Mastering the Bump and Run: 8 Drills to a Killer Short Game

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bump and run golf

The bump and run is a powerful weapon in a golfer’s short game arsenal. This article will cover:

  • What a bump and run shot is and how it differs from other short game shots
  • When to use the bump and run for optimal results
  • Key techniques for executing a perfect bump and run
  • Essential drills and practice routines to master this shot
  • Advanced techniques and variations to take your bump and run to the next level
  • Mental strategies for incorporating the bump and run into your game plan

When you find yourself just off the green, staring down a tricky pin placement, the bump and run shot can be your saving grace. This low-flying, rolling shot is designed to navigate fast greens, windy conditions, and tight lies with ease.

Understanding the Bump and Run

The bump and run is essentially a hybrid between a chip and a putt. It involves using a less-lofted club to “bump” the ball onto the green and let it “run” towards the hole. Compared to a pitch or flop shot, the bump and run flies lower, rolls farther, and offers more control.

To learn all the different types of wedges that is used in golf to see which ones could help you a round the green then be sure to check out our article HERE

When to Use the Bump and Run

The bump and run thrives in specific situations:

  • Firm, fast greens: When the greens are hard and quick, the bump and run’s low trajectory and forward roll are ideal.
  • Windy conditions: The low flight of the bump and run helps mitigate the effects of strong winds.
  • Tight lies: When your ball is sitting on hardpan or a tight lie, the bump and run is easier to execute than a high-lofted shot.
  • Unobstructed path: If you have a clear route to the hole without any major obstacles, the bump and run is a smart choice.

How to Hit a Bump and Run #1: Choose short iron

When you have a long space to cover between you and the pin, with no need of lobbing it over anything, you’re in bump and run territory. Choosing a high-lofted iron like a seven, eight or nine iron, is the most efficient route. The reduced loft means less spin, and more roll. You can make a smaller stroke, which will reduce your room for error.

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Executing the Perfect Bump and Run

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To hit a successful bump and run, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right club: Opt for a less-lofted club, like an 8 or 9 iron, for a lower trajectory and more roll.
  2. Set up with a narrow, open stance: Position the ball back in your stance, with your feet close together and your weight favoring your front foot.
  3. Grip down on the club: Choke down on the grip for added control, and keep your hands slightly ahead of the ball.
  4. Make a pendulum motion: Swing the club back and through with minimal wrist hinge, letting your shoulders control the motion.
  5. Strike with a descending blow: Hit down on the ball with a slightly descending angle of attack, creating a low, running shot.
  6. Keep your follow-through short: Avoid a long, sweeping follow-through; instead, keep it short and low, mirroring your backswing.

Drills and Practice Routines

To improve your bump and run technique, try these drills:

DrillPurposeInstructions
Ladder DrillImprove distance controlSet up tees at 10, 15, 20, and 25 yards from a target. Practice hitting bump and runs to each distance.
Spot Landing DrillEnhance precision and trajectory controlChoose a specific spot on the green where you want the ball to land. Practice hitting the ball to land precisely on that spot.
Varied Lies DrillDevelop adaptability to different course conditionsPractice hitting bump and runs from uphill, downhill, and sidehill lies to learn how to adjust your stance and swing.
One Club ChallengeImprove versatility with a single clubSelect one club, like a 7-iron, and practice hitting bump and runs from different distances, adjusting your swing length and power.
Up and Down DrillSimulate pressure and build mental toughnessCreate a game-like scenario where you must get the ball up and down using a bump and run to “save par,” adding pressure to your practice.

Advanced Techniques and Variations

As you become more comfortable with the bump and run, experiment with these advanced techniques:

  • Spin control: Manipulate the club face or utilize the bounce to control the spin and check of your shots. ( if you want more backspin on your ball click HERE for our guide)
  • Hybrid and fairway wood bump and runs: For longer shots, consider using a hybrid or fairway wood to execute a bump and run with more carry distance.
  • Uneven lies and awkward stances: Practice hitting bump and runs from challenging lies and stances to expand your short game versatility.

Mental Game and Strategy

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To successfully integrate the bump and run into your game:

  1. Develop confidence: Trust your technique and commit to the shot. Confidence is key to executing under pressure.
  2. Make smart decisions: Assess the situation and choose the bump and run when it’s the highest percentage play. Sometimes, a conservative approach is best.
  3. Integrate it into your game plan: Incorporate the bump and run into your pre-shot routine and strategize when to deploy it on the course.

My Own Personal Experience

This technique is one of the best things I added to my arsenal, some days you don’t feel confident in your chipping or might get a bit of the yips, hitting a bump and run gives you so much confidence and when executed properly it does wonders for my game.

Conclusion

Mastering the bump and run can revolutionize your short game and save you valuable strokes. By understanding when and how to use this shot, practicing with purpose, and developing confidence in your execution, you’ll be well on your way to a killer short game. Embrace the bump and run, and watch your scores plummet.

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