Use this drill to increase your chances of a chip-in

bumper rails drill

An alignment stick is a useful tool when learning to keep the ball on the high side of the hole.

georgette rolle

Visualizing the low side of the putt is the most important thing you can do to improve your chances of putting, chipping, or pitching the ball into the hole.  

So how can you practice your visualization? I like using an alignment stick as a bumper rail. If you’ve ever visited a bowling alley, you’ve likely seen bumper rails in action. Bumper rails assist beginners when the ball dives or turns away from the pins. Bumper rails are useful because they not only save the ball from going in the gutter, but also show the bowler where the ball began to turn off-course.

These 3 drills will help you hit the ball closer to the hole
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The same concept is useful in golf. You can use a bumper rail for putting, chipping, or pitching. For a beginner golfer, a bumper shows the area where they do not want the ball to travel if the player wants to give their shot the highest-percentage chance of going into the hole. The bumper also gives the player a sense of early success if the ball bounces off of it and goes into the hole. For the better golfer, a bumper helps engrain the concept of keeping the ball on the high side of the hole. Here’s how you can incorporate a bumper into your next practice session.

First, determine the high side and the low side of the putt. If you are not sure, look to see which side the ball will break or turn when you putt it. Take into account the lay of the land or whether there is a body of water nearby. Once you have determined the low side, place an alignment stick next to the hole, parallel to the target line.

Next, set up a few tees at various distances from the hole on the same line of play. Putt a few putts from each tee, beginning at the shortest distance. If your putts are too low, they will hit the bumper rail. If they hit the bumper rail, watch where the ball hits and determine if your start line or speed needs to be adjusted. Try your best to start the putt high enough so that it avoids hitting the bumper. You can also use this setup for chipping and pitching. Eventually, finding the high side will come naturally, giving you a much greater chance of holing out with each shot you face.

Georgette Rolle welcomes your feedback at georgette.rolle@bahamar.com.

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