Welcome to GOLF.com’s “Best Of” review series, where one of GOLF’s editors review new, interesting and helpful products from around the golf world. This week: The Orange Whip Trainer
The story goes that a local legend, nicknamed Dirty Larry, was a starter at a local golf course famous for taking money off far younger players. He didn’t hit the ball far or particularly well, but he could do one thing very well: He could putt. His secret? Making sure the blade was aligned perfectly, every time. After taking everybody’s money to the point where people refused to play with him, Dirty Larry decided to share his putting secret, and thus “The Navigator” was born.
The product itself is pretty simple: It’s a rubber-and-plastic clasp that attaches to the lower part of the putter shaft, which possesses an arm that extends down towards the putter face. The arm holds a small plastic stick and is adjustable to account for various lie angles. The whole tool weighs about an ounce, and it can be folded and packed away into the box the product comes with.
Does it Work?
I throughly enjoyed my time with The Navigator, and it’s one of the few training aids I keep in my own bag. Aiming is so important in putting and is something that many amateurs tend to gloss over, largely because it’s surprisingly hard to know where your putter face is actually pointing. That’s where The Navigator comes in. It gives you a clear, visual representation of where your putter face is aiming at the start of your stroke, and how the face is moving during it. If the blade is opening excessively during your putting stroke, for example, it’s impossible not to notice it. Most amateurs assume they’re aiming correctly. They may be surprised how wrong they are.
Best Practice Aid For Putter Aiming
The Navigator Putting Aid
This device is one of the most underrated practice aids for putting. It’s not the kind of training aid that you need to spend hours at a time using. It won’t hurt, but that’s not really the point of this simple, effective training aid. 15 minutes with The Navigator every time you pick up the flatstick, and you’ll be a better putter in no time. Simply attach the Navigator to the bottom of your putter shaft and a small rod shows you where your putter face is aiming. You might be alarmed by your alignment at first, but the rod will easily guide you back to square. Simple. Brilliant.