NJM Blog

The Bump and Run

Male golfer about to swing at sunset.

The bump and run is a shot that every player should have in their bag. It’s effective, it’s safe, and it’s simple to execute. High–lofted pitch and flop shots may garner “oohs” and “ahhs,” but bumping the ball along the ground has workman–like qualities.

What is a bump and run shot?

A bump and run is a low shot typically used when a player’s ball ranges from five to 75 yards from the green. Players often use a 7– or 8–iron to hit a low trajectory shot, designed to bounce and roll along the ground. Compared to a high–lofted shot, the bump and run is the safe and easier play.

When do I hit a bump and run?

This shot is an option when there are no obstacles (bunker or water hazards) between your ball and the green. It can also be used when you encounter a false front or slope protecting the green. You can bump the ball into the embankment and pop the ball up onto the green.

Additional reasons to hit a bump and run include:

  • Lack of confidence taking a full swing so close to the green (to hit a lofted shot).

  • Very short grass beneath your ball (tight lie) and you’re worried about “chunking” or “skulling” the shot

  • Unable to hit a lofted shot with spin to stop the ball on the green

  • Keeping the ball low in windy conditions

The bump and run shot can also be used to get you out of trouble. If your ball is under a tree and branches block your path to hit a traditional iron shot, a bump and run out to the fairway or toward the green is the shot to play.

How do I hit a bump and run?

Hitting a bump and run is one of the easier shots to execute in golf. This allows you to focus more on distance control and accuracy.

A simple thought when hitting this shot is to think of your putting stroke. Your wrist action (unhinging) should be minimal at most, similar to a pendulum swing. The length of your backswing is determined by the distance to the green. A longer shot requires a longer backswing, but your backswing should never rise above your waist when hitting a bump and run.

Keys to hitting the shot

  • Stand the shaft of the club more upright at address.

  • Shift your weight to your front foot.

  • Play the ball back in your stance toward your rear foot.

  • Accelerate through contact. Don’t decelerate!

Make sure you pick a target to land the ball. It’s going to roll, so your landing area should be well short of the flagstick. Good luck!

NJM, a leading property and casualty insurer in the Mid–Atlantic region, is proud to partner with the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP). Contact your agent or broker, visit njm.com/gap, or call 833-859-1920.

The information contained in this article should not be construed as professional advice, and is not intended to replace official sources. Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers; therefore, NJM cannot guarantee their accuracy.