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Chipping vs the 7i bump and run


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I am now situational in my club selection. I had previously used the 54 as my go to but have found that using my 9 iron for basic chips has resulted in getting closer to the hole and is more predictable. As I move away from the hole I try to use the 9 but will switch to the 54 if I need more carry.

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"Well, the pros say to do this..."

Well, the pros can practice 8 hours a day. I have one course where I can practice my short game when I can, which isn't all that often. Maybe a few hours per month if I'm lucky. So I'm a big fan of chipping with an iron and getting the ball rolling as soon as possible to prevent skulled & bladed chips. Take all the variables out whenever possible.

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23 hours ago, Kenny B said:

 I find it difficult to judge how far the ball will roll out using an iron.  If I'm close enough I'm putting, otherwise I'm using my 60º for for most all shots.  I know how far to carry the shot into the green because I practice with my 60º all the time.  I have several shots with different trajectories that I can use depending on where the hole is located on the green.

This. I understand the chip stroke leaves more room for an imprecise stroke, but the greens in our area vary considerably, making predicting the roll-out on a chip dicey at times (especially since I rarely practice the shot). I have come to be comfortable with the amount of spin I will get on a pitch depending on the lie so the amount of roll is (in my estimation) less dependent on the green speed since the ball will be coming in higher with fairly predictable spin. Like Kenny (although almost exclusively with my 56), I vary the loft (with stance and open/closing the face) depending on how much green I have to work with. I did go through a bout of the pitching yips this summer, which sucked, but made an effort to greatly simplify my stroke and they went away.

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1 hour ago, MaxEntropy said:

This. I understand the chip stroke leaves more room for an imprecise stroke, but the greens in our area vary considerably, making predicting the roll-out on a chip dicey at times (especially since I rarely practice the shot). I have come to be comfortable with the amount of spin I will get on a pitch depending on the lie so the amount of roll is (in my estimation) less dependent on the green speed since the ball will be coming in higher with fairly predictable spin. Like Kenny (although almost exclusively with my 56), I vary the loft (with stance and open/closing the face) depending on how much green I have to work with. I did go through a bout of the pitching yips this summer, which sucked, but made an effort to greatly simplify my stroke and they went away.

This is one of the reasons I prefer to chip the ball closer to the hole with my wedge than bump and run.  I have no place to practice a bump and run shot on a green similar to those on my course, except actually practicing on the course.  I can practice lofted shots onto our putting green (when no one is using it for putting, of course).  Our putting green is long, narrow and very flat; bump and run shots width-wise, even with a PW will run all the way across the green.  Our pitching green has slope, but it is not very big and green speed is much slower.

Another reason I prefer to chip the ball closer to the hole is that shot suits me better visually.  I'm judging distance to my landing spot similar to the way I judge distance to the hole when I putt looking at the hole.  I can take green undulations out of the shot.  When I bump and run, I try to land the ball about 3 feet on the green, but I don't have the feel for how hard I to hit it and I am at the mercy of slopes.  We have several greens with slopes down to a lower tier.  A chip with the wrong speed could end up 30 feet away from the hole.

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This is one of the reasons I prefer to chip the ball closer to the hole with my wedge than bump and run.  I have no place to practice a bump and run shot on a green similar to those on my course, except actually practicing on the course.  I can practice lofted shots onto our putting green (when no one is using it for putting, of course).  Our putting green is long, narrow and very flat; bump and run shots width-wise, even with a PW will run all the way across the green.  Our pitching green has slope, but it is not very big and green speed is much slower.
Another reason I prefer to chip the ball closer to the hole is that shot suits me better visually.  I'm judging distance to my landing spot similar to the way I judge distance to the hole when I putt looking at the hole.  I can take green undulations out of the shot.  When I bump and run, I try to land the ball about 3 feet on the green, but I don't have the feel for how hard I to hit it and I am at the mercy of slopes.  We have several greens with slopes down to a lower tier.  A chip with the wrong speed could end up 30 feet away from the hole.

