One of the most rewarding shots in golf is chipping in. It not only saves strokes, but provides an adrenalin rush for a couple more shots. All golfers try to hole the ball on every shot, but are we really doing the right things to accomplish that ever elusive chip in?
Being within 5 yards of the green provides the best opportunity to chip the ball in the hole. To carry out this feat – the bump and run is the best shot. Yes, if a bunker is in the way or a sprinkler head or….then a lob shot is best. However, if you have a straight shot at the green, the percentage shot is the bump and run.
Over the years, I have realized that I can save 5 strokes around (depending on if I hit the green in regulation or not) by focusing on my set-up for a bump and run shot. Recently, I have made some changes with some excellent results.
First, line the bump and run up like a putt. Take the time to actually read the green, the slope, grain, and location of the hole.
Second, decide how hard to hit the ball by choose the landing spot for the ball. This part is extremely important! By determining where to land the ball will result in how far the ball will eventually travel and the line it travels on.
Third, select a club. Normally, I use a 7-iron. But that will change depending on what hazards I have to navigate around. The traditional wisdom is to use an 8-iron, but I am anything but traditional. The point is, pick the club you feel will get the job done.
Fourth, I use a putter grip on the club. It softens your hands, ensures your wrists remain locked and enables the club head to follow the path of your line.
Fifth, take practice swings. Take as many as required until you have determined the speed required land the ball on your aiming point. It is very important that you take these practice swings in the type of grass your ball is in.
Six, I visualize the ball going in the hole. This step is also very important. Some will say to visualize a three-foot circle around the hole, but think that approach is not aggressive enough.
Seventh and last, do not be afraid to hit the ball past the hole. 100% of short puts do not go in! It is easier to hit the ball a little softer on the next stroke than to try to hit it a bit harder. Additionally, watch the ball go past the hole – it will show you the line coming back if needed.
Well now you know my secret to the bump and run. I believe it is a very important skill that is easily practiced. It will save strokes.
If you have any bump and run tips, please pass them on! See you on the links.