Press conferences — particularly in golf — can get extremely mundane.
“Talk about the approach you hit on 14.”
“What were you thinking coming up 18 with the lead?”
“How does it feel to get this win?”
Occasionally, however, pressers provide some content gold. Think well-served Dustin Johnson after a team event, or Rory McIlroy with just about anything. It’s must-see TV, and you hope that it never ends. Sometimes, you even learn a little something about how to play golf, too. That’s just what happened during Danielle Kang’s winner’s presser after last week’s LPGA opener.
Coming off the course after her first win in 17 months, Kang was in just the right mood to be a perfect interview subject — a combination of engaging and insightful. The first few questions from the media were run-of-the-mill snoozers, but then, a question came in that really got her rolling.
“I think the one that may have brought a tear on the old-timers’ eyes was the bump-and-run today on 15. You just don’t see that shot very much anymore. Can you walk us through what your thinking is there?“
Luckily, Kang obliged, and we got a step-by-step breakdown on how to hit a proper bump-and-run.
1. Stand the shaft up
To execute the shot to perfection, as Kang did, you need to make the shaft a bit more vertical than you would on a typical greenside shot.
“I stand the shaft up, put the ball back, put the toe down, and I just hit it aggressively through the ball,” she said.
2. Ball in the back of the stance
With the ball in the back of your stance, it’s easier to hit down on it and make ball-first contact.
3. Play it off the toe
You want the ball to get on the ground quickly and roll towards the hole, so you don’t want to put much backspin on the ball. To get this topspin, Kang said she plays the ball towards the toe of the club.
“It comes off like a putt,” she said.
4. Stay aggressive
Perhaps the most important aspect of hitting a good bump-and-run is to stay aggressive.
“You just can’t be afraid of it,” Kang said. “If you hesitate it’s going to duff or chunk or going to catch a little bit too much toe spin. But as along as you’re aggressive it’s always going come out with the nice topspin that you can create with your putter.”