You have said several times that the greens are too fast to hit bump and runs, How do you putt on them if they are that fast?
Also if they are that fast and you land the ball a foot or two on with your wedge and it rolls all the way across wedge is the right bump and run club.

For practicing; if you even want too, get a few feet off the green and bump it to just on the green. Your 5 iron should only run out to about 20-30 feet if you are hitting that short of a “bump”. This is how you can build the feel for how long the ball will run out.

But there is nothing wrong with your approach if always using wedge.
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One thing I can never grasp, and I’ve seen a few people mention it here already, is the idea that miss hits will turn out better with an iron over a wedge. Does a bladed 7 iron really roll out much less than a bladed wedge? Does a chunk go further? Does a shank go less off line? Really don’t think there’s much to be had there, it’s more about player ability and comfort level with a particular shot. There’s always the hero shot that Tiger/Phil will use and then there’s the best shot in your arsenal.


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One thing I can never grasp, and I’ve seen a few people mention it here already, is the idea that miss hits will turn out better with an iron over a wedge. Does a bladed 7 iron really roll out much less than a bladed wedge? Does a chunk go further? Does a shank go less off line? Really don’t think there’s much to be had there, it’s more about player ability and comfort level with a particular shot. There’s always the hero shot that Tiger/Phil will use and then there’s the best shot in your arsenal.


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As a person that struggles with short game, I find that outside the extremes that bladed and fat shots turn out better with lower lofted clubs than with wedges. Also, you in theory won’t hit as many fat and bladed shots due to the shorter swing.

Each player has to find what works for them. Some players will hit their high lifted wedges best
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2 hours ago, cnosil said:


You have said several times that the greens are too fast to hit bump and runs, How do you putt on them if they are that fast?
Also if they are that fast and you land the ball a foot or two on with your wedge and it rolls all the way across wedge is the right bump and run club.

For practicing; if you even want too, get a few feet off the green and bump it to just on the green. Your 5 iron should only run out to about 20-30 feet if you are hitting that short of a “bump”. This is how you can build the feel for how long the ball will run out.

But there is nothing wrong with your approach if always using wedge.

I am not quite sure how to answer that.  Our greens are reasonably fast, but they are certainly not tour fast; they are not even the fastest greens in town.  It's a muni, so they can't be horribly fast.  I have no problem putting on them, and I have my best putting rounds when they are speeded up for tournaments.

I don't currently have a 5i, but my 7i loft is 26º.  I do bump and run shots; I just do them with higher lofted clubs, and typically when I'm close to the green and so is the pin.  Occasionally, I will use my gap wedge for longer chips, depending on the lie.  Longer clubs are problematic because the face is hotter than my wedges.  A bump and run for me means landing the ball on the green within 3 feet of the fringe.  

Here is a Google Earth view of my short game practice area:

482275458_ScreenShot2020-11-03at9_39_41AM.jpeg.5753641da624f429d048f20a96b3362c.jpeg

This pic is pretty much oriented N top and South bottom.  Driving range is to the left.  Pitching and bunker shots to the upper green.  Small mound of rough between pitching green and putting green.  I normally practice short chips on the left side of the putting green, as most people putt on the fatter part of the green.  The left part of the green is about 35 feet in diameter; full length of the green is 110 feet.  You can see there is a couple of feet of fringe around the green.  I practice chipping from the fringe with my 60º then move back to the rough to chip over the fringe.  When we had holes (pre-COVID), I chipped to the holes.  Now I chip to a couple of tees or to the other side of the green trying to get the ball as close to the fringe without going on it.  Using my 60º from just off the fringe and landing the ball about in the middle of the green, the ball will roll to the fringe on the other side.  Using my GW and landing the ball just over the fringe, the ball will roll to the fringe on the other side, so about 30 feet.

I do practice bump and runs; just not as much as I practice my 60º wedge shots.  Part of my short game problem is transitioning to other courses.  Some courses I play, the ball checks a lot more than it does at my course, leaving longer putts than I expect to get.  

