Playing Tips

1) Bump and Run

The bump and run is a most useful shot on a running-golf course, where the turf is tight and dry and has a consistent bounce.  It should be played close to the ground. The problem with using a wedge with forward hands is that it has to be hit 100% as it is so easy to scull or duff a wedge from a tight lie.  It is also difficult to judge the correct speed of a putt over semi-rough. The bump-and-run takes out of play that lack of control.  The bump and run is the percentage shot and still puts your ball close to the pin even if you don’t hit the shot absolutely correctly, and if mastered, is an up-and-down shot saver.

Improve your game:

Many different clubs can be used from 3 woods (remember Hamilton from just off on the 18th at Royal Troon to win the Open?), jiggers, the mashie that Harold Hilton used, sometimes 5 irons but I maintain my 7- iron (see * below) is the easiest, because it chips the ball one third of the distance and the ball runs out the remaining two thirds, thereby allowing the golfer to take more control of the shot.

May I suggest you try walking out to the side of the shot and, by raising your two hands, divide the distance between the flag and your ball into three.  Keep your eye on the one-third spot as you walk back to your ball.  Concentrate on pitching the ball on that spot and miraculously you will have a putt of under four feet to complete your up and down.

It is a bit mechanical but it helps you start to get a feel for the shot.

*Actually I play with 30 year old Ping Eye Twos and my 7-iron is the equivalent to a modern 8-iron as the manufacturers have de-lofted modern clubs.

Quick play:

This manoeuvre needs to be done before your partners stop to watch your shot or you will soon be accused of slowing up play!

2) New Grips ?

A simple tip to save money and let the grips of your clubs perform for longer, is to scrub the grooves of the grips with soap and a nail brush. It washes away the natural oils from your palms, and makes them ‘sticky’ again!

Reader Comments

On June 18th, 2009 Martin Izzard said:

The bump and run shot is one I feel is lost on so many younger players. I recently watched many lads up at Seacroft Lincolnshire flashing away with 60 degree wedges in a gale and had a little titter to myself. Still, I was young and inexperienced once!

On March 15th, 2010 Abe Mee said:

I recently read Ben Hogan’s Power Golf and have found his recommendation to keep one’s right elbow on one’s right hip throughout the chip shot to be marvellous advice for a right-hander. I expect this would assist with bump and runs.

On April 10th, 2012 Miles Moffat said:

I recommend the 8 iron rather than the 7 iron. Simple reason it is the result that counts and I find that the ball goes the same distance whether I hit it cleanly, thin it or catch it a little heavy. I use the 8 for all run up shots so I really can predict the result. Golf is a game of risk management and playing the easiest shot for you.

On June 7th, 2013 Bruce McClure said:

I like to use an 8 iron as well. I have always been a fan on the bump and run and call it a ‘Ronnie Corbett.’ I have never seen Mr Corbett play so I do not know if he is a fan of this particular stroke. In my mind’s eye, however, this vertically challenged man is a master at it and hence the name.

On April 9th, 2014 JC Morrison said:

An 8 Iron for me as well…a most versatile club

On April 28th, 2014 Doug watterson said:

I think that the bump and run is a real and rare tool and perfect for courses designed as running courses. However it is unfortunate that some courses have been designed with ‘target’ features, this can conflict with the move to firmer running greenkeeping. Ultimately a move to a running game will require redesigns of some holes to facilitate this.
Dear Doug,
There is also the course set-up that often needs changing. For example Aprons need to be firm and almost extensions from the green, rather than soft surfaces with long lush sticky grass. Increasingly the finest courses are sculpturing the run-offs to their greens to make the bump-and-run the best shot to use.
Yours, Lorne

On June 23rd, 2014 Paul lindley said:

I believe the use of blade irons has a big impact on ball striking. No stuck on plastic bits just metal set with traditional lofts.

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