Golf is a game where minor changes make a big difference. Honing your swing and tempo is a surefire key to success. Two popular choices are the SKLZ Gold Flex training aid and the Orange whip. Both are similar, but which is the best for your game? Today we are going to find out in our SKLZ Gold Flex vs Orange Whip Review.
Quick Answer | Which is Better? SKLZ Gold Flex or Orange Whip?
Which is better depends entirely on what metric you are measuring. The SKLZ Gold Flex is cheaper, slightly more compact, and lighter. It also looks a little more purpose-built too. Tour trainers have used the Orange Whip. It is heavier, longer, and offers more options. It is also higher priced.
Both are effective in their aims. If we had to pick based purely on training value, we think that the Orange Whip takes the lead, but only by a small margin. If it were cheaper, the decision would have been much easier.
SKLZ Gold Flex Review at a Glance
What is the SKLZ Gold Flex?
Well, it goes something like this.
The SKLZ Gold Flex is a golf training aid designed to improve various facets of your swing. Things such as swing path, clubhead speed, tempo, and muscle memory can all be improved with regular use of this device.
The SKLZ Gold Flex is designed to simulate a club. It consists of a realistic golf grip, a flexible fiberglass shaft, and a weighted polyurethane head. The majority of the ‘club’ is jet black. The head and a small section of the grip are bright yellow
It comes in two sizes. The 40-inch model is designed for beginners and intermediates (or those of us who are ‘vertically’ challenged). The 48-inch model is for taller golfers or those who are more advanced in their golf game.
It works great as a warmup aid. You start by making smaller swings and then slowly build your way up to making full swings. It loosens up your muscles and gets you really thinking about your swing mechanics.
As a useful aside, because it is heavily weighted, when it does come time to swing your real clubs, they feel light as a feather and lightning-fast.
If you’ve ever taken a break from golf, you may have noticed a few aches and pains when you resume playing. That’s because the muscles used in golf tend to weaken over time. As with any fitness training equipment, the SKLZ Gold Flex will help to keep those muscles well developed.
SKLZ Gold Flex Pros and Cons
- It is relatively cheap
- It easily fits into your golf bag
- It feels well made
- The polyurethane head is very durable, don’t worry about hitting the ground
- The shaft is quite stiff
- It is lighter than other training aids
- The main focus is on long irons and woods
Orange Whip Review at a Glance
The Orange Whip is considered by many to be the ‘original’ golf swing training aid. It gains its name from the prominent orange ball located at the ‘head’ of the club. It consists of this weighted ball head, a counterweight, and a fairly flexible shaft.
This Orange Whip golf training aid aids in developing good rhythm while you perform your swing. If you go too fast or slow, the shaft will oscillate and give a really wobbly effect. If this happens, you get instant feedback telling you that you are doing something wrong.
Because of the head’s weight, you’ll get a pretty good workout when it comes to flexing those golf muscles. As with other golf training aids, it is significantly heavier, so you’ll really feel the benefit when it comes to swinging a real club.
The shaft is also pretty long and exaggerated. This causes the clubhead to travel slower, so you can really concentrate on what is going on.
Orange Whip Pros and Cons
- It is used by several tour pros
- The head is pretty heavy
- You’ll get instant feedback on your swing
- A good selection to train every club in your bag
- It is a little expensive
- The grip looks a little dated. It’s not quite the same as a standard golf grip
SKLZ Gold Flex VS Orange Whip Head to Head Comparison
Two swing trainers, both offering similar things, but which should you go for? Well, we are here to help. We’ve held (and swung) the two side by side, taken a good look around, and come up with some answers. Here’s what we found out.
After trying the SKLZ Gold Flex and the Orange whip, we found that both are actually pretty great quality. Both are solidly constructed, and nothing was loose or rattly (even after we managed to catch the turf with a zealous swing).
When it comes to quality, you won’t really go wrong with either.
When it comes to examining the grip of both the Orange Whip and the SKLZ Gold Flex, we’ll have to say that the Gold Flex wins. The grip looks and feels identical to a real club. Training aids are supposed to simulate real-life conditions, and if you’ve ever been for a lesson, you’ll know that the first thing a pro will look at is your grip.
Anything that changes this isn’t really a good thing.
The Orange Whip has two things that we don’t like.
First, the grip looks a little like something you’d find on your grandad’s set. It’s a kind of molded rubber made to look like a leather wrap. Second, the counterweight can get in the way of your wrists and looks a little out of place.
For the above reasons, the SKLZ Gold Flex could be the better choice when considering grip.
When training your swing, you are going to want instant feedback. The more apparent this is, the better the value of using it.