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OK, today was a practice day, so what did I practice??  You guessed it... chipping and specifically bump and runs.  I also used the time to check out how softer balls work out in cooler weather.  I will report my thoughts in the "What/How did you practice today?" thread.

Bottom line for bump and run today... I will stick with either my LW or GW for most all bump and run shots.  I tried my PW on the small section of our putting green shown in the pic in my post above.  I can land just on the green and keep it from barely running off the other side, so about 30 feet.  But I had a tendency to decel on the stroke because I know if I don't hit it perfect, it wouldn't stay on the green.  I can control the distance for anything less than 30 feet better with LW or GW.  

Just for grins because no one was on the entire green, I tried a bump and run with my 9i landing the ball a few feet on the green and it rolled almost the entire length of the putting green, so about 100 feet.  The longest green on my course is about 120 feet but I am never in a position to bump and run on it.  I might give the 9i a try if I do get close to the green and the pin is back.

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42 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

OK, today was a practice day, so what did I practice??  You guessed it... chipping and specifically bump and runs.  I also used the time to check out how softer balls work out in cooler weather.  I will report my thoughts in the "What/How did you practice today?" thread.

Bottom line for bump and run today... I will stick with either my LW or GW for most all bump and run shots.  I tried my PW on the small section of our putting green shown in the pic in my post above.  I can land just on the green and keep it from barely running off the other side, so about 30 feet.  But I had a tendency to decel on the stroke because I know if I don't hit it perfect, it wouldn't stay on the green.  I can control the distance for anything less than 30 feet better with LW or GW.  

Just for grins because no one was on the entire green, I tried a bump and run with my 9i landing the ball a few feet on the green and it rolled almost the entire length of the putting green, so about 100 feet.  The longest green on my course is about 120 feet but I am never in a position to bump and run on it.  I might give the 9i a try if I do get close to the green and the pin is back.

That is really interesting;  I can't imagine balls rolling that far.  How far off the green were you when you were hitting the shots?

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14 minutes ago, cnosil said:

That is really interesting;  I can't imagine balls rolling that far.  How far off the green were you when you were hitting the shots?

We have about a 3 foot fringe, then a similar second cut before the rough.  I chipped from both the second cut and the rough.

The club stays low on backswing and through swing with forward shaft lean for my bump and run shot.  When it lands on the green, the ball takes off.  I can vary the height of the shot by adding more dynamic loft and land the ball in the same place, but that's when I decel. I don't decel when I use my LW.

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2 hours ago, Kenny B said:

We have about a 3 foot fringe, then a similar second cut before the rough.  I chipped from both the second cut and the rough.

The club stays low on backswing and through swing with forward shaft lean for my bump and run shot.  When it lands on the green, the ball takes off.  I can vary the height of the shot by adding more dynamic loft and land the ball in the same place, but that's when I decel. I don't decel when I use my LW.

so your chipping it about 6 feet and it ran out 100 feet;  those are some seriously fast greens.   With a 5 I would only expect 50/60 feet max.   That result is just puzzling to me. 

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I'm almost always a bump and run guy when it is feasible as the margin for error is much higher. When I hit a bump and run, the next is is at worst always a putt. If I try to chip and mess it up, I'm left with another chip, either 3' from my previous lie or I've skulled it across the green and am now chipping back on again. 

Granted I will only try to bump and run if I'm confident that I can get it to the green or fringe in the air. 

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6 hours ago, cnosil said:

so your chipping it about 6 feet and it ran out 100 feet;  those are some seriously fast greens.   With a 5 I would only expect 50/60 feet max.   That result is just puzzling to me. 

It's why I use wedges, and why I chose to fly my LW onto the green to a spot where I think the ball will roll out to the hole.  I'm better at judging that than how far each wedge/iron will roll out.

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On 11/2/2020 at 9:13 PM, Hook DeLoft said:

Another thought on this subject.  I remember Harvey Penick advocated for using a 7 iron to chip with.  However, that was when 7 irons were 36 to 38 degrees of loft.  Today, that would be a weak 8 iron or strong 9 in many sets.  If you are chipping with a modern strong lofted 7 iron, you are essentially using a classic 5 iron.  That may be why I am having so much trouble dialing in the 7 iron.

