I bought an Orange Whip training aid at the recommendation of a friend who is a former college golf coach. He recommended it for any golfer that has trouble getting to the range on a daily basis. I took his advice and have now had the whip in my bag for the last three weeks. What follows are my findings after using the whip every day as recommended on the company's website. I have no connection to the Orange Whip company, and am not receiving any compensation in exchange for this review.
Orange Whip's Claims
The Orange Whip website claims that the whip will:
1) Quickly improve your golf game with 5-10 minutes of practice, which can be done anywhere (8-minute abs anyone!?)
2) Increase flexibility - "the weight on each end provides a low impact stretch when swinging"
3) Increase strength - the whip provides a core workout as well as a wrist/forearm workout
4) enhance coordination - The whip synchonizes the arms and body by making the user feel out of balance or awkward if used improperly.
5) balance tempo - "as the arms and body work together, a natural rhythm takes ove rthe swing. This is how your temp develops, some may be fast or slow, yet always in balance with an efficient motion.
My Testing Method
I watched each of the drill videos available on the website, and as recommended by Orange Whip made a routine where I would do 3 sets of 3 different exercises using the tool. I did the drills before each range session (either at my club or in my back yard) and before each round of golf. I have been using the tool every day for approximately 3 weeks.
My prior experience with training aids is relatively limited. I own a medicus iron and a back yard driving net - both of which I use pretty frequently.
My results are purely subjective, and not scientific (sorry MGS). I am basing my review on my experience with the Orange Whip and how I think it has impacted my game. I don't even have hard data showing what the tool has done to my handicap since I've only been playing with it a few weeks.
I'll address these claims in order based on my experience with the whip when I used it as directed on the company website.
Quick Training Resource - True to the website's claim, I could complete the drills in 5-10 minutes. To tell the truth, it was hard completing the full routine each day because I got bored doing it, but I stuck with it.
Increased Flexibility - I do feel more flexible after using the tool. It is a great way to warm up before a round, even before hitting balls at the range. I find myself with a greater range of motion, and don't feel nearly as stiff than I used to when stepping up to the range for warm ups. If I don't feel like carting the tool around, I can even use it in the parking lot before a round and leave it in my car. Whether the tool does a good job actually increasing flexibility over time is yet to be determined, but I can definitely feel the tool stretch out my core and shoulders when I use it during drills.
Increased Strength - I don't feel stronger from having used the tool It is true that the tool forces you to engage all parts of your body to whip it forward (more on that below) but I don't feel like I am swinging any harder or stronger than I was before.
Enhanced tempo - I have definitely felt an improved tempo having used the orange whip. It forces my hips, arms, torso and shoulders to work together to get the ball back, loaded, and whipped forward. If any of these pieces fall behind or ahead, the weight at the end of the whip lets me know because it just feels wrong. I noticed results at the range almost immediately after starting with the whip. When I swing in tempo I get better accuracy and elevation.
Balance Tempo - Similar to the previous paragraph, the tool lets me know when something is out of tempo with my swing. Most of the time I can feel before I hit the ball whether it will be a good shot or not based on whether my body feels in synch.
Unexpected Benefit - The whip helped me to find that my swing was a little bit shallow, which caused me to occasionally push the ball right or flip over the club and hook the ball. Using the whip helped me get my swing back on plane without falling in the other direction and developing a slice. I think this benefit came from the weighted nature of the device - similar to a medicus, it forces your body to swing on plane. However the whip really allows you to take a full and dedicated swing, which I find more difficult with the medicus.
Overall Findings and Conclusion
If you struggle with inconsistent shot shape (as opposed to hitting it fat, thin, or shanking it), then I highly recommend the Orange Whip. I never quite realized how much tempo matters to a good golf game. I had always been told of its imporance, but the OW really helped me see what I was missing. The whip is a great warm up tool, and while I don't think it made me any stronger, I do believe it has made me a more confident golfer with a more compact, unified golf swing.