How do you hit a "bump and run" shot in golf?

As I stand at the edge of the green, I contemplate the best way to approach this tricky shot. The bump and run is a valuable tool in any golfer’s arsenal, especially when faced with undulating greens and not much green to work with.

To execute this shot, I position the ball back in my stance, use a lower lofted club, and make a putting stroke. This technique allows the ball to roll swiftly over the ground and avoid getting caught up in the rough or sand, ultimately achieving the desired result of getting the ball close to the hole. Mastering the bump and run can be a game-changer in your short game, and it’s a skill worth honing on the practice green.

Understanding the “Bump and Run” Technique

Before diving into the details of how to execute a successful “bump and run” shot in golf, it’s important to understand the technique and the situations where it can be most effective on the course. This shot is a low, running chip shot typically used when you are close to the green with enough fairway between your ball and the putting surface. The goal is to land the ball just on the green and have it roll out toward the hole, rather than getting the ball into the air and letting it stop quickly.

Definition and Situations for a “Bump and Run” Shot

The “bump and run” shot is used when you are within a relatively short distance from the green, with the fairway or closely-mown fringe between your ball and the putting surface. Instead of opting for a high, lofted shot that could lead to unpredictable results, the “bump and run” allows you to keep the ball low to the ground and use the firmness of the fairway to control the distance and direction of the shot.

This shot is often preferred in windy conditions when a high, arcing shot could be affected by the wind. It can also be a valuable option when facing a downhill or tight lie, where a high-lofted shot is much more difficult to execute successfully.

Key Elements of a Successful “Bump and Run”

When it comes to executing a successful “bump and run” shot, there are a few key elements to keep in mind. Firstly, proper club selection is crucial. Look for a club with a lower loft, such as a 7 or 8 iron, to keep the ball lower to the ground. Secondly, your setup and stance play a significant role. Position the ball slightly back in your stance, and lean the shaft of the club toward the target to reduce the loft of the club.

Finally, maintaining a smooth, controlled swing with a firm wrist is essential to achieve the desired trajectory and distance. It’s important to focus on the rhythm of the swing and trust the firmness of the fairway to carry the ball toward the target.

Executing the “Bump and Run” Shot

Obviously, the “bump and run” shot requires careful execution to ensure it lands close to the pin. This type of shot is typically used when you want to keep the ball low to the ground and have it roll out towards the hole. It’s a great option when you’re dealing with tight lies or want to avoid the risk of flying the ball too far and potentially overshooting the green. Here’s how you can successfully execute the “bump and run” shot.

Club Selection and Stance

When it comes to club selection for the “bump and run” shot, I recommend using a wedge or a 9-iron, as these clubs provide enough loft to get the ball airborne but also allow it to roll out once it hits the ground. As for your stance, it’s important to position the ball slightly back in your stance and lean more towards your front foot. This will help you make clean contact with the ball and keep it low to the ground.

Swing Technique for the “Bump and Run”

For the swing technique, keep your hands ahead of the ball at address and through impact. This will help you maintain a downward strike on the ball, promoting a lower trajectory and more controlled roll out. Additionally, utilize a shorter backswing and follow through to ensure you don’t overpower the shot and end up sending it too far. Focus on keeping your body and arms connected throughout the swing to maintain control and accuracy.

Strategizing Your Game

After understanding the basics of the “bump and run” shot, it’s important to strategize when and how to use this technique on the golf course. By strategically choosing the “bump and run” over other shots and managing your game effectively, you can improve your overall performance and lower your scores.

When to Choose a “Bump and Run” Over Other Shots

When you find yourself in a situation where the pin is close to the edge of the green, and there is not much room to work with, the “bump and run” shot can be a great option. This shot can also be effective when you have a long approach shot with little to no green to work with. By choosing the “bump and run” in these situations, you can minimize the risk of overshooting the green and ending up in a more challenging position.

Course Management with the “Bump and Run”

As I navigate the course, I always keep in mind the benefits of incorporating the “bump and run” into my game. This shot is an essential tool for managing the course effectively. Using the “bump and run” can help you navigate around hazards, such as bunkers and water features.

It also allows for greater control over the trajectory and roll of the ball, especially when dealing with uneven or sloping terrain. By incorporating this shot into your course management strategy, you can set yourself up for success and confidently navigate the challenges of the course.

Practice and Troubleshooting

Despite the simplicity of the “bump and run” shot, mastering it requires practice and troubleshooting. The good news is that with consistent practice and a clear understanding of common mistakes, you can become more proficient at this essential golf shot. Here’s how to fine-tune your skills and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Drills to Perfect the “Bump and Run”

One effective drill to perfect the “bump and run” is to practice with different clubs, such as a 7-iron, 8-iron, and even a pitching wedge. Start by placing a golf tee at a specific distance from the hole and practice hitting the ball to that spot using each club.

This will help you develop a feel for the distance and trajectory needed for the shot. Additionally, I recommend practicing on different lies, such as uphill and downhill, to simulate real course conditions and improve your adaptability.

Common Mistakes and How to Correct Them

One common mistake when hitting a “bump and run” shot is decelerating through impact, which can result in chunked or inconsistent shots. To correct this, focus on maintaining a smooth and consistent tempo throughout the swing.

Another mistake is improper club selection. Using a club with too much loft can lead to unpredictable results. Instead, opt for a lower lofted club and adjust your setup to accommodate the desired trajectory and roll. Lastly, failing to commit to the shot and second-guessing your technique can lead to hesitation and poor execution. Trust your skills and commit to the shot with confidence.

By understanding the drills to perfect the “bump and run” and identifying and correcting common mistakes, you can refine your technique and become more confident with this crucial shot. Remember, practice makes perfect.


Considering all points, hitting a “bump and run” shot in golf requires careful consideration of club selection, shot trajectory, and green conditions. By using a lower lofted club, keeping the ball back in your stance, and utilizing a pendulum-like putting stroke, you can effectively execute this shot and land the ball close to your intended target. With practice and patience, mastering the “bump and run” can be a valuable tool in your golf game.

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