The British Open is one of the more unique challenges the world’s best golfers face all year.
You can tell just by the way the courses look on television that it is different than most places in the states.
Along with a challenging layout, the players usually get a strong test against the elements in the Open Championship.
Wind, rain and cool weather are almost always certain to occur at some point during the 72-hole event.
Players are without question forced to alter their strategies to accommodate the changing conditions and unique layout of the British Open and this year at Muirfield will be no exception.
One of the more common strategies employed is the increased use of a shot called the “bump and run.”
I define the “bump and run” as a low trajectory shot that will land short of the green all together and with a combination of bounces and roll will hopefully end up near the target.
There are several advantages to this shot.
The low trajectory minimizes the affect the wind will have on the ball, and it can also be the best way to utilize the firm ground conditions that are typical on links style courses like Muirfield.
To start using the “bump and run” in your game, try these simple tips:
• Make the correct club selection. Since we want a lower trajectory, a club with less loft will be in order. I recommend any club between a 7-iron and pitching wedge. Which club you choose matters less than your ability to get comfortable using the same club.
• Identify your landing area and predict the first bounce. The first bounce will be the most important when playing a bump-and-run shot. You will want to walk up to the area you intend to land the ball and see if the ground is soft or firm, and/or sloped in one direction or the other.
• Practice, practice and practice some more. Visualizing a bump-and-run shot isn’t very difficult, but executing the shot can be, especially when trying to judge the correct distance for the shot. The next time you’re out on the golf course and there’s nobody around, drop a couple extra balls down in the fairway and practice hitting bump and runs. There’s no substitute for being able to practice the shot on the field of play.