And I've tried it out - both as a beginner myself, and later on, teaching other novices the basics of NH groundwork. I came to a conclusion that, though I agree a traditional PP "carrot stick" is very heavy and hard to handle, the stifness of it and those alike help to learn precision greatly. Later, when the body language BOTH of the handler and the horse has become more refined, a dressage whip can be beneficial. But in the beginning a stiffer and heavier "carrot stick" also helps introducing a young horse to the concept, as there will be no accidental, confusing or just to snappy "taps" that can be made with a dressage whip. As for a beginner handler - the weight of the stick discourages to move too fast and without hinking, thus preventing unnecessary cues.
I hope I managed to express my ideas clear enough. :)
I have come a long way, to surrender my shadow to the shadow of my horse.