My experience with golf training devices is next to none. I've always seen them as a gimmick and I'd prefer to simply practice by hitting golf balls at the range. But when I was offered the chance to try out the Orange Whip, I figured it was worth a try.
The first thing that appeals to me about the Orange Whip is that it resembles a golf club. It's extremely flexible and it's relatively heavy, so from the start you realize that you're going to need proper form to get this thing swinging properly.
I was under the assumption that it was a training device designed to help you stretch and warm up for a round, and also to keep the golfing muscles active and in shape when you can't get to the course. There are a series of three moves on the Orange Whip site that advise you how to stretch and rotate. I found that the weight and whippiness of the shaft really helped get a good rhythm on the side-to-side torso twist, although the one-handed swing felt more geared toward gaining swing speed that it was toward stretching.
But that's when I started to realize that there's more to the Orange Whip than I first thought. When I moved on to the full swing, I could really feel the loop in my swing and how far off plane I was swinging. I'm a low single-digit handicap, so I can usually tell when my swing has gotten out of whack. But with the Orange Whip, I could actually see the problems. It also helped me find and identify my "stop point" and how far I should be taking the club back. Lastly, and probably more important because of my long-time demon of being too quick, the Orange Whip has been fantastic at helping me feel the proper pause at the top, as I transition from backswing to downswing.
The Orange Whip has been a winner for me in four key areas:
- Stretching: I'm able to warm up in a hurry, and if I can't hit balls before a round, a minute with the Orange Whip and I'm loose.
- Tempo: The Orange Whip keeps my swing from getting too quick, especially at the transition.
- Swing Plane: The flexibility of the Orange Whip provides visual evidence of the club getting off plane.
- Muscle Memory: I plan to keep the Orange Whip handy for the winter months, when I can't get outside.
I've been using the Orange Whip before a round of golf and as part of practice sessions for two months now and I'm sold on it. As a full-service training aid that is rooted in the actual golf swing, the Orange Whip is a winner.