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Review: The Orange Whip Putting Wand

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Pros: Intuitive and familiar device. Its overall weight and flexible shaft force users to pay attention to the length and pace of their strokes, as well as where they contact the ball on the face. Works for both right- and left-handed golfers.

Cons: Just two lengths, 33 and 35 inches. Round rubber grip, unlike the flat-front ones sold on most putters. The putter head looks like a slab of rubber, unlike any Anser or mallet model on the market. Some consumers might be put off by the drastic difference in appearance.

Bottom Line: If you are an inconsistent putter who struggles under pressure, the Orange Whip Putting Wand might be your ticket to a smoother, steadier stroke.

Overview

The Orange Whip Putting Wand bears resemblance to a putter. It possesses every element (grip, shaft, head) of a club you would purchase to effectively roll the ball across a putting surface. The genesis of the putter, in the words of inventor Jim Hackenberg, was found in a training aid that looks a lot less like a putter, the Putterball.

“The developer of Putterball recommended using it as you would a regular putter and just hit putts with it,” Hackenberg said. “It was a great idea, just difficult to use, very little margin for error.  I loved the idea because it reminded me of Newton’s Cradle concept, which delivered the energy of one swinging ball into the target ball. Also, very similar to playing pool and the importance of center contact.”

Hackenberg liked the concept of the Putterball, but said it was too hard to use, with too much face curvature for most golfers to be able to make solid contact. That’s why his device has far less face curvature, making it easier to use while still providing feedback on mishits.

There is a series of drills that you can perform to improve lag putting and the moments of takeaway and acceleration. These drills are found in the company video here.

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The counter-balance, that small, white weight that looks suspiciously like a golf ball and screws into the top of the grip, works in tandem with the club head to promote greater rhythm in the swing. Inventor Hackenberg is also hedging his bets on the eventual replacement of anchored putters by counter-balanced putters. If you wish to try the club without the counterweight, simply unscrew the ball and have at it.

The Putting Wand can be purchased in 33- and 35-inch models. It sells for $109 on the company website.

Performance

The Orange Whip putting wand will legitimately expose your rhythm flaws. If you have a tendency to start the hands back too quickly, the shaft of this device will over-flex and you will feel the head get out of sync with your hands. If a stabbing motion at the beginning of the through swing is your flaw, once again the shaft will wobble and the head will awkwardly contact the ball.

I followed the instructions step-by-step and became a believer. My first move was to swing the putter back and forth for some 20-to-30 repetitions. Although my initial attempts were a bit twitchy, I promptly slowed (and found) my rhythm. I then rolled a number of 10, 20 and 40-foot putts, switching from the Orange Whip to my putter and back again. My results were quite similar to those promised in the aforementioned video.

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Looking back, the size, color and shape of the head didn’t provide nearly as much initial distraction as did the whippy shaft. The wet noodle forced me to slow down and repeat my newfound rhythm. Once I focused on consistency of unhurried pace, my strokes with the Orange Whip Putting Wand grooved in. I was then able to carry this metronomic sensation over to my regular putter and onto the practice green.

Looks and Feel

Why orange? A vibrant color with so little association with golf (especially during the pre-Ricky Fowler days) leaves an immediate chromatic impression. Jim Hackenberg admits he had a sentimental reason for that critical decision.

“I chose orange color because I knew the Whip would have a ball on end of shaft and it was about the size and weight of an orange,” he said. “Plus, I really like the color. I’m an Oregon State U graduate, their colors are orange and black.”

The orange ball at the end of the shaft refers to the full-swing trainer, the Orange Whip. When it came time to market the Putting Wand, Hackenberg knew to not mess with a proven appearance.

The face-on-ball contact sound of the Orange Whip putting aid is inaudible. No clickclack nor thlock. Nor is there a ding or dong. The ball releases from the soft-rubber club head with true roll and, in conjunction with proper swing rhythm, achieves proper distance with an appropriate strike. Your attention always returns to the first priority: controlling the whippy shaft with proper swing rhythm. The color and size of the club head retreat to the background.

IMG_1808

Speaking of the club head, its visual referent for Hackenberg is that of a Bulls-Eye “on steroids.” For those of a certain youth, the Bulls-Eye is a traditional blade putter that receive international attention and usage from the 1940s until the wide acceptance of cavity back and mallet-head putters in the 1980s.

Curiously, the company opted for a round grip on the device, not the flat-front model found on most putters. According to Hackenberg, the grip is round because it encourages a golfer to execute a pendulum swinging motion and not a “controlling swing” that tries to guide the putter face.

“It’s very difficult to find rhythm when you are controlling the putter face,” he said.

Takeaway

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The biggest drawback for me with this device is the lack of curvature of the face. In my mind, it doesn’t begin to curve close enough to the sweet spot. You can miss a putt by a half inch left or right of center and not notice.

