forrest lake putting green

When it comes to having a solid short game around the greens, having all the shots you need to get the ball close to hole is crucial. Especially the bump and run shot. Being confident with the bump and run shot will ultimately help you get the ball up and down more times throughout a round, making it a lot easier to make putts during your round of golf.

Only having one or two different pitch shots and not being able to get creative with loft, spin, angles will hold you back from shooting new low scores. Most novice golfers use the same technique over and over again.

A shot that not many golfers think to use around the green is the bump and run.

The shot is exactly what the name sounds like. Bump and run. But, if you don’t know how to hit the shot or know how to hit it, then you’re holding yourself back from a very important part of the game. We are going to cover everything you need to learn the bump and run shot. Hopefully adding this shot to your repurtua will improve your score and make for a more enjoyable time on the golf course. 

When To Hit A Bump And Run Shot On The Golf Course

There are many different reason you should want to resort to the bump and run shot during a round.

  • Tight Lies against the grain
  • Going under trees
  • Strong winds
  • Large greens
  • Playing a links course

Tight Lies With The Grain Against You

When you find yourself in a tight lie and very little grass under the ball, a lot of things can go wrong for the amatuer golfer. Tight lies come from several different causing factors: dry grass, hard ground and burnt grass.

Most of the time when you’re playing on a very firm course with short grass you will be faced with these situations.The bump and run shot gives you much more room for error opposed to a tougher shot like chip or flop shot. Many times, average golfers will try to hit a basic chip shot and the club will bounce off the hard ground resulting in a skull shot over the green. 

Keeping it low: Bump And Run Shots for Tree trouble

Sometimes we are faced with obstructions in the air like a tree limb. In order to dodge the trouble and get the ball closer to the hole we have to either hit a bump and run shot or punch shot. Sometimes golf courses have lots of trees around the greens and leading up to the green. Having a trusty bump and run in your go to shot will definitely come in handy.

Strong Winds on the Course

Similarly, sometimes the wind is so strong that it knocks the ball off line while in the air. This is extremely true with short pitch shots because there’s not much speed behind the ball and the wind will affect its direction much easier. This is common practices in European golf because of how the courses are designed and the weather conditions. You can run into this situation at any time so you need to know when mother nature is telling you to hit the bump and run and keep the ball on the ground.

A lot of Real Estate to Cover: Large Greens

chipping around green
Bump and run shot around the green

Sometimes when you’re on the edge of the green and the pin is located all the way on the other side it becomes difficult to pick what shot to choose. Bump and run shots from this point will be used like a long putt. Once you can get the ball rolling towards the hole, you can pretty much have a good idea how the ball is going to break towards the hole.

Alternatively, if you have no green to work with and dont have an opportunity to put any spin on the ball, a bump and run shot might be your best option. 

A bump and run shot give you several different way to control the ball.

  • It’s going to have very little spin on the ball so that the ball will roll out nice a true like a long putt allowing the ball to take slopes on the green or fairway.
  • It stays nice and low so you can move the ball under trees and obstruction.

How To Hit A Bump And Run Shot

Now that you have a good idea on when to hit a bump and run shot, lets discuss how to actually pull it off. First and foremost, with any golf swing, we want to make sure we have a proper golf grip. Our connection to the club is one of the most important keys to playing consistent golf. 

Which club to choose?

Club selection is a pretty important part of short game skills. Most amateur golfers make the biggest mistake you can make is that’s to always bring the same lob wedge or sand wedge with you when your around greens. This really puts some restrictions on what you’re able to do with the golf ball.

Typically when hitting a bump and run shot you want to grab a club with a lower loft like a 5 or 7 iron. Some people will even use their 3 wood or 5 wood to hit the shot. There is no real right or wrong way to do it. Just go with whatever fits your eye and feels the most comfortable.  

Keep Your Stance Narrow

When you’re hitting a bump and run shot, you want to set up with your stance narrow almost like your hitting a putt. You can have your feet square to the target or slightly open. 

You also want at least 60% of your weight on your lead side, so left side for right handed golfers and right side for left handed golfers. This will help make sure that you’re hitting down on the ball and that don’t catch the grass first.

Where Should The Ball Be Positioned?

Now we will discuss ball position. When you’re setting up to the ball, you want to make sure the ball is slightly behind the middle of your stance. So, closer to your right foot if you’re a right handed golfer.

This will ensure that you hit the ball first and get a nice run out on the shot.

How To Swing The Bump and Run

Last but not least, it’s time to discuss how we properly move the club when hitting a bump and run shot. We want to start by grabbing a less lofted club and getting our feet close together.

Remember, the bump and run shot is very similar to hitting a long putt and the stroke should resemble a putting stroke as well. You want to address the ball with your arms hanging straight underneath you in like a pendulum. You want your arms moving back and forth through the ball nice and smooth with no resistance. 

Another main thing you should focus on is not breaking the wrists. You definitely dont want change the angle of attack on this shot, so keep your wrist together and dont let them break, just like in your putting stroke.

Praciting The Bump and Run Shot: The Drills

Now that you have a good idea on how to execute the bump and run shot, it’s time to focus on a few drills to help you practice the shot.

Long Club Extended Shaft Drill:

As mentioned earlier in the lesson, you want to make sure your wrists aren’t doing a whole lot in the swing. Keeping your wrist together and not breaking them will make this shot much easier for you and provide much better results around the greens.

  1. You can do this drill a few different ways. One way is use an old shaft from a club and attached it to the club your practicing with so that the extended part is sticking out past your rib cage.
  2. Then make some practice swings or even hit a ball or two. The first thing that you’ll notice is that if you break your wrist the extended part of the shaft or alignment stick will hit you in the side.
  3. To execute the shot correctly you will have to rotate you body to get out of the way of the extended shaft. This will give you the feeling of proper body motion. 

Various Lie Drills

Practice hitting the shot in different scenarios, including on the fringe, the rough and different lies you can find around the green. 

 Place balls around the green in different lies and then use some tees and mark off a circle of about 3 feet in diameter around the pin. You want to hit each different lie and try and keep the ball within your 3 foot circle. 

This will help your confidence when you go to play against friends or in a tournament. 

You can also turn this into a mini game with yourself. When you get the ball inside the circle, it counts as a birdie, if it falls outside the circle, it counts as a bogey. 

The goal is to shoot 5 under on the five shots. Repeat until you achieve 5 under. 

Land The Ball on The Spot Drill

This is one of my favorite drills because it uses your imagination quite a bit. If you can pick spots on the green and land the ball there when your playing, getting up and down for par or birdie will become a whole lot easier for you.

For this drill you can use a small towel or you can use coins as your landing spot. The smaller the spot the better because it will give you more accuracy. 

Hit 10 shots and try and land the ball on your target 8/10 of times. You can use the same the scoring method as the circle drill. If you land the ball on the coin or towel, that’s 1 point, if you don’t its minus 1 point. Try and get 8 out of 10. 

Finishing Touches

We hope this article has given you some insight on how to hit the bump and run shot. We covered the how and why to hit the shot as well as drills to help you get better at executing the bump and run shot. 

At some point in time you will need to play the bump and run shot on your course. Sometime the creativity around the greens with shots like this is what sets you apart from your average playing partner.