How to Hit a Bump and Run Chip Shot

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how to hit a bump and run chip shot

Every golfer knows that short-game prowess is a crucial factor in achieving a lower score. Understanding how to hit a bump and run chip shot is essential if you want to shave strokes off your game. This versatile golf shot allows you to tackle various scenarios on the course, providing a reliable go-to option when you need it most. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the fundamentals of the bump-and-run technique and offer actionable tips to help you master this critical skill.

What is a Bump and Run Chip Shot?

The bump and run is a low-trajectory golf shot that gets the ball rolling after it lands, allowing it to cover more ground and settle near the hole. This shot is handy when you have a lot of green to work with or face obstacles such as tree branches that make hitting a high-lofted shot challenging.

Why the Bump and Run Technique is Crucial for Your Short Game

A well-executed bump-and-run golf shot can be a game-changer. Unlike traditional chip shots, which often require more precise distance control, the bump and run is more forgiving and easier to execute. By focusing on getting the ball rolling as soon as possible, you can minimize errors and improve your short-game consistency.

Ideal Situations for Using a Bump and Run Chip Shot

A bump-and-run shot is perfect for:

  • Navigating tight lies or light rough
  • Bypassing obstacles such as trees or bunkers
  • Managing fast greens or firm course conditions

How to Hit a Bump and Run Chip Shot: A Detailed Breakdown

Mastering the Bump and Run Swing Technique

A compact, controlled swing is crucial for precisely executing a bump-and-run shot. Focus on the following critical elements during your swing:

  • Quiet wrists and minimal hinge: Unlike a full swing, a bump-and-run shot requires quiet wrists and a minimal hinge to maintain control. This helps keep the clubhead low through impact, ensuring a clean strike on the golf ball.
  • Control your backswing and follow-through length: For a bump and run shot, your backswing should be shorter than a full swing, and your follow-through should match its length. This controlled motion allows you to better manage shot distance and trajectory.
  • Maintain a stable lower body: Keep your lower body quiet and stable throughout the swing. This helps maintain a solid base and promotes a consistent strike on the golf ball.
  • Accelerate through impact: Accelerating through impact is essential to ensure solid ball first contact and maintain control. Decelerating or hesitating can result in poor contact and inconsistent shots.
  • Finish with a low, controlled follow-through: Unlike a full swing or high chip shot, the bump and run require a low, controlled follow-through. This helps maintain the ball low and ensures the ball rolls smoothly after landing.
how to hit a bump and run chip shot

Reading the Green: How to Judge Your Chip Shot

Properly assessing the green is critical for executing an effective bump and run shot. Consider the following factors:

  • The slope and speed of the green: Analyze the contours of the green and the speed at which the ball will roll. This information helps you determine the ideal landing spot and roll-out path.
  • Wind and other environmental conditions: Take note of any wind or ecological factors impacting the ball’s flight and roll. Adjust your club selection and aim accordingly.
  • Visualizing the ideal landing spot and path to the hole: Before executing the shot, visualize the path the ball will take from when it leaves the clubface to when it comes to rest near the hole. This mental rehearsal can improve your shot execution and confidence.

Adjusting Your Shot for Different Lies and Obstacles

The bump-and-run chip shot is versatile, but you may need minor adjustments to accommodate different lies and course obstacles. Consider these tips:

  • Tight lies: On tight lies, position the ball slightly further back in your stance and lean the shaft forward to ensure crisp contact.
  • Light rough: In light rough, play the ball slightly forward in your stance, and use a club with more loft to account for the grass potentially grabbing the clubface.
  • Obstacles: If you need to navigate over a small obstacle, such as a sprinkler head or a subtle ridge, consider using a club with slightly more loft to help the ball clear the obstruction before rolling out.

By paying attention to these key elements and making the necessary adjustments, you can execute a bump-and-run chip shot with precision and confidence.

The Fundamentals of a Bump and Run Chip Shot

Choosing the Right Club for a Bump and Run

Selecting the right club is vital for executing a successful bump-and-run shot. While many amateur golfers default to a lob wedge for most short-game shots, a bump and run typically requires a lower lofted club such as a 7-iron, 8-iron, or even a 9-iron.

Factors to consider when selecting a club for a bump and run shot include the amount of green you have to work with, the lie of the golf ball, course conditions, and green speed.

Perfecting Your Grip for a Bump and Run Chip Shot

A firm, neutral grip is essential for controlling the club head and executing a consistent bump and run shot. Some golfers prefer a putting grip, while others opt for a traditional grip with a slight forward press to promote a more descending putting stroke.

Advanced Bump and Run Strategies and Drills

Adapting your bump and run shot to varying course conditions is a valuable skill. Consider these advanced adjustments for different situations:

  • Fast, firm greens: Use a club with even less loft to promote a lower trajectory and more roll. Experiment with various clubs, such as a 6-iron or a hybrid, to find the optimal loft for the specific course conditions.
  • Soft, slow greens: Opt for a slightly more lofted club to account for less roll after the ball lands. A 9-iron or pitching wedge may provide the ideal balance between loft and roll for these conditions.
  • Uphill and downhill lies: Adjust your stance and weight distribution to accommodate the slope. On uphill lies, lean more into your back foot; on downhill lies, lean more into your front foot. This helps maintain a balanced, solid base during your swing.

