When chipping from just off the green, a lot of golfers like to use the “bump and run” technique to keep the golf ball low and knock the golf ball close to the hole. But what club should you use to make the bump and run shot?
Clubs to Use Executing the Bump and Run
Golfers who hit the bump and run around the green like to use a 9 iron, 8 iron or 7 iron to keep the golf ball low and run out towards the hole.
The goal is to pop the golf ball up, quickly, and keep the ball low to the ground to improve the chances of consistency and distance control of the shot.
The bump and run chip can be used by any type of golfer looking to add some consistency to their short game. However, there a few key points that must be learned before taking this shot with you out on the course.
What Clubs to Use for a Bump and Run?
Learning to hit the bump and run can be very beneficial around the green.
Instead of trying to hit the perfect distance with your lob or sand wedge, many golfers prefer the approach of keeping the ball low to the ground with a nice bump and run shot.
When I added the bump and run technique to my game, I saw my scores around the green start to drop by 3-5 strokes a round!
Here is a list of the different club you can use to execute a bump and run and what to expect with each:
Gap Wedge (50-52 degree)
A gap wedge/approach wedge, is one club that many golfers like to use to execute the bump and run.
Because the gap wedge still has a decent amount of loft (50-52 degrees), you can expect your shot to still generate backspin and stop faster on the greens.
But still stay low enough to allow a good amount of roll. This is why more tour / amateur players like to use the gap wedge when just off the green.
Another popular option for golfers is to use the pitching wedge to make a bump and run shot.
A pitching wedge is around 46 degrees of loft and will give the golfer a high amount of release on the golf ball.
The bonus of the pitching wedge is that it creates just enough loft on the ball to “pop” the ball over hills or mounds while still allowing that great release.
This is my favorite club to use for the bump and run!
As you move down your bag, you might find that using 6-9 irons might give you that added confidence when just off the green.
Because the loft is much lower than a sand wedge or lob wedge, chipping with 6-9 irons require a very small chipping stroke which improves the chances of making good contact with the ball.
Using one of these irons when just off the green will produce a large amount of roll and little loft of the golf ball which can be great if you have a large area of green to work with.
Simply put, the larger amount of green that you have between you and the hole, the lower the loft of club you should use if you want to use the bump and run technique.
Hybrid, Wood / Driver
The not so popular but still effective method of the bump and run: Using a hybrid, or driver/woods!
Using these clubs around the green can be scary because it requires a very delicate swing or else your golf ball is going to shoot across the green.
However, if you treat this shot like a putting stroke, you will find that it can be very effective and simple to use.
There will be very minimal loft when making contact with the ball so using a hybrid, wood/driver around the green should only be used when your ball is on a long/flat surface and you can roll your shot up towards the pin.
How to Hit a Bump and Run Shot
All of this awesome info I gave you might be for waste if you don’t know how to hit a bump and run shot, to begin with!
Tip: Watch this quick video taught by Jordan Spieth if you have the time and are curious on how to hit a bump and run
Benefits of Using a Bump and Run Chip
- Improves the likely hood of a “chunk” shot around the green
- Helps with distance control and gets the ball rolling towards the hole
- Prevents chips that spin too much and leave golfers with long putts to the hole
- Improves contact consistency and doesn’t require a perfect strike to get the ball rolling towards the flag
Golf Bump and Run Distances
The distance that you are away from the flag does make a difference on what club you should use to hit a bump and run shot.
Typically, the further you are from the hole, the more loft you use to get the golf ball to land on the green and start rolling.
I “highly” recommend that you only hit a bump and run shot when your ball is in the fairway or on the fridge (collar) of the green.
The reason why is because when hitting a low running shot, you want little to no hills or grass between you and the hole so the path of the golf ball isn’t affected.
I put together a few of the most encountered distances and what club would be best to use for each:
On the fringe
If your golf ball is just off the green and you don’t want to putt, try using either a 6 iron or 7 iron.
These clubs will allow the golf ball to “pop” up slightly and roll out towards the hole
10-20 yards off the green
If your golf ball is 10-20 yards off the green and the ground is relatively flat between you and the pin, try using am 8 iron, 9 iron, or pitching wedge.
These clubs will allow you to add a little loft on your ball to make sure it lands on the green first, and then roll out towards the hole.
20 yards or further
If your golf ball is further than 20 yards from the green, the bump and run might not work as effectively.
Using a pitching wedge, gap wedge or sand wedge will work just fine from these distances. This shot will get the golf ball up in the air quickly, and land onto the green with little roll.
The bump and run from this distance is not as predictable because the further away you are from the green, the more power you have to use to get the ball on the green. More power equals a higher chance of contact inconsistencies.
You don’t want to be trying to guess the power of a 7 iron and accidentally blade a shot over the hole, right?
So by making a nice, easy pitch with a high lofted club, you can improve your chances of landing on the green and having your ball stay on the putting surface.
Pitch, Chip (Bump and Run) or Flop Shot
If you were at all confused on how far you should be when hitting a bump and run, here is an easier way to look at your swing options:
- Just off the green in the fairway or fridge 1-20 yards from the green – Try the bump and run technique using some of the examples above
- Your golf ball is 20-50 yards from the green – Use a pitch shot technique
- Your golf ball is in the rough, sand or there is an obstacle between you and the green – Try using a flop shot or open clubface swing to get the golf ball up quickly and land softly.
The golf ball should land about 1/3 of the distance between you and hole and then roll out the other 2/3 of the distance.
Golfers try to keep their bump and run shots to around 20-25 yards away from the green. Any further distances can bring in surrounding hazards and striking inconsistencies when making a bump and run.