The Good: The Explanar is easy to use and very effective for developing muscle memory which essentially provides a more confident golf swing. It adequately adjusts to meet the needs of various body types, and allows golfer to focus on proper feeling rather than maintaining proper positions. A well-built product, the Explanar develops muscular strength and speed through impact positions, cuts down practice time significantly, and has also been endorsed by teaching professionals, including Butch Harmon.
The Bad: Large, heavy and awkward to transport. You'll likely want to ensure you have adequate space designated for the Explanar to use it effectively.
The Bottom Line: A tremendous swing aid that can be used by golfers of all skill levels and abilities. Tremendous tool for instructing beginners, but also for maintaining swings in mature players. If you have sufficient space allocated for the Explanar, the benefits of utilizing this training device will surely pay dividends. I highly recommend this product to golfers of all ability. I’ve never seen a training aid that can improve a golfer’s game to such a significant degree like this one can.
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The Explanar was designed by master golf professional Luther Blacklock, and he did golfers everywhere a huge favor in doing so. Referred to as a 'kinaesthetic golf training aid', swing rings, and the Explanar in particular, are intended to develop a golfers muscle memory, replicating the feel of an optimum golf swing, and what it’s like to hit the perfect shot.
As with most swing improvement tools, the intention is essentially to increase the distance and accuracy of your shots by teaching a more consistent and repeatable swing. The solution seems quite sound in theory, and backed by some of the worlds top golf professionals and coaches, the Explanar has a proven track record for producing results. Lets take a closer look...
Explanar distinguishes itself from competitors in a few ways including it's high quality, sturdy and adjustable design. For years we have seen swing rings constructed out of PVC pipe, sitting in the corners of driving ranges, but not widely used. Because of their flimsy design and lack of adjustability, these devices have done a disservice to swing rings and the amazing potential they can provide. Without a sturdy structure as well as the option to adjust to a golfers body type and swing, the entire solution is compromised. The swing ring concept is brilliant, and very useful, but only when the device can be setup to replicate the desired swing, one that can confidently be duplicated over and over.
The metal frame of the Explanar provides the ideal platform which, once setup, will act as the solid foundation needed for creating a repeatable and on-plane golf swing - established from the ball, up through the golfer’s shoulders. Also noteable in the design, Explanar utilizes 'rollers' as opposed to golf clubs. The swing roller is further proof that the Explanar is a well-designed product created by individuals who truly understand the biomechanics of the golf swing. It’s heavy weighting, as well as its material rubberized exterior, provide weighting and friction that further promotes subconscious development of muscle memory - but also builds strength and speed within the swing. Not only is the Explanar designed to develop a proper swing plane, but also speed through contact that leads to increased clubhead speed and therefore distance.
The only downside to the design of the Explanar, is that it is a very large piece of equipment, requiring a significant amount of space. It is well built, but heavy. If you plan on using it at home, you need to ensure that you have a space that is tall and wide enough to allow you to take at least three-quarter swings. Although I am impressed by how well it folds up, as a general rule, you'll want a designated space where your Explanar can live permanently.
With all this said, creating/finding the space for an Explanar is very well worth it. I feel so strongly about the benefits it provides, that one of my cars has had it’s home in the garage taken over by my Explanar. I have had to get creative with where I park the vehicle each night. The bottom of my lawn is certainly paying a price due to this new arrangement. But, a little bit of ruined grass is a small price to pay for a beautiful golf swing!
The Meat and Potatoes
Back in 2007 I had the opportunity to speak with world-class teaching professional - Butch Harmon. He explained to me the importance of establishing a fundamentally sound swing, one which was free from getting too mechanical. He explained that a golfer should, “Focus more on feel thoughts and tempo,” because thinking about positions prevent from developing a swing that allows you to focus on the target. As such, it comes as no surprise that Butch has openly endorsed the Explanar swing training system. It provides golfers with the opportunity to actually feel what proper positions feel like in the golf swing, and furthermore, is extremely easy to use. The beauty is, you actually don’t need a lot of “swing knowledge” in order to obtain its full benefits. The product takes care of this for you, by putting your club in the proper positions. All you have to do is swing, and know that you’re in good hands.
In order to develop a swing that you can trust, it is imperative to put in thousands of repetitions. And for those repetitions to be meaningful, they must be repeated correctly. What makes the Explanar such a brilliant tool is the fact that it allows golfers to repeat a fundamentally sound golf swing over,and over, and over again, without the need to constantly stop to check video or get a second set of eyes to ensure that you haven’t slipped out of position. Not only does it ensure you are on plane, but it saves a tremendous amount of time in the process. Without the Explanar, a golfer is forced to stop constantly to check positions and ensure that they are establishing the correct motion both in the backswing and downswing. There is no need for this with the Explanar - just get in the ring, start swinging, and know that you are developing a repeatable swing that is on plane.
Not only is feedback immediate for your swing, but so too can be improvement. I’m speaking from experience. Prior to using the Explanar, I had a backswing which was coming too far outside my hands. While I was able to still play decent golf with this move, I wasn’t satisfied with my swing because I knew I wasn’t developing a swing that I could trust under pressure. I had a backswing which required rerouting at the top as I transitioned into the downswing. I wanted to make my swing simpler, with fewer moving parts, but I couldn’t find the what the proper backswing felt like. That is, until the Explanar.
What I appreciate about this tool is the fact that you can either use it to focus on feeling the proper positions, or you can simply use it as a tool, trusting that your subconscious mind will use the repetitions you’ve completed to build a swing that you can trust on the golf course. By swinging along its plane repeatedly, your body begins to remember the appropriate way to swing the club as you react to the golf ball on the course. It’s like you are skipping a step in the learning process. You don’t have to learn the positions, you can go directly to feeling them and repeating them.
Because of the benefits of the Explanar, I believe they've effectively created a product for nearly every golfer. Male/female, young/old, high-handicaper/scratch golfer, all will benefit from creating a consistent on-plane golf swing and the confidence that goes along with it.
Explanar also kept young golfers in mind by offering a smaller, junior edition. Young golfers can practice their swing technique from an early age and limits the development of 'bad habits' in their swing.
Because of the versatility of this product, the broad target market and the clear benefits, Explanar is an amazing tool for personal at home use, as well as for golf courses, training facilities and instructors to incorporate into their various programs.
The Explanar is one of the best swing aids I have ever come across. It is simple to use, develops consistency and feel, and it provides you a place to go even when rust creeps into your swing. While I believe it does cut significant time off of one’s pursuit of finding the proper swing plane, golfers still need to put in the time and effort. The beauty in the Explanar however, is knowing that the time you do put in, is time very well spent.
For more information about Explanar, visit their website at: www.explanar.com
You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our 'product review' section. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
Our goal with all product reviews is to provide an unbiasted look at various golf products, what we like, what we didn't like etc. All opinions are those of the author and not necessarily the official opinion of Eat Sleep Golf.