The Bump and Run Shot

Published 01/09/2010 08:03:00

The bump and run is an effective shot when you are trying to keep the ball low under the wind, playing off hard ground, or simply trying to run the ball up to a green. The shot is much easier to judge and control than a high pitch, and is ideal when you do not have to fly bunkers or other obstacles.


Most golfers associate this shot with links courses, where the bump and run is often employed to avoid the tricky winds that characterise such courses. Playing target golf in these circumstances can be a disaster. When the ball gets airborne, it can be blown off line, especially with a wedge.

But the bump and run shot can be used on any course under the right conditions - or the wrong ones for that matter.


Thin hopes

In the summer, when the fairways tend to dry out, the bump and run is useful because it allows for a wide margin of error. Even if you thin the ball, it will still run forwards along your intended line, perhaps accomplishing pretty much what you had hoped for in the first place.

Using the bump and run to an uphill green is also a great idea, since it's easy to misjudge the distance and park a lofted shot short on the bank - or even fly over it completely.


The approach shot

As with any golf shot, club selection is the first important decision you must make.

You can play a bump and run shot with anything from a sand wedge to a 6-iron, depending on what you want to do. It's a good idea to practise a variety of shots at the range using different clubs to get a feel for how each club plays in different situations.

Selecting the right club will have a lot to do with how far you want the ball to fly before it starts running, or how much initial ground clearance you want. If you are playing a links course and have a lot of humps and bumps ahead, you may want to take them out by flying the bally further. That could mean a wedge shot. But if you really want to get the ball rolling, you might choose a 6-iron.


Control and feel

Using a 60-yard shot as a typical example of when one might use a bump and run shot, you might want to fly the ball 40 yards and roll the remaining 20.

  • Take out the wedge and choke halfway down the grip for better control and feel.
  • Open your stance slightly, with the hips and feet pointing slightly left of the target, but the shoulders remaining parallel to the target line.
  • The shoulders should be positioned as they would be for a conventional shot because the last thing you want to do is hit the ball with an out-to-in swing path.


Going low

Now set the ball back in your stance: from the centre to slightly behind that, which helps make the ball fly lower. In turn, your hands are set ahead of the clubhead which helps deloft the club and also helps the ball run low.

Finally, set your weight towards your left side and keep it there. You don't want too much weight transfer on this shot.


Now get to the driving range and get the bump and run shot into your armoury - it's guaranteed to save you shots.



1.  I have simplified my short game as much as possible over the last year or so. The bump and run is now my shot of choice unless I have to go over something and it reduces the margin of error dramatically.

comment by Fairway First Golf - 01/07/2016 12:25

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