Many golfers, particularly women, are often puzzled when purchasing a new set of golf clubs, as they are usually segmented into men’s clubs and women’s clubs. To further enhance the confusion, if you visit some prominent brands’ websites, you’ll notice that the technology and the engineering process are identical for both men’s and women’s clubs.
It comes as no surprise that average golfers like you and me often wonder: “What’s the difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs?”
Despite having the same technology, what differentiates women from men’s clubs are their flexibility, length, and weight. Women’s clubs are lighter, shorter, and more flexible than men’s due to their slower swing speed and smaller stature. Design and color are the most visually striking differences, but these features have no impact on performance.
To find out how to select the right size, weight and shaft, continue reading the article. We will discuss the golf clubs’ differences and essential features you need to observe when getting yourself new clubs.
Standard Golf Clubs Are Made for What Height?
The length of the golf clubs is your starting point. Women’s clubs are, broadly speaking, shorter than men’s clubs. The standard women’s club set is designed for women who are 5’7″ tall, while the standard men’s golf set is designed for men who are 5’9″ tall.
Any woman between 5’7″ and 5’9″ is good to go with the standard women’s length. For shorter women, there’s a petite option that offers shorter clubs. If a woman is taller than 5’9″, then she could use the standard men’s options.
Low handicappers prefer to play with a longer driver to add more distance to their shots, but it is not easy and requires lots of practice and skill. However, it is essential to point out that irons are not supposed to be longer than the recommended length as they require more precision and accuracy, which is harder to get if they are longer.
What About the Lofts of the Clubs?
The golf club loft helps golfers launch the ball up and high, and each golf club has a loft range specific for its function. The standard men’s golf clubs come with a lower loft compared to women’s golf clubs. For example, the stock men’s drivers range from 9 to 12 degrees, while Women’s drivers range from 12 to 14 degrees.
The same refers to irons as well. When buying a set of irons, women’s irons come with a higher loft for each iron of approximately 4 degrees. Take the 7-iron, for example. The standard men’s irons has a loft degree 28.5, while the woman’s standard loft is 32.5 degrees.
The reason behind this is seen in women’s lower swing speed and less power. When women swing at the ball, the extra loft will help them achieve higher trajectories and get more speed and distance. However, it is recommended for women who don’t lack speed to try to play with men’s lofts with a lighter and more flexible shaft.
What Determines the Flexibility of the Clubs?
The flexibility of the golf shaft is directly related to golfers’ swing speed. Golf club manufacturers offer Men’s Stiff, Men’s Senior, Men’s Regular, and Ladies. Senior shafts and Ladies shafts are very similar. Therefore, taller women are encouraged to use Men’s Senior flex as they will get almost identical feedback as if using L-flex.
If you are a high to mid-handicapper, you’ll notice that most of the golf clubs offered on the market come with graphite shafts, while low handicappers usually prefer steel shafts so they can have more control over their swing.
Many premium golf manufacturers offer steel or graphite shafts based on the golfers’ swing speed and handicap. Graphite shafts allow using larger club heads that are more forgiving and easier to hit.
Is There Any Difference Among the Club Selection?
Regarding club selection and equipment, it is often personal, and which golf clubs the golfer will include in his/her golf bag depends on their preferences and handicap. Yet, the standard golf clubs included in Women’s golf bags show differences in irons, hybrids, and fairway woods selection.
Thus, instead of using difficult-to-hit long irons, women often choose hybrids or higher fairway woods. Men’s woods usually include a 3-wood and a 5-wood, while women’s woods include 9-, 11-, and 13 woods. Some women’s sets even start with a 7-iron.
Putters also have notable differences. The average women’s putters are about 33 inches long, shorter than men’s 34 inches. The length of the putter usually depends on the golfer’s height since golfers need to select putters that match their stature. So, golfers shorter than 5’3″ need to look for 33″ putters, while Golfers taller than 6′ should opt for 35″ putters.
Are There Any Differences When It Comes to Grip Size?
Yes, women’s hands are considerably smaller, so the standard women’s grips are made slender. The grip size also impacts the shot types, so irrelevant to the gender; thinner ones deliver hooked ball flights. Thicker grips are usually recommended for players struggling to control hooked balls, regardless of their gender or hand size. Putter grips are different from the rest of the grips, and high handicappers usually find it easier to control the ball when the putter has an oversized grip.
Another Grip difference is the color of the grip. Women’s grips come in lighter, pastel colors and look more feminine. This doesn’t mean that all ladies’ grips have to feature a feminine design. It is only a standard that average sets are sold, but also there are neutral or unisex grips that fit both men and women.
Are There Any Misconceptions Regarding Golf Clubs?
Perhaps the greatest misconception is that women have to play with women’s clubs only and men with men’s clubs. However, from what we have seen so far, the differences are minor and generally revolve around length, grip, shafts, and weight.
Yet, if smaller men find women’s golf clubs fit for their performance, it is perfectly fine to play women’s clubs. The opposite applies to women as well. Larger women can significantly benefit from men’s clubs instead of sticking to women’s options.
Can Golf Clubs Be Customized?
Yes, they can! Considering today’s technology, many golf club fitters can customize any club to match the player’s swing speed, size, and overall strength. The differences in men’s and women’s swing speeds impact the type of the golf club, so women’s clubs tend to be lighter to get the ball in the air.
Particularly referring to women’s golf shafts, they are about an inch shorter. The driver clubhead is larger to achieve greater driver speed, and it is over 11 degrees. The body types impact the shaft length and the clubhead position, so it is advisable that whoever wants to advance in the golf game take advantage of all the available technology.
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