A Backswing.com Exclusive
Backswing co-founder Erick Arbé had the opportunity to meet with Jim Hackenberg, founder of “The Orange Whip!” at their world headquarters. They delve into the Orange Whip Golf swing trainer, a golf training aid lauded for its ability to address a myriad of swing-related issues, including tempo, timing, strength, flexibility, swing plane, balance, and finish. Jim elaborates on why the Orange Whip stands out in the market and its unique attributes that set it apart from its competitors. Erick asks Jim to demonstrate the correct way to utilize the Orange Whip to enhance your golf swing.
- A versatile golf training tool that tackles various swing problems.
- Jim Hackenberg discusses the distinctiveness of the Orange Whip compared to other products.
- How it assists with tempo, timing, strength, flexibility, swing plane, balance, and finish.
- How to effectively use the Orange Whip for optimal golf swing improvement.
Here’s the full transcript:
All right. Erick Arbé, PGA professional here with backswing.com. And today I have the pleasure of being here with the founder, owner of the Orange Whip training aid, Jim Hackenberg.
Jim, how are you? I’m great, Eric. Welcome to Orange Whip World Headquarters. Yeah, this kind of exciting to be in the place that manufactures the actual Orange Whip.
So today on Backswing.com, we’re going to be chatting about the Orange Whip a little bit about what it does, what it can do for you as a golfer, why it’s such an awesome training aid, and kind of the uniqueness of it, because there are some copycats out there. So I want Jim, the actual founder, to explain some of those things to me.
So, first thing, this is an awesome tool. I’ve used it plenty of times. I see lots of Tour players use it.
It’s been on the market for how long? Just hit our 16th year. I introduced it January of 2008. Man, that’s amazing.
2008? Yeah. Wow. All right, so everybody knows it as kind of a swing trend in eight, right.
I want to chat about that first and then chat about what people might not know it as. So can you tell me just a little bit about kind of its intent and what it does for your golf swing? Sure. As a golf instructor, my biggest dilemma was teaching people how to swing in rhythm while maintaining balance.
I had a good opportunity to caddy on the PGA Tour and watch the best players in the world, and they all swing in rhythm with this wonderful balance, and they’re always on plane. Well, I concluded being on plane was the crucial element when designing the Orange Whip. That was my idea, was I was going to make this thing evenly balanced with a weight on this end and another weight on this end.
So when you swing it, it wants to find your natural swing plane. We’re different heighted guys, but if we swing this, it’ll find your natural swing plane, and it will find mine. So whatever size golfer you are, it will help you find it.
Because of the way it’s designed, kind of the beauty of it doesn’t need to be set. There’s no settings you need to do you just swing it. Exactly.
Now, we have a couple of versions for different heights and abilities, but, yeah, there’s no adjustment. It’s just swing it, let it find it for you, and once you get it, speed it up. Love it.
Now, one of the awesome things I love about this is that it’s not just for your golf swim, it’s for fitness as well. Right. And I shouldn’t say fitness, but maybe stretching.
Right. Can you speak to that a little bit? Because that’s very important. So this is one and three quarter pounds, so the total weight is twice as much as a golf club.
So just that alone, by swinging a slightly heavy implement, it’s going to pull you further back. Stretching your back carry you through, allowing your body to rotate, which, if we spend a lot of time in front of the desk at a computer, not moving our body. A slightly heavier club or device will help pull you as you swing it.
Now, it’s very flexible, like a fishing rod. That’s important because that’s basically low impact. It’s going to be difficult to harm yourself because it always has a bit of give with that little bit of give that allows you to find that rhythm without overdoing it or doing something that would throw you off balance.
Now, when swinging the club, I’ve noticed one thing before you even mentioned it and told me about it, is that the handle feels like it’s almost moving in a different form than if I were to just swing a heavy club. I remember heavy clubs back in the day, that was the training aid. It’s just a weighted driver or a weighted iron, something super heavy.
But this is a little bit different because of the white ball right on the end. Exactly right, because when I get to the top of my swing, that’s loaded there on this end. But the orange ball over here is still almost drooping or dropping, and I can actually change directions where it feels like it’s still going backward, but I’ve already started to go forward.
And then everything starts to unload and catch up and create all that power that you unload at your target with as much power as you’re capable. Okay, so the counterbalancing is what kind of holds you back? Can you speak to that? You bet. Because of this extra weight, it wants to first find that natural swing plane.
But it creates a lag because it’s heavier here. And when you start to change direction, this orange ball is actually lagging behind as it bends. And once I start going the other way, it slowly but surely catches up and then speeds up and then powers through, carrying your whole body towards a target.
So many golfers I had worked with would just stop right after they hit the ball, losing all their energy. But now they have to carry around and they have to balance their body with the weight they’re carried through. So the counterweight was something I stumbled upon.
I learned that Jack Nicholas and Ben Hogan, they did that with all their clubs, right? All of them, yes, it was perfectly legal, but they kept it a secret because they thought it was the secret and they didn’t want others to know. So I thought those guys were pretty good, so maybe I should experiment with the counterweight. And what we did was I had a few versions that I’d made very rudimentary.
