Old Palm News

On The Mark: Wide Starts

June 16, 2018

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Mark Hackett, Director of Instruction at Old Palm Golf Club, has some fresh tips on the use of wide starts during players’ back swings to help our golf game. Hackett was recently featured in Golf Magazine’s May 2018 issue.


His advice? It's all about the backswing. By swapping hinge for width in your takeaway, you can gain big yards in your game. Many beginning golfers struggle with the idea of wrist hinge. Knowing when to utilize wrist hinge is the key, and early in the backswing isn’t the ideal time. By picking up the club during the takeaway you are potentially setting yourself up for a number of problems. An immediate pivot of the wrists reduces power and forces weak extension at impact. This can lead to slices and pop ups, plus you’re more likely to sway your lower body in an effort to increase your turn.


Instead, go for width at the start. Maintain your lower body stability and swing the driver in one wide, fluid motion and focus on getting the clubhead as far away from your right ear as possible. This will create an extension, leading to a natural wrist hinge approaching the top. You’ll be better able to unwind your arms, wrists, and body in this new wider arc and blast your drives straight down the fairway.


About Mark Hackett

Mark Hackett received his first golf lesson from Davis Love, Jr. at the Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia at the age of 15. His first golf lesson instilled in him a love of the game and eventually led him to instruction of the game. In 2009, Mark was honored by Golf Magazine as one of the Golf Magazine Top 100 Golf Instructors in the country out of 28,000 members of the PGA of America.  


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