George Gankas is a name golfers may have started to hear recently. While his status as a top instructor has been growing for some time, 2020 really brought him to the forefront. This started with his Golf Digest cover story with Butch Harmon and continued as his student Matthew Wolff had an incredible rookie year with a tour win at the 3M Open and two top 10 major finishes.
Additionally, Gankas introduced his first training aid to the market with The GBox, and it has generated just as much buzz as anything else. So what is the GBox, and can it help the average golfer? That’s what this review hopes to discover.
About the GBox
In short, the GBox is a neoprene belt that wraps around your midsection, and then two boxes are attached via velcro to the sides. As an instructor, I believe it’s fair to say that George Gankas’ philosophy is really focused on the turn and rotation so that definitely seems to be what the GBox drives home as well. As noted on the website, “If you want speed, if you want control, The GBox will give you that. By using the GBox you can keep it as simple as turn and turn.”
When rotating back and through the swing, the boxes provide a visual aid to gauge the turn. One of the boxes has a straight white line on the top, and usually, this is worn on the lead hip to make the visual cue even stronger. Additionally, the boxes themselves serve as a barrier to make sure the arms are staying in front of the shirt seams and not getting stuck behind.
In addition to the training aid, George Gankas filmed several instructional and drill videos for the GBox, and they are publicly available on YouTube. Here’s one that covers the basic setup and how to use it.
With all the hype around the GBox, I was as excited to get it as I have been for any training aid I’ve reviewed.
Matthew Wolff became my favorite young golfer this season, so the connection from him to George Gankas to the GBox raised my interest even further. That said, I found the unboxing experience somewhat underwhelming. Inside the shipping package was the two branded GBox boxes, the belt, and nothing else.
There was no glossy instruction sheet, quick start guide, or even a piece of paper pointing me to the YouTube channel. This type of info might have come in an order email, but still, I think having something in the box would have been helpful. A more significant annoyance, however, was the lack of any sort of bag for holding the GBox. As I wasn’t going to wear the device to the driving range, I found myself taking it around in the shipping box. These are small issues at the end of the day, but I still felt they were worth noting as simple as a Gankas Golf branded drawstring bag for holding the GBox would have improved the user experience.
My Experience Using the GBox
Beyond these initial impressions, let’s look at the GBox in action. The belt itself is comfortable to put on and adjust. The website advertises that the adult belt accommodates waist sizes from 28 inches all the way to 52 inches. I’m pretty skinny myself, but the belt didn’t feel too big for me, and I’m sure someone with a much larger waistline also wouldn’t feel like it’s too small. The velcro on both the belt and the boxes felt strong and secure, so I had no worries that it would come off during the swing. Everything about the look and feel of the training aid gave the impression of quality materials and something that can last for a long time.
With most training aids I review, I do what I feel like many other ordinary golfers do when they get a new device, and that’s to start swinging with it before watching any videos or following instructions. You can definitely do that with the GBox as it’s pretty intuitive how to wear the belt and where to attach the boxes. Standing over the ball, you are definitely aware of the boxes, but not in a really uncomfortable way. I took several swings with my 7 iron wearing the GBox, starting with partial and working my way up to full shots. Like with any of my range sessions, I hit plenty of good shots and plenty of bad. Every once in a while, I hit the box with my trailing elbow, but it didn’t usually interfere.
Through that first range session, I honestly didn’t know, or at least couldn’t feel, what the GBox was trying to get me to do. I know that rotation is essential to the golf swing, and I know that my turns are far from perfect, but was wearing the GBox helping me improve? I didn’t really feel like that with the first session. Obviously, I wasn’t fair to the training aid as I didn’t watch the videos or get drills as everyone should, so I knew my next step was to do just that.
Based on the YouTube videos, I will say that George Gankas is probably a fantastic golf instructor. His communication through the videos was clear, engaging, and the guy definitely has plenty of personality to keep things interesting. Beyond the initial 7 minute video posted above, there is about 20 minutes worth of additional drill videos (2-4 minutes each) focused on particular areas of the swing. I watched these at least once or twice each before taking the GBox back out to the range.
While practicing, I tried to follow the drill sequencing and feel what Gankas was directing in the videos. However, without having the videos or some sort of guidance right there with me, I still felt disconnected from the instruction and had a hard time getting the most out of what the GBox could offer.
Here’s where I really concluded that, as is, the GBox wasn’t really for me and also questioned whether or not your average golfer could really get much out of it on its own. I think the GBox has the potential to be a fantastic teaching tool. Still, in my view, it really requires an instructor there with you ideally, or a golfer who has a solid understanding of their swing mechanics and can feel their own faults even without that type of hands-on direction.
As for myself, and I believe the vast majority of golfers out there, we don’t have a swing coach or the swing knowledge to make the GBox a handy tool. The worst-case scenario could certainly happen where we think we understand our swing well enough and just sort of flail about wearing the GBox, negatively impacting our swing and confidence with it.
I believe the GBox can have a lot of value, but that value would really come from using it with an instructor like George Gankas, who can be there with you with the training aid as a tool in their teaching arsenal. Perhaps watching the instruction videos while at the range could have provided this feeling and made the GBox more impactful for me, but that’s not something I see myself doing. While I appreciate George Gankas’ teaching philosophy and like that the GBox isn’t trying to force you into a particular swing, I don’t believe that it can live up to the buzz for the average golfer.