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ADVICE-"Bump and run" vs. flop shots

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone new member here with my first post..I've been golfing for a long time and was taught and play the "bump and run" style short game..I'm around a 16 handicap and stay competitive with all my co-workers, friends and family....But, today a co-worker who I new was a low handicap player,,, played flop shots around the greens and I was impressed...On several holes we were close or next to each other around the green...His close flop shots resulted in all pars..My bump and runs turned into bogies/doubles..The greens on the back nine were aerated and sandy and I struggled with distance..

 

I allready new he was going to out play me today because of his low handicap..But on the front nine the greens were fast and the scores were close..The back nine with the slow greens,, I got crushed...  I'm seriously re-thinking my bump-run style short game...

 

So how many of you low handicappers play the bump and run? And thanks guys and gals..

 

Rich

post #2 of 31

I'm not a low handicapper by any stretch of the imagination, so take my advice for what it's worth, but: 

 

My .02 is that the flop shot is a much more high-risk proposition and unless you can execute it very consistently, it can do more to damage your score than help it.  Decelerate into the shot or hit it fat and it's not going to go very far; thin it and you'll send it screaming clear over the green and possibly put you in a way worse position than you were before.

 

I'll hit the flop shot when I have the right lie, an obstacle (e.g. bunker) to clear and a short-sided pin - but if I have a clear shot to the hole, I consider the bump and run to be a safer, much higher percentage play.  I don't have great touch with either shot (as is probably evident by my hcp) and I work on both of them when practicing the short game - but part of my course management strategy is to take the safest, highest percentage shot possible whenever I can.  The bump and run is easier to execute and harder to screw up, IMO.  I also think it's easier to develop touch with the bump and run than it is with the flop.

 

[ETA:] P.S. - Welcome to TST!

post #3 of 31

I'm by no means a low handicapper but I consider the bump and run the safest shot, you want to get the ball on the green and rolling to the cup as soon as possible. The flop shot is higher risk but has great rewards - if you want to use it on the course -  a couple of buckets at the range would be a good way to get used to feel of the shot.

post #4 of 31

Got to agree with the other guys. I think i'm a fairly low hdc player but i only hit the flopshot when i really need to. that means over a bunker with the pin right behind.

Yesterday in golf competition i didn't. even do that.

This was the situation.

We ware on the 15 th hole i was standing 1 down at that moment. opponent played first on a 186 yard par 3 pin front left bunker front left and at the back. He blocked out to the right. I played the hole in the morning foursomes without wind with six iron. Afternoon singles i talk about now wind slightly picked up and was against us. I decided to hit to hit a chokedown 5 iron. I hit it without putting some effort in it. it hooked towards the left bunker but i stayed in front of it. The guy i was playing against skinned his chip over the green on the left just not in the bunker. For my shot if i wanted to go to the flag i had to go over the bunker with a flop. i decided to take a 9 iron and play the bump an run shot to the right, leaving me a 6 foot uphill putt. , the guy chipped it to a feet. i holed the put and went on to victory.     

post #5 of 31

Was it a flop shot, or was it a pitch shot? There's a difference, if your saying the guy flopped a shot across the green, it probably wasn't a flop shot. It wasn't a bump and run either. There's a multitude of trajectories you can take, and how to manipulate the ball. You can hit the ball the same distance, but have one come in lower and faster, or higher and softer. 

 

I like carrying the ball further than most, i don't judge run out distance well, i can judge carry distance better. So i try to get the ball to fly halfway there or more, and let it roll out. Most of the time the roll out from that shot is very close no matter were i am hitting it from around the green, give or take a few feet, depending on distance. So i rather, fly the ball and know its going to roll out 10 feet, rather than try to pitch it on short and let it run out 30 feet. 

post #6 of 31

I have recently improved my bump and run shots and I will never go back to flop shots unless it's really necessary. Much more accuracy for me.

post #7 of 31

You should putt when you can.  Hit a chip (bump and run) when you can't putt, and pitch only when you can't reasonably chip.

