It's warming up out there Chicagoland.  Hopefully all of you have some great rounds of golf under your belt.  I'd like to offer a little tip on the short game.  More specifically the bump and run.

 
Let’s face it, we don’t always hit the green on our 2nd or sometimes even 3rd shot.  This faces us with the challenge of chipping the ball and trying to save a par or bogey.  For some players chipping can be a daunting task as it relies heavily and feel and distance control.  A common mistake I see a lot of players make is to immediately grab that high lofted wedge when they are just off the green and attempt to hit a Phil Mickelsonesque flop shot.  Only Phil has moves like Phil so let’s focus on a shot this is manageable and easy to control when we are out there, the bump and run.

  • The bump and run can be played with a variety of clubs depending on distance and contours of the green.  A safe bet is typically an 8 or 9 iron.
  • Position your feet closer together and open your stance to the target line with the ball in the back of your stance.
  • Try to get the club more up and down at address.
  • Use your putting grip as opposed to your regular full swing grip.  The idea is to “putt” the ball rather than chip it.
  • When we make the stroke we are looking to limit wrist action and create more of the pendulum swinging motion as opposed to a more up and down swing like we would on a pitch shot. 
  • There isn’t going to be a lot of air time with a bump and run, we are using the ground and our green reading skills to get the ball closer to the hole. 

Using the bump and run helps to eliminate all the extra variables that come into play when using a high lofted club and adding levers to the swing.  It’s not always going to be the shot that can be played, but when you have no obstacles in front of you and a clear path to the whole I recommend using this shot.  You can see an improvement in your short game and hopefully lower scores and more fun.

Happy Golfing!

Jamie J. Nieto, PGA
Head Golf Professional