Bump and Run Drills to Improve Your Short Game

Incorporate these advanced drills into your practice routine to refine your bump and run skills:

  • Variable lie drill: Place golf balls in different lies (e.g., tight lie, uphill, downhill, sidehill) around the practice green and hit bump and run shots from each lie. This will help you become comfortable adjusting your technique for various course conditions.
  • One-club challenge: Using only one club, such as an 8-iron, practice hitting bump and run shots to ensure solid ball first contact and maintain control targets on the practice green. This drill will challenge your creativity and help you develop a better feel for controlling distance and trajectory with a single club.
  • Club rotation drill: Set up multiple targets around the practice green, and hit bump and run shots to each target while rotating through your club selection. This drill will help you better understand how different clubs affect the trajectory and roll-out of your bump and run shots.
  • Pressure practice: Create pressure situations by challenging yourself to get up and down using a bump and run shot within a specific number of attempts. This drill will help you build confidence and perform better under pressure on the course.
how to hit a bump and run chip shot

Setting Up for Success: The Bump and Run Stance

To achieve the correct stance for a bump and run shot, focus on the following elements:

  1. Position your feet slightly closer together than in a full-swing stance
  2. Place your weight forward on your lead foot (about 60-70%)
  3. Align your body parallel to the target line
  4. Position the ball slightly back in your stance to promote a descending strike

Executing the Bump and Run Chip Shot

A compact, controlled swing is crucial for precisely executing a bump-and-run shot. Focus on the following critical elements during your swing:

  1. Keep your wrists quiet and maintain a pendulum-like motion
  2. Control your backswing and follow-through length to manage chip and run distances.
  3. Hit down on the ball finishing with a flat wrist and a club head low to the ground.
  4. Accelerate through impact to ensure solid ball first contact and maintain control.

Troubleshooting Common Bump and Run Mistakes

Even the most skilled golfers can encounter issues with their bump-and-run technique. To avoid common mistakes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Maintain acceleration through impact to avoid deceleration and inconsistent chunked shots
  • Ensure a descending strike to prevent “chili-dip” or “skulled” shots
  • Adjust your technique and club selection if you’re struggling with improper ball flight or roll

Is bump and run better than chipping?

Bump and run and chipping are two different techniques used in golf to get the ball onto the green from a short distance away.

Bump and run involves using a low-lofted club to hit the ball along the ground and let it roll towards the flag. The 7 iron bump and run is a very popular technique amongst golfers. Whereas Chipping involves using a higher-lofted club, such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge, to hit the ball into the air and onto the green.

Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on the situation. It’s important to practice both techniques and choose the one that works best for the specific shot.

Is chipping the same as bump and run?

No, chipping and bump and run are not the same technique. While both techniques are used to get the ball onto the green from a short distance away, they differ in the way the ball is struck and the trajectory of the ball.

When should you hit a bump and run?

Bump and run is a useful technique when you need to get the ball onto the green from a short distance away and there is a lot of space between the ball and the flag. It’s also a good option when you have a tight lie or the ball is on a downhill slope, making it difficult to get the ball in the air.

How Far Can You Hit a Bump and Run?

The distance you can hit a bump and run shot depends on various factors such as the club you use, the lie of the ball, the condition of the turf, and the slope of the green.

Generally, a bump and run chip shot with a low-lofted club, such as a 7 or 8 iron, can travel anywhere from a few yards to 50 yards or more, depending on the conditions. If the lie of the ball is good and the turf is firm and fast, you can expect the ball to roll further. Conversely, if the lie is poor or the turf is soft, the ball may not roll as far.

It’s important to note that the bump and run is not a power shot, but rather a technique that relies on accuracy and control. The goal of a bump and run chip shot is to get the ball rolling towards the hole and let it run out, rather than trying to hit the ball high in the air and land it softly on the green.

Do Pros Bump and Run?

Yes, professional golfers do use the bump and run shot when it’s the most effective shot to play. In fact, the bump and run shot is a staple in the arsenal of many professional golfers, and they use it frequently in their rounds.

Professional golfers are highly skilled and experienced, and they know when to use the bump and run shot based on the conditions of the course and the lie of the ball. They can execute the shot with precision and control, which is why it’s a valuable shot to have in their repertoire.

Bonus Tip – For the most comprehensive guide on chipping, including flop shots, bump and runs, and bunker shots, see our golf chipping page and types of chip shots page.


With practice, patience, and perseverance, you can master the bump-and-run chip shot and elevate your short game. In addition, by integrating this versatile shot into your overall golf strategy, you’ll be better equipped to handle various course situations and ultimately lower your scores.

Remember, the journey to becoming a better golfer is ongoing. Stay committed to learning and adapting your short game, and you’ll find yourself reaping the rewards on the golf course. Happy chipping!

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Tommy is a confirmed golf fanatic. He's been playing golf for 20 years and just loves everything about the game. His dad used to play golf a lot and watch the PGA and European Tours, so Tommy started watching too. Now he knows a lot about golf and loves to coach people and help them play better.

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