October 22, 2017
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Mark Hackett, PGA teaches us how to hit the perfect splash out of a bunker

Series 2: Mark Hackett, Old Palm Golf Club. Written by Umberto Bernardini

In our magazine’s newest series, South Florida Golf has sought out PGA golf professionals from some of the area’s best private clubs, resorts and daily-fee courses to provide instructional lessons and videos for golfers of every level. Our next tutorial comes from the Director of Instruction at Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Mark Hackett, PGA who discusses the mechanics of a “splash shot.”

HACKETT: Many golfers find it difficult to hit out of a greenside bunker, but with proper setup and execution a splash shot will get you out of the sand and onto the green every time. With a splash shot, the club sweeps down into the sand just behind the ball and skims it out with a limited amount of sand.

 splash out of a bunker

The key words to remember for a successful escape are Face, Base and Pace. Follow these steps to get up and down with greater consistency:

splash out of a bunker

1.              Position the ball forward in your stance.

2.              Open the clubface so that you turn the grip end clockwise to the 1:00 position.

3.              Take a wider stance with your feet flared out for a good foundation. You must be able to hold a squat as you swing past your body.

4.              Allow your spine to lean left and that will shift your weight to your left side.

5.              Open your stance until the clubface aligns back to the target.

6.              Dig your feet into the sand to lower the bottom of the swing. Remember, if you dig your feet in two inches, you will be able to hit two inches behind the ball.

7.              Point the butt end of the grip at the centerline of the body so you can use the club’s bounce and loft.

8.              Allow your arms to hang naturally.

9.              How far you swing the club back determines how far you swing the club through. Your backswing and through swing should be a mirror image of each other – use the same length and pace.

 splash out of a bunker

Mark Hackett, Director of Instruction – Old Palm Golf Club


An integral part of Old Palm Golf Club since 2004, Mark Hackett provides members with private golf lessons, special clinics, as well as weekly supervised practice sessions for men, women and couples.


Recently named one of the best teachers in Florida by Golf Digest for 2013, Hackett is a member of the PGA of America and has been certified by Bio Swing Dynamics. Since becoming a PGA Professional, he has taught at some of the most prestigious golfing facilities, including the Golf Digest Schools. In 2009, he was honored by GOLF Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Golf Teachers in the U.S.” out of 28,000 members of the PGA of America.

Old Palm Golf Club


Located in one of the world’s most golf-rich enclaves, the centerpiece of the community is the tournament-caliber, 7,401-yard Raymond Floyd-designed golf course and world-renowned 33-acre Golf Studio.  Dedicated to game improvement, Old Palm boasts one of the most complete golf instruction and training facilities in the U.S., home to a spacious double-ended range, V-1 equipped hitting bay with Trackman, short-game area and three regulation practice holes – a par 3, 4, and 5 – on which golfers can replicate every shot and angle they encounter on the par-72 course.

The club’s unwavering commitment to an unrivaled golf experience was made evident when three of the world’s top ranked PGA TOUR professionals – Lee Westwood Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel – recently purchased homes, where they live and train full-time while State-side for North American events. The Club is also home to golfing legends Raymond Floyd and Ian Baker Finch.

For more information: www.oldpalmgolfclub.com

I am Fernando, Editor and Publisher of South Florida Golf. My goal will always be to make sure you have a great time while visiting our website or reading our digital magazine. I'm an old school guy happily married with 35+ years of serious golf under my belt. Former mini-tour player, Florida Atlantic University Grad... I follow Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Panthers and anything related to South Florida .. Contact me at fs@sfgmagazine.com or @SOFLAGOLF


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