That said, I am a fan of the Orange White Putting Wand. Repetition is the cornerstone of success, so repeated swings (as directed) with the Orange Whip Putting Wand will lead to a calmer takeaway and start to the downswing for starters. The less spastic or herky-jerky the stroke is under pressure, the more likely a golfer is to putt better. And who wouldn’t pay $109 for that?

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.orangewhiptrainer.com/index.php” oemtext=”Learn more from the Orange Whip” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DGDEEBY/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00DGDEEBY&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=7HSO4CUYPZ56ZETN”]

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. jeff

    Oct 30, 2014 at 12:57 am

    i bought two 3/8 diameter fiberglass shafts 5 ft long i cut one in half and put an old belly putter head on it gripped it with yoga material sanded down the end for even more whip and i have an excellent whip putter trainer i am going to market it as the “wobbly whip” and sell them for 209 dollars whoohoo im getting wobbly just thinking of all that money this is going to bring in!!!

  2. Don Sterkel

    Mar 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    After 40 years of yippy putting and 30 years with long putter I purchased to prepare for the “ban”- to my surprise I found out I’m a better left-handed than right-handed putter with great tempo and a short solid stroke. Bought an Otey Crisman vintage putter on Ebay and putting and the game is fun again. I’ve tried many putting training tools (including almost all from Pelz

  3. RG

    Feb 10, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Egads and Gadzooks!

  4. Ronald Montesano

    Feb 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Tony, Scooter, Dan and Dwaine:

    My suggestion, as indicated in the review, is to try it. You’ll be enthused by the manner in which it calms any tendencies to stab at the ball.

    • Scooter McGavin

      Feb 8, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      As indicated in my comment, I have tried it.

  5. Dwaine Ingarfield

    Feb 8, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Yikes.

  6. Tony Lynam

    Feb 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I’m sorry, but it is one of the worst ways you could spend $109 dollars.

  7. Scooter McGavin

    Feb 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve tried this and didn’t care for it at all. It only grooves you to one tempo, and not everyone has the same putting tempo. Know what’s better than $109? A free metronome app for your phone or ipod. You can pick what tempo you want to putt with, unlike with this.

  8. Dan

    Feb 6, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Silly

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Accessory Reviews

Insider photos from Tiger Woods’ launch event for his new “Sun Day Red” apparel line

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On Monday evening, inside the swanky, second-story “Coach House” event center in the Palisades Village, just minutes down the road from the 2024 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Tiger Woods and TaylorMade officially announced their new apparel/footwear/accessory line, called “Sun Day Red.”

The Sun Day Red website officially launched on Monday night during the event, and the products are set to go on sale starting May 1.

The “Sun Day Red,” or “SDR” name will be self-explanatory for most golf fans, since he’s been wearing a victory-red shirt on Sunday’s for his entire professional career, but Woods explained the meaning of Sun Day Red at the launch event:

“It started with mom. Mom thought – being a Capricorn – that my power color was red, so I wore red as a junior golfer and I won some tournaments. Lo and behold, I go to a university that is red; Stanford is red. We wore red on the final day of every single tournament, and then every single tournament I’ve played as a professional I’ve worn red. It’s just become synonymous with me.”

The Sunday Red outfit has worked to perfection for his 82 PGA Tour victories, including 15 majors, so why not make an entire apparel line based on the career-long superstition?

As I learned at Monday’s launch event, the new Sun Day Red line includes much more than just clothing. To go along with a slew of different golf shirt designs and colorways, there were also windbreakers, hoodies, shoes, hats, headcovers, ball markers and gloves on display.

The upscale event was hosted by sports media personality Erin Andrews, with special guests David Abeles (CEO of TaylorMade) and Tiger Woods himself.

As explained by Abeles, the Sun Day Red brand is an independently-run business under the TaylorMade umbrella, and is based in San Clemente, California (rather than Carlsbad, where TaylorMade headquarters is located), and it’s run by a newly-formed, independent group. Brad Blackinship, formerly of Quiksilver and RVCA, is the appointed president of the new brand.

As for the logo itself, obviously, it’s made to look like a Tiger (the animal), and is comprised of 15 tiger stripes, which correspond with Woods’ 15 major championships. While the logo may need a 16th stripe if Woods adds a major trophy to his collection, it makes perfect sense for the time being.

The golf/lifestyle line is meant to combine premium precision and athletic comfort, while still having plenty of wearability and style off the course. Like Woods said on stage at the event, he wants to be able to go right from the course to dinner wearing Sun Day Red, and that was exactly the aesthetic on display at the event on Monday.

Following the official announcement from Woods and Abeles, they revealed multiple pieces of clothing, accessories and footwear for the event-goers to ogle (and photograph). Check out a selection of product/event photos below, or head over to our @GolfWRX Instagram page for video coverage…OR, head into our GolfWRX Forums for even more photos and member discussion.