 

A true flop shot is a specialty shot that is fraught with the opportunity to do a lot of very bad things without missing it by all that much.  It's also a shot that, if you're playing it, generally means you made a pretty significant mistake, usually missing a green on the short-side with a bunker or some such between you and the pin.  The real takeaway there needs to be how to avoid putting yourself in that situation again in the future!

post #8 of 31

I think I need more clarification from the OP. Are we talking about using a high lofted (58°+) wedge with an opened face and open-to-target stance from anywhere near, but off, the green to produce an actual flop shot? If that is the case, I would definitely not use that shot from every position around the green. It is a high-risk shot and a simple chip/pitch is all that you would in most cases (given you do not have to clear a hazard or hit a tight pin with not much green to work with).

 

Extreme Flop Example

 

 

 

I've seen golfers try to play a shot like this from around the green just because they are in the rough. I see this played when there are no hazards to carry and there is plenty of green to work with, where a simple PW and weight-forward (ball off the front foot) stance would be much less risky. I think these golfers simply do this for the Ohhh's and Ahhh's because it's pretty - similar to a bowler trying to hook from gutter to gutter because it's pretty, while a straight up the boards player is typically more consistent.

In short, play what is comfortable for you and the shot that has less risk. The less mechanics needed and the less you have to remember or think about is most likely the best shot that you can choose to play.

post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

You should putt when you can.  Hit a chip (bump and run) when you can't putt, and pitch only when you can't reasonably chip.

 

A true flop shot is a specialty shot that is fraught with the opportunity to do a lot of very bad things without missing it by all that much.  It's also a shot that, if you're playing it, generally means you made a pretty significant mistake, usually missing a green on the short-side with a bunker or some such between you and the pin.  The real takeaway there needs to be how to avoid putting yourself in that situation again in the future!

 

That's objectable. Though i do agree, if you can putt it, do. If not then do what you do best. Utley, one of the better short game players ever, very much used a lot of carry on his short game. Sometimes he found it better ot maybe pitch over a hump in the green, or to a better slope, taking advantage of what the green gives you. I've been on some courses were bump and runs were very tough, because of the greens, so its easier to pitch to a flat part. 

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 

That's objectable. Though i do agree, if you can putt it, do. If not then do what you do best. Utley, one of the better short game players ever, very much used a lot of carry on his short game. Sometimes he found it better ot maybe pitch over a hump in the green, or to a better slope, taking advantage of what the green gives you. I've been on some courses were bump and runs were very tough, because of the greens, so its easier to pitch to a flat part. 

 

For a higher handicap player like the OP, who I was responding to, I'll stand by my answer.

 

Most mid-handicappers would improve their scores if they applied it too.  Of course, your personal preference and any individual situation may dictate an exception.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

You should putt when you can.  Hit a chip (bump and run) when you can't putt, and pitch only when you can't reasonably chip.

 

A true flop shot is a specialty shot that is fraught with the opportunity to do a lot of very bad things without missing it by all that much.....

I agree and as I've started thinking about/working on course management, that's become my philosophy.  The video Spyder linked to in post #8 is a perfect example of a very high-risk shot - a high flop with water behind.  One little mistake/misjudgement on a shot like that = your ball is wet and you're dropping with a penalty stroke added to your score. 

 

Take the situation Tiger was facing in that shot and apply it to us "mortals" - the safe approach is to chip it onto the green and get up & down for a par (or bogey at worst, assuming you two-putt); miss that flop shot and you're dropping in the same spot you were before, now facing at least a double bogey (triple if you two-putt).  Tiger was obviously very confident in his ability to execute that shot - I'm definitely not, and trying it would probably never even cross my mind faced with a scenario like that.

post #12 of 31

Bump and run is a much safer shot because its easier to control and predict.  The problem with a flop shot is that its easy to blade the ball and hit a low, line drive that goes 30 yards over the green and because its difficult to predict where it will stop because you never know just how much spin you are going to get.

The flop is a great shot if you have the skill to pull it off but its also a high risk shot that most pros would advise you to use only when you have no other option.

post #13 of 31

i'm assuming by flop shot you actually mean a high pitch shot... flop shots are very risky and unnecessary mostof the time. pretty much have to be the exact distance for your club for it to work. 

 

high pitch shots are great for certain pin positions, i.e. tight pin locations, if you want to take a strong break out of play and go past it, hitting over a bunker or thick rough...

the bump and run is the smartest shot for anything that needs to release. the bump and run doesn't have to be only a bump... you can adjust it by moving the ball forward and getting a little more loft for a little less release...you can open the face and sweep at the ball to keep from getting spin, and let it release. at this point, it's more of making shot somewhat between a pitch and a bump and run... a pitch and run. 

