April 20, 2008

Learn the bump-and-run

Hinge your wrists, and hold them as you turn through

BUMPY RIDE: Turn your chest through, and take a small divot. The ball will hop a few times and roll to the hole.

BUMPY RIDE: Turn your chest through, and take a small divot. The ball will hop a few times and roll to the hole.

Everyone should add the bump-and-run to their arsenal. You'll especially appreciate it when you have a tight lie or firm ground between you and the green. Even if you don't make perfect contact, you can still get the ball on the surface.

Unlike a standard chip, where you want to carry the fringe, the goal with the bump-and-run is to get the ball to bounce a few times short of the green and roll to the hole.

My favorite new club for this technique is a hybrid, but you can use just about any iron. Set the ball back in your stance with the shaft leaning forward, which will reduce the loft on the shot. Hinge your wrists during the backswing, and maintain that wrist set all the way to the finish. Pivot your chest toward the target as your arms swing through. You should make a descending blow, and take a bit of a divot in front of the ball.

Ranked No. 8 on Golf Digest's 50 Greatest Teachers list, Smith is based at Treetops Resort near Gaylord, Mich., and Tiburón in Naples, Fla. Click here for more tips from Smith.