Enjoy this exclusive look at Tiger Woods’ new Sun Day Red apparel lineup below.

See more photos from the Sun Day Red launch event here

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Motocaddy M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC electric cart review

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I have been thinking about electric golf push carts, or trollies, ever since I started playing in my league seven years ago.

Motocaddy has been making high-quality electric, and non-electric, carts since 2004 and has a couple of great options for the golfer who loves to walk. Motocaddy was nice enough to get their M7 Remote and M5 GPS DHC in my hands to try out on the course for a few weeks.

I have had a lot of people stop me to ask about the carts, and the one thing I keep telling them is that these carts are just flat out fun to use on the course.

Motocaddy M7 Remote

The M7 Remote was very easy to get set up right out of the box. All you have to do is charge the battery, install the wheels, and you are pretty much ready to go. The M7 folds up pretty small, just a little larger than the 3-wheel pushcart that I had been using for years. Getting it to the course should be no problem with just about any trunk space. Now, the one downside to an electric cart is the weight when moving it around, and both carts come in at around 35 pounds each. Even with that extra weight, I didn’t have much trouble lifting them in and out of the back of a pickup.

The M7 unfolds quickly with the flick of two levers and extends the front wheels automatically. Once unfolded, you drop in the battery, plug it in, and secure your bag. If you own a Motocaddy bag, they have developed a really nice system called EasiLock that involves two metal studs that fit into the bottom of the cart. This system also includes a molded base that prevents the bag from rotating at all, even on the roughest terrain. You can still use the M7 with almost any other golf bag as it includes elastic straps that wrap around the top and bottom of the bag.

As soon as you plug in the battery the LCD screen comes to life and you are ready to go. You can use the M7 without the remote by using the dial on the handle to control the starting, stopping, and speed. But the M7 has a remote that is activated by a simple press of the power button to get going. The remote is very simple with just five buttons to control where the M7 goes.

Getting a feel for the M7 takes no time at all and by the time you drive it from your car to the 1st tee you will be in complete, and confident, control of the cart. You simply press the “+” button to start moving forward and the cart takes off gently without any rattling of your clubs, and you can press that same button again to increase the speed. The cart will go from a slow crawl, for bumpy or tight areas, too, as fast as I could run with just a few presses of the button. The big red “stop” button in the center stops the cart immediately, and when stopped it is locked in place, even on steep hills. You don’t have to worry about remembering to set the brakes or anything because it is done automatically.

Steering is just as easy: simply press the right or left button to turn the cart. Small, quick presses will just slightly adjust the cart as it moves down the fairway while a long hold of the button can make it turn on a dime to the right or left.

Almost everyone asked me how stable the cart was and if it would tip over. I can proudly say that it has stayed upright even on some unseen bumps at maximum speed. Side hills, ruts, and even curbs are handled with ease with the help of the small rear wheel.

I really enjoy strolling down the fairway with nothing but the M7’s remote in my hand — it just makes golfing more fun!

Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC

After using the M7 and its fancy remote, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like not having it. But to be honest the M5 was just as fun to use, but for a different reason.

As the name suggests, the M5 has a built-in GPS with 40,000 courses preloaded into it. The screen is a good size, pretty responsive to the touch, and easy to read in direct sunlight. Having the GPS directly on the cart is great, you drive up to your ball and immediately have yardage to the front, back, and center of the green as well as bunkers and hazards. You can easily toggle between screens on the GPS and it offers a couple of different views to help navigate the hole. The M5 can also keep score and let you know shot distances right on the screen. Motocaddy even includes nice little touches like a screen protecter kit to ensure durability.

Driving the M5 is just as easy as the M7 with using the dial on the handle. And speaking of the handle, the grips have a great tacky rubber that grips well even in hot and humid conditions. To start the M5 you just press the dial down and the cart will gently start down the fairway. You can turn the dial to increase or decrease the speed — I found between 5-6 to be the most comfortable for me. But the speed can go up to a very fast pace if you are looking to set a record for fastest round of the day.

As you walk down the fairway, or rough, stopping the cart is as simple as pressing he dial again. When stopped the M5 engages a parking brake automatically so you don’t have to worry about it running down a hill without your approval. The M5 has tons of power to go up just about any hill and the Down Hill Control (DHC) keeps the speed consistent even when going down a steep decent.

Since the M5 has so much power, and it is a little heavy, I thought steering would be a little bit of a challenge. It wasn’t, at all. Guiding the M5 took very little effort and slight adjustments going down the fairway were very easy. Really tight turns took a slight bit more effort as the torque can want to go forward a little more than turn. Again, once you get the M5 from the car to the first tee, you will be a master at driving it.

Overall, Motocaddy has created two great carts that provide additional enjoyment to walking your favorite 9 or 18. Having the ability to walk without carrying or pushing your bag, clubs, and whatever else goes with you. I like them so much that it is going to be hard to get the M7’s remote out of my hands when I go play!

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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