game of golf may be, it is not without its fair share of myths, half-truths and tall tales. Do putts actually break away from mountains and toward the ocean? Does the plumb bob actually help you read a putt better?
We took a closer look at two of these topics to learn which is true, and which is nothing more than a golf myth.
The Plumb Bob
The premise of this green-reading technique is simple: stand behind your golf ball, hold your putter vertically in front of you face so your ball is covered by the “line” your putter shaft creates, and voila! You’ve just read how the putt will break. But does it actually work?
“Plumb bobbing doesn’t work,” Top 100 golf instructor T.J. Tomasi, Ph.D told Golf Magazine back in 2009. “The plumb-bob method is like a campaign promise — it sounds great but the more you question how it’s going to get done, the more it evaporates.”
Similar verdicts on the technique have been heard for years, all agreeing that plumb bobbing is a complete sham. The main point of contention rests on the fact that the “read” will differ depending on which eye you keep open and which you close. There’s simply no scientific data to prove that plumb bobbing works. (MYTH)
Putts Break Away from Mountains (or Toward Bodies of Water)
The idea sounds fishy, but the notion that putts will break away from mountains and toward valleys or large bodies of water might have something to it.
It turns out that the ridges and hills on the putting surface aren’t the only factors to consider when reading the green. Good ol’ Mother Nature and Sir Issac Newton might have much more to say about it.
“If you’re playing a course at the base of a mountain range, putts are going to break away from the mountains,” putting guru Dave Stockton writes in his book Putt to Win: Secrets for Mastering the Other Game of Golf. “The [course] architect may try to counteract this… [but] the mountain is always going to have its way to some extent.”
When it comes to large bodies of water — like an ocean or man-made/natural lake — many golf courses are built to drain into the water as part of its overall drainage system. Believe it or not, your golf ball is going to favor whatever direction “breaks” toward the mater source. (TRUTH)
What other putting myths (or truths) can you think of? List them in the comments below.