Todd Sones: Lower Your Score with One Lever

Chambers Bay is a links-style course overlooking Puget Sound.
Chambers Bay is a links-style course overlooking Puget Sound.

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay is less than a week away! It’s a links-style course overlooking Puget Sound in Washington state, and you better believe guys are going to be playing shots that bump and run – with and without spin.

We recently learned (and it’s scientifically proven) that chipping with a lower-lofted club (such as an 8-iron) is better than an equal mishit with a more lofted club (such as a 60-degree) because carry and roll varies less on those mishits and because roll out is easier to gauge than carry and spin.

Todd Sones is one of Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers in America and serves on the Golf Academy of America’s National Advisory Board. From time to time, Todd sends out video golf tips advertising his Scoring Zone school outside Chicago, and this week’s showcases the bump and run or bump and spin.

Todd says if you've
Todd says if you’ve already developed a good putting method, the bump and run is one of the easiest shots to execute.

Todd says it’s one of the best shots because it’s easiest to execute if you’ve already developed a good putting method. There are a few facets to the bump and run:

*Grip – more through the palms. Use your putting grip, not your normal grip. Rotate your elbows in. Pull them into your rib cage and tilt from the hips, so that you’re over the golf ball with your arms under your body. The shaft of the club will line up more with the inside edge of the forearms.

*Shaft – runs in alignment with the forearms. Rotate, tuck, and tilt like you would for a putt. This is a one lever stroke for more control. There’s no wrist involvement.

*Ball position – back in the stance so you can strike down on the golf ball. The ball is off the right instep (for a right-handed player), the hands are in front of the ball in the middle of your body, and the spine should be neutral.

*Motion – arms and shoulders like a putting stroke. Your head should stay still, and the wrists need to be quiet. The bump and run is a short motion. This is the easiest shot to play under pressure.

The bump and spin shot is a little different in that the ball spins and stops more quickly. For this shot, use a sand or lob wedge. Rotate, tuck, and tilt – employing the same set up you would use for the bump and run. When you strike down on the ball, the ball will ride up the face of the club. Because the club has more loft, it will also have more spin.

Watch this tip (because it’ll be gone before too long), and be sure to check out Todd online at


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