The way I was taught decades ago was pick the iron that goes the same distance for your feel as if you were making a long putt of the same length. Years ago that was a 6i for me, it’s an 8i now, as you noted. That way you can simply stroke the ball exactly as you would with a putter. Obviously that doesn’t work if there’s a lot of fringe. 

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1 hour ago, Middler said:

The way I was taught decades ago was pick the iron that goes the same distance for your feel as if you were making a long putt of the same length. Years ago that was a 6i for me, it’s an 8i now, as you noted. That way you can simply stroke the ball exactly as you would with a putter. Obviously that doesn’t work if there’s a lot of fringe. 

I like that thought for feel for the distance.

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On 11/2/2020 at 12:12 AM, Buffly said:

@Jwilson95 it comes down to what people get more used to and score better with. 

The 7i bump and run is a true chip more than a lofted wedge which more of a true pitch. 

My definition of a chip is a stroke that is mostly like a putt with little to no wrist action to limit the distance in a controlled manor. 

My definition of a pitch is a shortened stroke, when compared with a full swing, to carry shorter distances than full swings but, carry farther than a short chip and, usually has some form of wrist hinge. 

Semantics of chip or pitch don't matter but, the execution of those two shots is very different. I can understand why a weekend golfer, who doesn't practice much, would feel more comfortable chipping a mid iron instead of pitching a lofted wedge - the shorter stroke has a lot less that can go wrong. 

But, a bump and run is lie dependent. You have to be able to land the ball in a place that will allow a long run out. 

The lofted wedge will not run out as far so, you can land closer to the target. The rub comes in making a partial swing of different size/speed to create different lengths - another struggle for some. 

I play both the wedge and bumps whenever I want interchangeabley - mostly just to keep myself entertained and fool around with variety. 

50 yards out to a front pin - I don't think anyone is going for a 7i bump and run pitch shot. But, a back pin with a big green and coming from under a tree - every time.

Close to the green is where I can agree with bump and runs more than high loft - I'm talking about less than 10 yards off the green. Using a putting stroke, a simple mid iron chip will clear alot of the rough and roll up to the pin with little effort and a short swing. The higher lofted wedge would need a bigger movement to go the same distance which can bring the dreaded skull across the green into play. I've even chipped with my fairway wood when I am on the fringe to bump and run. 

That's why I love golf - lots of ways to be creative and have fun. 

That was really well said! 

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On 11/2/2020 at 4:24 AM, Hoyoymac said:

Some people really struggle with chipping and putting despite the fact that they are the shortest swings and require very little physical strength or athletic ability.  The frustration of a missed chip or putt is often magnified because many people think chipping and putting is inherently easier than the full swing so there isn’t the same emphasis on learning good technique or practicing. 

I have witnessed a number of people struggle so much with the mental pressure of chipping and putting that they develop a physical flinch which is commonly called “The Yips”.

Since more strokes in a round of golf are made on and around the green than anywhere else it is my contention that if you want to improve your handicap quickly, then working on chipping and putting will lead to a faster result than anything else.

Chipping is my most improved skill over the last few years and the part of the game that I now have the most confidence in.

After struggling for years with a lack of confidence around the greens and experimenting with different clubs and methods, I was lucky enough to have a lesson from a veteran teaching pro who showed me an old school method of chipping that really clicked.

My wedge set-up includes a 48, 52, 56 & 60 wedges.  The clubs I use the most around the green are my 60 & 56.  

The method I was taught was to put the ball in line with my back foot with a stance fairly open to the target and my weight forward towards the target. Then I deloft the wedge by moving my hands toward my front thigh which puts a lot of forward shaft lean in the stroke and then close the club face by rotating the shaft slightly before regripping the club.  I then make a simple back and through stroke with little to no wrist action and an emphasis on an equal or longer follow through than backswing.  I keep my hands well forward of the club head throughout the swing.  The face of the club hits the ball with a descending blow and pops the ball slightly in the air, up and over the fringe, then rolls to the hole usually checking up after the first or second bounce.