 

you realy have to understand how to pick a spot on the green to hit to. Then it just becomes a matter of reading the green to see what spot you need to hit depending on how much release you need. 

 

don't give up the bump and run, just learn to play both kinds of shots. bump n run has a lot of uses

post #14 of 31

Bump and run is the easier of the two for sure. I would stick with that unless like others have said it is not an option.

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replys everyone..Now that I know the differance I can clarify what the low handicapper was hitting...He played high pitch shots, not flop shots..I seen him using 52 and 56 degree wedges and "I think"? He was opening up the face a little..He also said they were $120 wedges with almost no bounce?..Looked in my bag and said I don't have anything like that..Like I said the back nine greens were aerated and sandy and were very,very slow...The front nine greens were all clean and fast, my bump and run was leaving me close and I ended up 6 over par on the front nine...The super slow greens on the back nine killed me..Between all the aerated holes and the sand everywhere I struggled to get close...Made me wish I practiced my pitch shots more often...I just struggled through the back nine and ended up in the mid 90s...Wasn't my strongest game ever but I still had fun and learned something...I need more practice on my pitching game...

 

BTW I'm playing a new set of Tour Edge Exotics XCG5s and love them so far..My set came with 4-PW and a AW which is 50 degrees...I did a little research on the "bounce" and think I might need to add a better wedge to my bag...Tour Edge has a Tour Proto wedge that you can order in all kinds of lofts for around $100.00..Since I'm allready playing TE I was thinking about adding a 56 degree wedge....Thanks again everyone......

Rich

post #16 of 31

Smart thinking taking an extra wedge. Make sure you take one with the right bounce tho. So ask yourself the question on what kind of shots your going to use it most.

As for taking the same brand as your irons, i do not agree with that. You should take a wedge that suits you best.

I carry Mizuno irons and Taylormade Wedges. The PW from the MP 59 set ( loft 46 ) taylormade  ATV wedge ( loft 52 ) and Taylormade ATV ( loft 58 )

you can see there is a nice gap in the loft of 6 degrees between them. ATV wedges have a technology that it can create different bounces when opening the club face.

post #17 of 31

I have played many different wedges from the Mizuno MP, Vokey, Cleveland CG and 588, TaylorMade ATV, Cobra's Trusty Rusty, etc.

 

Personally, the wedges that work best for me are the simple (and now very cheap) Callaway CC Jaws Slate wedges. I first purchased a 54°/12° and fell in love with it. Mid-season when it started to rust as designed, I was getting spin that I never had before and the classic, rusty, simple look at address puts me at ease with tricky shots. After only 2 rounds with my 54, I went out and bought the 58°/8° as well. My 54 and 58 are my go-to choices from around the green and 90% of the time, I play some variation of a pitch - though I tend to shy away from the low trajectory/backspin shot to kill the ball in 2 hops because I do not have that shot in my bag. My typical pitch/chip tends to have a higher trajectory and little roll-out.

 

In short, don't be brand-biased when it comes to your wedges. Use what works for you. These are the only 2 Callaway clubs in my bag and I really do not see myself replacing them any time soon.

 

On a side note, I believe you can now purchase a 58°/8° on Rock Bottom Golf for approximately $39.99+Shipping (sorry for the plug), which is better than the $69.99 that I spent last season.

PS: Regardless of green speed, you can still play a pitch/chip. You just need a lot of practice and muscle memory when it comes to remembering how far your ball carries. Prior to my round, I usually hit the practice green and chip for 10-15 minutes. I do this at every course so that I have a feel of how the greens are reacting - ie: Slower greens means I need to carry it further onto the green and the opposite for faster greens.

post #18 of 31

Hey rich, thanks for the clarification on the shot. Here is a most excellent thread on hitting that high pitch shot: http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video

 

Give it a try, I think you'll find it's a pretty easy shot to pick up. Ball position and wrist hinge can be altered to provide a pretty wide range of shots from the high pitch to more of a bump and run. I use it with my 56 (with 16 degrees of bounce) most of the time, but will use it with my 50 or pw for a bump and run shot. I would suggest not following your friend's "almost no bounce" lead. Bounce helps the club not dig and is your friend.

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