There are so many devices out there that promise golfers perfect alignment, improved swings and fixed slices, it can get downright mind-boggling trying to keep up with all of them. Golf instruction and training aids seem to be a dime a dozen and many of them end up getting as much use as that treadmill that sits and collects dust in the corner. If only there were more products out there that could help you improve your swing without hoisting you into awkward and uncomfortable positions, or maybe a training aid that you could continually use and benefit from longer than some of these other options that try to promise the quick fix and nothing more.
THP recently had a chance to test some new products that are aimed to make us better golfers. The promises and claims sound familiar to other products, but that is where the similarities end. The Orange Whip Trainer and Orange Peel are different than your everyday golf training aid. I’ve spent a little over a month testing them both and I am excited to share my findings with you.
Before I get into my testing here is a bit about the company and the products tested:
About Orange Whip Trainer
Headquartered in Easley, S.C., The Orange Whip Trainer was developed by PGA Professional Jim Hackenberg to help golfers find their perfect athletic swing. The precision-engineered device combines a counter-weighting system and flexible shaft that work in unison to fuel the natural golf swing motion unique to each individual, helping golfers find their ideal swing plane, creating optimal lag, achieving seamless sequence of motion, promoting balance throughout the swing and building core muscle strength. More than 150 Tour Pros as a part of their regular practice and fitness regimens currently use the Orange Whip Trainer.
Benefits of using the Orange Whip
Flexibility: The weight on each end of the flexible shaft provides a low-impact stretch while swinging.
Strength: The Orange Whip provides a core muscle workout when used during repetitive motion drills. The wrists and forearms receive a workout doing various drills and during the hinging action while swinging.
Coordination: The Orange Whip synchronizes the arms and body while swinging it repetitively. If this motion is out of sync, the user will lose their balance and/or feel awkward.
Tempo: As the arms and body work together, a natural rhythm takes over the swing. This is how your tempo develops, some may be fast or slow, yet always in balance with an efficient motion.
The Orange Peel was designed to enhance the golf wing learning process by altering static and dynamic balance positions. Similar to standing at the bottom of a sphere, the Peel creates a slight inward pressure in the feet and legs, which helps stabilize and support the hips/core area at address.
Benefits of the Orange Peel
- Center the core for improved balance
- Develop a dynamically athletic stance
- Promotes a rotation around center of gravity
- Synchronize the upper and lower body
- Experience different swing planes
- Recreate uneven close conditions
- Facilitates proper body release
Prior to this review I had heard about the Orange Whip Trainer, one of my golf buddies has one and uses it to warm up prior to hitting balls or playing a round of golf. I had talked to him about it and he explained the benefits of these warm ups. Once I heard that I would be testing the same product I was under the assumption that I too would be testing it and using it as a pre-round warm up tool. After speaking with someone from the company and visiting their website I quickly learned that this would be much more than a tool to warm up with.
After researching the story behind the Orange Whip Trainer and looking through the drills they outline on their website I couldn’t wait to get started. It is very apparent that the Orange Whip Trainer is much more than meets the eye, especially when paired up with the Orange Peel. I received the package and laid everything out in front of me and without any assembly and very little tutorial I was ready to go. I instantly began working primarily with the Orange Whip Trainer using the full swing drill. As instructed I began to slowly swing the whip back and forth gradually achieving a full swing motion. I love the feeling of lag and tempo this forces your swing into without having to manipulate it in any way at all. Simply swinging the whip, letting the weight of the device and the force of my momentum lead my arms and shoulders along not only helped engrain great tempo but it also feels great on the core and surprisingly to me, my back.
Without going too far into detail I will say that I’ve suffered from back pain for a long time. I’m constantly trying to stretch my back and popping pain relievers every morning like they’re a multi vitamin to help keep the pain suppressed. Playing golf seems to actually help my back stay loose and for the most part pain free until after the round. I was both surprised and extremely happy to figure out that using the Orange Whip Trainer 3 times a day for a minute or so each time has already helped my back to the point that I don’t immediately reach for the Aleve in the morning, instead I reach for the Orange Whip and get some swings in. This was definitely an added bonus that I was not expecting from this testing.
While my favorite and most used drill is the full swing drill using only the whip I have found that when you pair the Orange Peel together you really get yourself a great core workout a really good swing training all at once. The peel is big and not easily left right by my dining room cabinet like the whip is, but that’s about the only negative thing I can say about it. My first instinct was that I’d get some great work in manipulating the different types of lies I encounter in a typical round of golf but there’s much more to the Orange Peel than that indeed. I have a hard time explaining it any better than what the company does on their website, but by forcing your body into a position that creates that inward pressure on your feet and legs you really need to stabilize yourself when using the whip or swinging a golf club while standing on the Orange Peel. This helps increase your balance at the same time as working great to strengthen your core.
In terms of my golf swing I have felt some benefits from using both the Orange Whip Trainer and the Orange Peel. My driver swing especially feels a lot more fluid and my weight shift has definitely improved, no longer am I hanging back on my right side watching my drive balloon and fall to the right. I feel like I’m making a nice powerful and athletic move through the ball, a motion that is influenced by the swings with the Orange Whip Trainer. The Orange Peel has helped me feel like I’m getting a better rotation in my swing and for me the biggest benefit of the peel is that it has helped reduce my tendency to lift my body through impact. While both products tested offered me some very beneficial results the thing I liked most about it was that the improvements come not by dramatically changing anything about your swing, but just by promoting the feeling of good tempo and good lag. The Orange Whip and Orange Peel won’t immediately show you a flaw in your swing and fix it but over time and after more use you develop a better swing and a better golf game just by doing nothing more than using it. It’s simple, swing the whip and you’ll improve your golf swing. At least that’s how easy it feels to me.
The Orange Whip Trainer is hands down the best training aid I’ve used, simple as that. I love how easy it is to throw in your golf bag and use prior to a round for warming up, or just simply leave it to sit in an area of your house for repeated uses daily. I almost need 2 of them come to think of it! I’m not going to sit here and tell you that if you have a sore back go get this and you’ll be cured immediately, but honest to goodness it has helped me with mine. Sure I’m still sore, probably always will be, but so far the longer I’ve used the Orange Whip Trainer the better my back feels all day long.
I really liked the Orange Peel once I was done using it, I will say that for me because of the bulky size it just isn’t as easy to grab and go through some drills 3 times a day like the whip is. Because of that I set it up in my workout room at home, yeah right next to that treadmill that gathers dust. For this testing I made it a point to repeatedly go in and get on it for some swings as often as I could but because it is in an area of the house that isn’t passed by several times a day it wouldn’t get the attention the whip does on a long term basis. If your living arrangements allow it though you would benefit by having the Orange Peel easily accessible for these drills. It seems like more of a piece of exercise equipment to me in that you really have to be dedicated to using it to get the most out of it.
Both products are available at golf retail stores across the country or directly from the company’s website at www.orangewhiptrainer.com. Feedback from some THP forum members is that they seem to be priced pretty high, the Orange Whip Trainer costs $109 while the Orange Peel goes for $209. Depending on how you look at it the cost can seem high, or actually very reasonable. If you’re simply looking at it as a golf swing training tool then yes, they probably do seem a little steeply priced. However, if you think of these as an overall body training tool considering the other benefits such as a stronger core, more flexibility and in my case, help relieving a sore back then I personally feel that they’re both actually very reasonably priced. Often times golf training aids serve their purpose to the user and either gets handed down or lies around and collects dust. I can say without a doubt that with continued use both the Orange Whip and the Orange Peel will definitely add more value to you and your swing the longer you use them both.