what is a bump and run in golf

Bump & Run: Golf’s Short-Game Tactic

Last Updated on November 20, 2023

Golf, a sport that’s as much about strategy and skill as it is about power and precision, has an array of techniques up its sleeve. One such technique that you may have heard muttered around the clubhouse or seen performed by professionals on TV is the ‘bump and run’. But what exactly does this term mean? If you’re keen to improve your game and add some new tricks to your arsenal, read on.

The bump and run shot can be a real lifesaver when faced with certain situations out on the course. This clever manoeuvre allows players to navigate their way through tricky spots where other shots might not quite cut it. In this article, we’ll delve into the mechanics behind this unique golfing tactic – from when it should be utilised, how to execute it effectively, and why adding it to your repertoire could make all the difference in achieving success during those nail-biting moments in the green.

Understanding The Technique

Imagine standing on a lush golf course, admiring the perfectly manicured fairways and greens. The sun is shining down as you prepare to play your next shot in golf – but instead of trying for an airborne approach, you decide to keep things low-key with a bump-and-run shot. This type of golf shot involves using a lower-lofted club, such as a 7-iron or even a hybrid, to make contact with the ball at just the right angle and speed so that it scurries along the ground before reaching its intended target.

To execute this nifty little manoeuvre, one must first adjust their ball position within their stance. Typically, placing the ball slightly further back than usual encourages more solid contact between the clubface and the ball, which results in both reduced spin rates and increased roll-out distances. However, finding the ideal landing spot can sometimes be likened to solving an enigmatic puzzle – particularly when contending with undulating terrain found on many golf courses across Britain.

Advantages Of The Shot

The bump and run shot is a versatile golfing technique that offers several advantages to golfers. One of the primary benefits of this particular stroke is its ability to keep the ball close to the ground, allowing it to travel along the contours of the fairway with greater predictability than other shots like pitching or lobbing. This can be especially useful when playing on courses with undulating terrain or unpredictable winds.

There are four main reasons why many professional and amateur golfers choose to employ the bump and run in their game:

  1. Enhanced control over distance – By keeping the trajectory low, players have more command over how far they want their ball to roll.
  2. Improved accuracy – The relatively short swing required for a bump and run reduces opportunities for errors in alignment and clubface position.
  3. Better consistency – With a simpler swinging motion, there’s less room for variability from one shot to another, leading to increased reliability.
  4. Easier execution – Compared to high-lofted pitch shots, which demand precise contact between clubface and ball, bump-and-run strokes require less technical mastery.

While these advantages make the bump and run an attractive option in various scenarios, it’s essential not only to know what makes this shot advantageous but also recognising when it would serve as your best bet on course strategy-wise – thus maximising potential gains while minimising risks associated with poor execution or ill-suited conditions.

Optimal Situations For Execution

a man playing golf with tactics in short game

Now that we have delved into the numerous advantages of the bump and run shot in golf, it is high time we discuss when best to employ this brilliant technique. Optimal situations for execution are crucial to consider if one wishes to utilise their skills effectively on the course. Recognising these scenarios will allow you to capitalise on your practice and ultimately improve your game.

On many golf courses, one might find oneself faced with a scenario where employing a bump and run would be most advantageous. Picture this: your golf ball lies just off the green, but rather than having a clear path towards the hole, there’s an obstacle such as thick rough or perhaps even a bunker standing between you and your target. In these instances, attempting a traditional chip shot may prove risky due to its trajectory requiring precision; however, opting for a bump and run allows you to keep the ball low whilst navigating said obstacles before allowing it to roll smoothly towards the pin.

In other cases, windy conditions may sway you towards choosing the trusty bump and run as well. This particular stroke keeps the ball closer to the ground throughout its travel, making it less susceptible to gusts throwing off its intended line. Moreover, some greens can be quite receptive or fast-paced depending on various factors like humidity levels or recent rainfall – mastering this versatile game shot could save precious strokes under such circumstances.

Comparing With Chip Shots

In the game of golf, a bump and run shot is often compared to chip shots. The fundamental difference between these two types of shots lies in their trajectory and intended outcome on the green. It’s crucial for players to master both techniques as they offer a variety of options during different situations around the green.

A bump and run shot requires less lofted clubs than chip shots, typically using an iron with lofts ranging from 6-iron up to a pitching wedge. In contrast, typical club choices for chip shots are higher-lofted wedges such as sand or lob wedge. Here are some key differences between bump and run shots versus chip shots:

  • Trajectory: Bump and run has a lower flight, while chipping generally produces a higher ball flight.
  • Roll: A bump and run will have more roll upon landing on the green, whereas chips tend to stop faster due to their increased loft.
  • Wrist action: Players should keep wrist movement minimal when executing a bump and run; conversely, wrists play an essential role in creating proper contact in chipping.
  • Type of lie: Bump and runs work well from tighter lies where there isn’t much grass under the ball; however, chip shots can be played from various lies, including roughs or bunkers.
  • Course conditions: Bump and run may be preferred on firmer greens because it allows for better control over a distance; meanwhile, softer greens might call for a high-lofted chip shot that stops quicker.

As you develop your skills further in golf, it’s important not only to know which type of shot best suits each particular situation but also to practice them effectively. By understanding how bump-and-run differs from chipping – whether it’s through varying lofts or distinctively altering your swing mechanics – golfers could tailor their short game strategy accordingly.


In conclusion, mastering the bump and run shot can be a game-changer for golfers of all levels. Just like adding an extra spice to your favourite dish, incorporating this technique into your gameplay helps you navigate tricky situations on the course with ease.

Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t shy away from trying out this useful shot during your next round. With time, patience, and dedication, you’ll soon find yourself conquering those challenging greens with confidence and finesse.

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