Imagine the feeling of pulling the handle forward with your hands toward the target instead of trying to push the handle forward.

Earlier this year I read Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible and he teaches a very similar technique but explains the theory and technique much more thoroughly.  I strongly recommend his book.

To get the ball to fly higher and stop more quickly don’t lean the shaft forward as much and take a slightly longer swing.

I use the same swing on most chip shots and just change clubs to get more distance and roll out.

The common mistakes I see from my playing partners are:

1. Taking too big of a back swing and then decelerating coming into the ball.

2. Using too much hand and wrist action and trying to help the ball into the air.

3. Trying to fly the ball all the way to the hole. 

4. Having the bulk of their weight on the back foot instead of the front foot.

The results from these mistakes tend to be inconsistent distance with lots of duffs and skulls.

The best golfer I play with putts from off the green almost every time.  He is unbelievably good at judging the required pace.  He does this because he doesn’t have confidence in his chipping.  He calls me “Mr. Chips” because from the same place I will chip most every time now because I don’t have confidence in putting from off the green.

So, use what works best for you.  If putting from off the green with a putter or a hybrid or fairway wood works better for you then do that.  If a specialized chipping club like the Square Strike club works better then use that.  If a 7 iron works better then use that.

The goal is the fewest strokes to get the ball in the hole.

 As my friend says, “The good thing about the game of golf is that the score card doesn’t record how you got the ball into the hole, just the result.  There aren’t any places on the scorecard for pictures, so don’t worry about how you look getting the ball into the hole.”

 

@HoyoymacI’m glad you said that. What you do is the exact same shot that I learned! (I think my dad was tired of watching me skull it over the green haha). Like you said it’s Basically a really delofted putting stroke, lined up on my back foot, weight and hands forward  with a 52-60 degree depending on how far I want the ball to carry over the rough stuff. Honestly it’s such a fun shot! I love taking 20-30 of those on the practice green after the driving range and I can always sink a few.  And then when I want to pop it up a little and get some backspin I pull back a little further and follow through with a good swift stroke and whip the club head. I’ll for sure check out that Dave Pelz short game bible. Thanks for the tip!

Putter- Wilson staff Michigan Ave

Wedges 52-56-60 titleist vokey

Irons P, 9-4 titleist

taylormade 19 degree fairway wood

3 wood titleist 15 degree

driver- my recent self indulgence. Honma 747 World set at ten degrees. X-Stiff shaft. 

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a bunch of years ago during a chipping lesson, back when I was using a 7 iron to chip, the pro said to lift the heal of the iron up slightly away from the ground which will deaden the shot and they won't roll out so far.  Since I'm strictly using 58* to chip now I haven't tried that recently but will do so when practicing next time.  

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SIM2 autoflex 505

Ping G410 5 wood

Ping G410 7 & 9 woods 

Titleist T100S 6-gap

Vokey SM8  54

Sub70 JB low bounce 58 or SM8 58*

PXG Operator H 

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I grew up in the bump and run world using a variety of irons from 5i to 9i. Somehow I took myself to a 58 degree and carrying the ball to the hole. I got comfortable with that but struggled with spin control and still do. I got myself back to a bump and run guy by using my 9i and 51 degree more and more. I feel like I get the ball closer to the hole by going this route but it does take practice.

I do let the shot dictate if I carry it or bump it. I do think that getting the ball running as soon as possible is the way to go but it can be tough to master it. 

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DRIVER: Cobra F9 10.5  Tensei AV Blue 65g

3W- Callway XR PRO 16 stiff

5W- Alpha- Mitsubishi Diamana  Redboard w/band

Irons- Mizuno JPX 919 Tours with S KBS Tour shafts

Hyrbid- TM 4h mid-rescue

Vokey- Vokey SM5 51 degrees,  SM7 Wedges 54 and 58 1/2 half 3 degrees upright

Putter- Taylor Made Rossa Monza Mini Spider

Ball-ProV1 and AVX

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