One of my many golf problems is swinging too much with my arms and upper body, and not initiating my downswing with my legs and hips. This can also mean I rush my downswing and mess up my swing sequence and timing. I'm someone who learns best by feeling what the right swing feels like. This is where "whippy" trainers, like the SKLZ Gold Flex shine.
There are really two primary combatants in this field: SKLZ and Orange Whip. As far as I can tell, they both do the same thing for wildly different prices.
The general idea is they take a flexible, bendable, shaft and put a weighted bulb at the end of it. You are encouraged to start your swing by moving the bulb forward first, and then allowing momentum to start your backswing. You can feel the bulb reach the top of your backswing, which is your trigger to start shifting your weight forward and twisting your hips to initiate the downswing.
You continue this back and forth motion in sort of a pendulum style for a few swings to warm up and get the feel of your swing sequence.
What I like best is it really helps you feel the weight of the (fake) club head at the top of your swing. That makes it easier to keep your hands back a tick longer and start firing your lower body.
The SKLZ swing trainer comes in two sizes. You can get a 40 inch or a 48 inch length. The 40 inch is more like an iron and the 48 is like a driver.
For a few reasons, I recommend the 40 inch even though I bought the 48 inch.
The 48 inch is more expensive ($79 vs $47), requires a larger space to swing, and is not really conducive to putting in your bag.
I keep mine in my living room downstairs and often swing it a few times in the morning before a round or in between meetings at work.
It is the type of product I could live without, but I'm happy I have it.
Some people swear by them. Maybe I will learn things later that make me truly love it, but it is mainly a handy occasional training aid for now.
The product claims to help swing strength and flexibility with 10-20 swings per day. I have not found that to be true.
What I like best is feeling the weight of the club head very clearly in my hands at the top of the swing.
I also do find it helps promote a flatter and more in-to-out swing path.
It also makes it easier to work on my swing sequence and tempo. It might be the best tool I have found for that purpose.
SKLZ vs Orange Whip
I have tried the Orange Whip a few times at a local shop, and can say there is not clear difference between the two products, except the price tag.
The 47" Orange Whip retails for $109, where the 48" SKLZ trainer costs $79. That's a big price difference for no discernable reason.
I don't mind paying extra for a better product, but this does not appear to be one of those situations, so save your money.
Even better, get the 40" SKLZ for $47 and you are less than half the Orange Whip price.
This is a good product that can help your swing tempo and sequence. I don't believe it is game-changing, but you will be happy to have one. The price feels a bit much for what it is, so it might be worth looking around for a used one. I'd give this 3.5/5.0 stars.