Most female players choose to use women’s clubs. However, this is often done unknowingly without much consideration for the actual differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs.
Depending on if you have a slower swing speed, more height in your swing, strength, stability in your stance, etc., the type of golf club that you need could be greatly impacted.
Let’s look at the main differences between golf clubs for men and women and help you determine which is best for you.
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The length of the club is the most significant difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs. Male golfers, on average, are taller than women, so the clubs are typically one inch longer. Sometimes this can vary between manufacturers and could be ½ inch to ¾ inch.
With the length of the club, you can make adjustments based on player height. In fact, most golfers should consider a custom fitting where the exact length of the club they need is measured.
When you play with the length of the club, the lie angle is also changed, something that needs to be considered for better consistency and playability.
2. Shaft Flexibility
The flexibility of the golf shaft will also be different between men’s and women’s golf clubs. Women’s clubs come with a ladies’ shaft, which is more flexible than a men’s shaft. The idea behind a more flexible shaft is that with slower swing speed, women golfers can get more distance and better ball flight.
Men’s golf clubs have various shaft options to choose from based on swing power and whether or not higher swing speed comes into play. Men can choose from a senior shafted golf club to an extra stiff shaft.
Women golfers have much less variety to choose from. If they need something that is a bit less flexible, the men’s shafts become the best option.
Sometimes problems come up for women golfers as they start to age. Unfortunately, no real senior women’s golf shaft can be put in the club to help improve overall ball speed and make up for lost yards.
However, more and more companies are coming up with lighter golf shafts that have a better launch, and this is certainly helping older women golfers find an option that works for them.
Male golfers have a nice progression of golf shafts that they can move through if needed, and when swing speeds are a match, the ladies’ golf shaft will always work as well.
3. Clubhead & Grip Sizing/Shape
Most golf club manufacturers will use the same clubhead for women golfers as they do for men golfers. However, some companies will put a larger clubhead with a bit sweet spot in the golf clubs for women.
It’s often assumed in golf that women need more accuracy in their shots. This comes from the idea that women golfers tend to have slightly less clubhead speed.
Also, as a whole, the handicaps of men, on average, are often lower than women simply because more men play the game than women. You have to remember that golf club manufacturers try to create clubs that work for the largest group of people.
The grip for male golfers is usually a standard or midsize grip. However, for female golfers, the grip is usually undersized. Women golfers have slightly smaller hands, and the undersized grip tends to give their hands an easier time getting on the club properly.
When shopping for ladies’ golf clubs, it is important to look at the club head and see if you are getting something specifically built for the woman golfer or if it is simply a men’s club with a ladies’ shaft in place. There could be impacts on the center of gravity or overall performance that are worth considering.
When you look at LPGA Tour players, they are almost always using men’s golf clubs. The reason behind this is availability.
Unfortunately, there are not as many women’s golf clubs on the market as there are for men. This is simply a sales and marketing issue, as there are not nearly as many women golfers as there are men golfers.
In the game improvement and beginner category of golf clubs, there are plenty of options for women to try. However, when you look at things like blade-style irons or players’ distance irons, there are very few choices.
Today, most golfers go for a complete custom fitting when they are between golf clubs. If you are a female player that is looking for increased feel and accuracy in a set of clubs, a custom fitting for a men’s set of players’ irons is probably the best choice.
Male golfers starting to lose some of their clubhead speed can find that a ladies’ shaft is actually the best option for their game. If the overall height of the player is a problem, it is easy to extend the shaft and ensure that there is enough length for accuracy.
As a whole, there are more men’s golf clubs on the market than women’s, but this is not nearly the problem it once was. Custom club fitting has really changed the way we look at the game of golf.
Women’s golf clubs tend to have higher lofts than men’s golf clubs. This is particularly seen in something like a driver. Men’s drivers are often going to have between 9 and 10 degrees of loft. With the women’s golf clubs, expect to see between 12 and 15 degrees of loft.
This extra loft is intended to add forgiveness.
However, it can also become problematic for women golfers. As great as the loft is in helping with accuracy and forgiveness, it does nothing for your distance. The higher the loft on your driver, the more you will struggle to hit it far.
Female players that are looking to capitalize on distance will need to be very careful of this feature.
The good news is that for slightly faster swing speed women golfers, there are plenty of options out there. Conversely, for slower-swinging male golfers, the women’s drivers could always be a good choice. Distance may not be the best feature here, but a shot that is 10 yards shorter and in the fairway may be one worth considering!
Although these differences in lofts still impact golf drivers, the fact that so many of them are now adjustable has made this a little less of an issue. The higher lofts are easily adjusted in most clubheads, so you can dial in the exact amount that will work for your game.