The Chip Putt

One of the easiest shots in golf

When it comes to hitting the simple bump-and-run shot from just off the green, I teach it the same way to all my students. It doesn't matter if you're a Tour pro or a beginner, this shot requires the same basic fundamentals. The good news is, it's one of the easiest shots in golf, as long as you know the right technique.

I like to see a basic bump-and-run hit with a club that gets the ball on the ground and running as quickly as possible. This means minimum air time and maximum ground time. I wish it wasn't called "bump-and-run" actually, since there really isn't a bump anywhere! If anything, it would be better if it were called a "chip putt" because I teach students to approach the shot like they would a putt, but hit the shot like they would a chip.

To start, before you even make a stroke, closely read the length and break of the shot, with emphasis on the last four to six feet when your ball slows down, since this is where your ball breaks the most. Pick your intended line and stick with it. Next, choose the right club for the shot. I like to use anything from my pitching wedge all the way down to the 7-iron. The key is in how much green you have between the ball and the hole. If it's a long shot, try less loft. If it's closer, say, within 20 feet, try a higher loft. Just don't bother with anything more than 56 degrees. You don't need it here.

Set up to the ball with a narrow stance and place the majority of your weight on your lead foot. Here's the important part: As you make the stroke, you have to accelerate through it, so don't feel as though you need a big, long backstroke. Keep it on the shorter side. Second, keep the club low to the ground as you make a shallow—but still descending—stroke into the back of the ball. Don't feel as though you need to lift the ball up. Remember, this shot is a lot like a putt, so keep the club low and shallow out that angle of attack. I like to think of giving the grass a little haircut. There's no digging here.

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