I made Home Depot parts, and I put heavy washers on this end and heavy washers on that end, but we could adjust how many washers would go on each end. And I had myself, the gentleman that I caddied for on the PGA Tour, Patrick Moore, and a number of other golf pros or golfers that were good at the game. And we experimented with how much weight we liked on each end.
We all concluded that after basically balancing the device out, every one of these golfers said, I love it best when it’s evenly balanced. Because they could feel it the best. Yes.
So that became my mantra, my focus, my patent. My patent is all really focused on this balanced center of mass because it’s perfectly balanced, allowing it to find your swing plane. Love it.
And that’s what no other swing trainer like this has out there, is the counterbalance. Exactly. Right.
Yeah. That’s the piece I love about it. And you’ll notice when you do actually swing the Orange Whip, it makes such a big difference with it being counterbalanced as opposed to just a heavy club.
Yes, exactly. And the thing is, we can remove this. Is that removable? Yeah.
These grips are mid star grips out of Phoenix. And if you ever wanted to change, although I wouldn’t recommend it, these are great grips. But you can take it off.
You can feel that weight. And then when I swing this, I can then take it and move it all over, but not in balance. It gets actually awkward when I put that back on.
That’s when it helps me find my swing plane. I did not know that was removable. Yeah.
We did it for the purpose of if somebody really wanted to change it. Some people like to put their own style of grip or some people like the formed grip. I didn’t go with the formed grip because I wanted people to be able to swing it as a right handed golfer.
Yes. And then as a left handed golfer, make two versions, too. Exactly.
So it makes it easier for everybody. And balanced workouts are great when you go right and left handed. Yeah.
Well, yeah. Keeping the body in balance as opposed to just all right handed, do you recommend swinging it left handed as well as right? Let’s say I’m a right handed golfer. Would you recommend me swing it left handed as well to keep things in balance 100%? Because, A, you’re going to get a better stretch and workout for your body, and B, if you do anything too much, it starts to affect how you develop either your swing or your muscles, which could eventually lead to an injury.
So we’ve worked with Titleist Performance Institute and they’ve stated to me, please recommend everybody swing at equal amounts, right to left. So I try to do it right and left handed every day just to maintain that balance. But probably even more interesting, you can learn more about your golf swing.
Once you go to the opposite side, you start to see it differently. And that was great for me. It allowed my brain to kind of see the golf swing clearer once I switched to swinging left.
Just left handed. Yeah, you probably find all those imbalances in your golf swing. That’s fantastic.
I never even thought about that. And I’m glad we had this chat to uncover that, because that is perfect. And taking the counterweight off, that’s pretty neat, too.
If you just wanted to swing it and feel it without it. Definitely. Because you obviously be able to feel the difference and see how much that really does help.
Yeah, it’s very noticeable, and it’s one of those light bulbs that goes off once you do that beautiful. All right, well, I think to wrap it up, then, can you just swing it a few times and give us your kind of top pointers that somebody should feel when they’re swinging the orange wheel? Absolutely. Love to.
Jim, can you explain to me a couple drills or what people should feel when they’re swinging the Orange Whip? You bet. Just because we don’t swing a golf club every day, and we don’t always have that feeling. I always like to start out slow.
Slow is the key element. Also, if you have a line that you could reference, square your body to that line. I want your feet, knees, hips, shoulders square to that line, because this will eventually be your target line.
If you learn to swing down your target line, you’ll be much more apt to hit your target. So I find the line, I hover the orange ball slightly over it, and here’s the start. It’s a very small pendulum, nice and easy.
Notice I go a little further each time, starting to get my footwork involved, starting to allow my wrists to hinge here and here as I continue this motion. Once I’m in rhythm and in sequence, I can add a little more speed, but never at the cost of balance. If I collapse, it’ll flop, and it’ll hit me in the back.
If I tend to throw it, it’ll throw me right off balance. If you ever get out of control with the Orange Whip, slow down, find your rhythm, let it load, and then once you’re comfortable, you can add some speed without ever losing that balance. Now, once you’ve warmed up that way, we’ve got to transition into a golf swing.
So then I recommend making a swing like you’re hitting a driver, and I’m pretending like I’m watching it fly right down the fairway. And I recommend three or four of these and then go to your golf club. Swing your golf club like it’s an Orange Whip because they’re designed different, but you’ll get the same rhythm.
After about five or six swings, you’ll recalibrate, and you’ll be ready to basically tee off and hit it as well and as straight as long as you can imagine. Well, I think we’ve learned quite a bit about the Orange Whip here today. You can find them.
Where can you find the Orange Whip? Orangewhipgolf.com beautiful. And thank you so much for having me here at the Orange Whip World headquarters.
Be sure to check out the Orange Whip YouTube channel as well. Orange whip golf. Orange whip golf.
Sorry for all kinds of tips, tricks and everything Orange Whip related. And if you love your Orange Whip, we even have fitness programs. That it’s.
Swing training and fitness. But we can lead you on a very good program to really develop your golf swing and your body for improved game. Love it.