We found the Orange Whip to be much more bendy than the SKLZ Golf Flex. Both work; however you get a really tactile feel when your tempo is out with the Orange whip, it wobbles and vibrates and really forces you to get your timing right.
Conversely, while the SKLZ Gold Flex does something similar, it isn’t quite as apparent. It will take a few swings before you realize that you are doing something wrong.
How something looks is subjective. For us, we think that the SKLZ Gold Flex is a little more modern and up to date in the looks department. The black and yellow works really well.
We hate to say it, as it is an effective training aid, but the Orange Whip doesn’t look as refined.
From a functional point of view, there is little difference. Both have a brightly colored head that will be easy to see and monitor as you perform your swing.
This is one area that we were really keen on. Ideally, you want a swing training aid to have a decent weight. Otherwise, what’s the point? You might as well use a regular club.
The Orange Whip is the heavier of the two. Weighing in at 1.7 pounds, you’ll really be able to feel every muscle as you swing away.
By comparison, the SKLZ Gold Flex weighs in at a paltry 0.85 pounds. Some would argue that this is better when you carry it around the course in your golf bag, but we were looking purely at the value as a training aid.
In this case, the Orange Whip comes up trumps.
Both the Orange Whip and the SKLZ Gold Flex come in a range of options.
The Gold Flex has two options, 40 inches, and 48 Inches. We didn’t like their marketing because they state the smaller option is good for weaker golfers and shorter golfers. The larger option is good for taller or stronger golfers…
This begs the question…
What do you go for if you are a tall yet inexperienced golfer or a short, low handicapper?
The Orange Whip is also available in a range of sizes. If you check out their range, you’ll see that they cater for different club types; putters, wedges, and the standard whip trainer form part of an impressive lineup. The Orange Whip offers many more choices.
Value for Money
This will be the deciding factor for many golfers. Depending on the model you choose, you might find that the SKLZ Gold Flex is nearly 50% less than the Orange Whip. That isn’t to be sniffed at.
When we talk about value, we balance cost against how effective something is. The jury is still out for us. While the Orange Whip is the tried and trusted brand, we find ourselves questioning whether it adds double the training value.
Which is Better | SKLZ Gold Flex or Orange Whip
Both the SKLZ Gold Flex and the Orange Whip are effective as a golf training aid. They both have their good points and downsides.
If you are looking for a relatively cheap swing trainer that is pretty compact and modern looking, the SKLZ Gold Flex could be a great choice.
If you are happy to spend a little more and want something considered the original, the Orange Whip could be the way to go. It is heavier, gives better feedback, and is much more flexible.
SKLZ Gold Flex Vs Orange Whip | FAQ
They are pretty similar, but you may still have questions. Here are some things we get asked all the time.
Why do the SKLZ Gold Flex and Orange Whip have a Ball at the End?
If you are trying to improve, you’ll already know that a lot is going on during your swing. It can sometimes be hard to concentrate on one area.
Both the SKLZ Gold Flex and the Orange Whip are designed to correct your swing mechanics. They don’t feature anything that resembles a club head, as this would be a distraction. By being able to ‘grip it and rip it,’ you can really focus on what matters most… Rhythm and tempo.
Can You Swing the Orange Whip During a Round?
You may be surprised to learn that while you can carry the orange whip during your round, you are not permitted to use it for anything other than stretching when you are out on the course! It isn’t a club, so it does come under the ’14 club rule’.
As an aside, you really wouldn’t want to be swinging it out on the golf course anyway. It is a real workout and takes a surprising amount of energy. You’ll be robbing yourself of that muscle power to make that long drive on the 18th!
How do You Use the SKLZ Gold Flex?
If you want to keep it basic, just swing the SKLZ Gold Flex a few times before you start your round. There are a few drills you can perform while using it. The bright yellow head makes it easy to see your swing path. The weight will force you to exaggerate your corrections, which should be easier out on the course.
If you want to see an example, here’s a handy video: –
How Do you Use the Orange Whip?
There are a surprising number of drills you can perform with the Orange Whip. Due to its flexibility, it is impossible to swing it incorrectly, and it is fairly intuitive. It literally forces you to get your tempo in the groove; otherwise, it becomes unusable.
We’ve had a look around, and this video shows a good training drill you can perform. Make sure you concentrate.
SKLZ Gold Flex or Orange Whip? | Final Thoughts
Our review of the SKLZ Gold Flex vs. Orange Whip didn’t reveal any huge surprises. Both are effective training aids, and both will improve your swing speed and tempo. For a cost-effective solution, the SKLZ Gold Flex is the pick of the bunch. For something that has been proven to be effective (and a little more expensive), the Orange Whip is a good choice. Have you tried either? How did you find them? Let us know in the comments.