The Most Overrated Shot in Golf

The Most Overrated Shot in Golf

Imagine this scenario for a moment. Your approach shot landed 5 yards short of the green, and the flag is near the back of the green. The flag is positioned 20 yards from the front of the green.    What club are you pulling out of your bag to try and save par? Most people would pull out a wedge and try to land the ball close to the flag. 

A couple things could go wrong in this scenario. If the shot is hit fat it could come up well short of the flag, leaving a lengthy putt to save par. The ball could also be hit thin, sending the ball flying way past the flag. If the flag is close to the edge of the green, anything hit over the back of the green would leave you short sided with a tricky up and down to save bogey. The ball could also be hit over the back of the green if the distance is misjudged, but the shot is hit perfectly. In all of these scenarios, saving par can become very difficult and it is likely that a bogey will be made.

What if I told you there was a better option. One that many golfers over look. With 20 yards of green to work with, a 5 yard shot that lands on the front of the green and rolls 20 yards up to the flag has a much larger margin of error than trying to hit a 25 yard shot. This shot is called a Bump and Run and can be performed easily with any club in the bag. The Bump in Run might be one of the most overrated shots in golf. It offers a much wider margin for error than flying the ball all the way to the flag. 

If you don’t practice every day, adding the Bump and Run to your bag can help you save par more often. In order to perform a Bump and Run, a couple adjustments need to be made. We’ll walk you through the basics steps necessary to perform this shot, but we recommend taking a golf lesson with a professional in order to perfect this shot and receive feedback. This shot can be performed with any club in the bag. Start out by practicing with a pitching wedge or 8 iron.

How to perform a Bump and Run

  1. Position the golf ball in the back of your stance.
  2. Align your club face so it is aimed toward your desired landing spot. 
  3. Tilt the golf shaft so that it is more upright. The heel of the club should be higher than the toe. This allows the club to be swung with a putting stroke, taking the wrists out of the equation.
  4. Move the handle of the golf club forward so that the hands are in front of the golf ball. 
  5. Distribute the weight towards the front foot so that the weight is distributed 60:40. This will help ensure a descending blow on the back of the golf ball. 
  6. Use a putting stoke to strike the ball keeping the backswing and follow through the same length. Keep the hands moving towards the target in the follow through to keep the wrists firm.
  7. Watch how the ball reacts on the green. Even if you hit a poor shot, always watch the ball until it stops rolling. You can learn a lot about how your putt will break from watching how the Bump and Run rolls out. 

Rule of 12

The Rule of 12 can be only be used if a putting type stroke is used. This won’t work if a lot of spin is applied to the ball. This rule is useful in determining how far the ball will roll out on the green and aid in club selection. Based off how far the ball flies in the air and what club is used, it can be estimated how far the ball will roll out using the Rule of 12.

Let’s take a look at our scenario above to determine the club that would give us the best chance of rolling it close to the flag. In the scenario, the ball was 5 yards from the front of the green and the flag was 20 yards from the front. Let’s say that 5 yards represents “one part”. In order for the ball to roll close to the pin, we would need it to roll 4 “parts” on the green for every 1 “part” it flew in the air. This represents a carry to roll ration of 1:4. To use the rule of 12, subtract the required parts of roll from 12. Taking 12 minus 4 would give us 8 meaning that we should use an 8 iron. This is in the case of a flat green, if the green is uphill or downhill then the shot may require more or less club. 

The Rule of 12 is useful when selecting a club to play a bump and rule shot. Simply figure out how far you need to carry the ball. This is your landing spot. From there, figure out how far the ball needs to roll to the flag. Determine how many parts of roll is required for each part of carry then subtract that number from 12. Use the table below to help in club selection.

Rule of 12

Parts Carry

Parts Roll




Sand Wedge



Pitching Wedge



9 Iron



8 Iron



7 Iron



6 Iron



5 Iron



4 Iron



3 Iron


We recommend that you give yourself some margin for error when calculating which club to use. When picking out the landing spot, allow yourself at least a yard from the front of the green. This will allow you come up a little short and still get the ball close to the hole. 

When to use a Bump and Run

Let’s talk about the best time to use the Bump and Run. You can play a Bump and Run any time there is a lot of green to work with. Ideally you should be within 5-10 yards of the green without any hazard between the ball and the green. The Bump and Run should not be used over a bunker. The Bump and Run can be played off the fringe or fairway, but should not be played out of heavy rough as more speed is required to get the clubbed through the rough. 

Putting time into practicing this shot will be very rewarding to your short game. Try this shot out next time you are at the course and see for yourself how easy it can be to get the ball close to the hole with the right club. 

Comment down below and let us know what you think about the Bump and Run. If you found this post helpful, let us know. We hope you can use the Bump and Run to shave strokes off of your game. Come back and leave a comment if you use this shot and it helped you shoot lower scores. 

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