Sometimes a female golfer will try playing with her husband’s old golf clubs just to get involved in the game. Is this ok to do? Is there enough of a difference between men’s golf clubs and women’s golf clubs that they need to be categorized as men and women?
The truth is that there are usually some significant differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs, and those should be carefully observed when searching for a set of golf clubs. Actually, some women should be playing “men’s” golf clubs, and some men could truly benefit from switching to a ladies’ golf club (not going to happen, due to egos). In this guide, we will break down for you the differences and what you should know.
Depending on the manufacturer, women’s golf clubs can be anywhere from a ½ inch to an inch shorter than men’s. Men’s golf clubs are built with a 5’8″ tall golfer in mind, and the women’s golf clubs are made with a 5’6″ tall golfer in mind. It is very easy to get custom length golf clubs for both men and women that will adequately fit for height.
If you are a taller female golfer, it can sometimes make sense to look into senior shafted irons. Senior golf shafts are very similar to ladies’ golf shafts, and the length of the club will likely fit you much better than a women’s golf club.
The Club Head
Most manufacturers will just change the grip and the shaft when switching between men’s and women’s clubs. Sometimes they will change the paint color or the design of the clubhead, but when you look at the technology, they are usually very similar.
There are, however, some clubs heads that are specifically designed for the female golfer. In general, these club heads will have a lighter weight and a lower center of gravity, and they will potentially be more forgiving as well. However, that’s not always the case. In the example of last year’s Callaway Rogue Irons, the only real difference in the club heads was the color. The technology between the men’s and women’s models was identical.
This is probably where you will see the most significant difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs. The men’s shafts are designed to accommodate the clubhead speed of a man. In general, men swing much faster than women do, and therefore they need a shaft with much less flex in it.
Men’s golf clubs come in stiff, regular or senior flex. Women’s golf clubs come in a ladies flex. The ladies’ flex and the senior flex are quite similar, depending on the shaft manufacturer. Women don’t have much of a choice when it comes to flex in a shaft. Therefore if you are a faster swinging female golfer, you will likely need a custom men’s shaft put in your golf club.
Ladies’ golf shafts are usually designed to help increase launch as many women struggle to get the ball flight they want. Men’s golf shafts come in a variety of kick points and torques and can be a bit easier to match to their particular swing. We think that at some point, the game of golf will catch on to the fact that women swing the golf club at a variety of speeds, and there should be ladies stiff, regular and senior shafts as well. Especially in the case of a senior female golfer as she ages, there are not too many options for lighter or easy to swing shafts.
Most of the time, women’s hands are smaller than a mans. Golf grips are made to accommodate individual size hands. Women that try swinging with a golf club that has too large of a grip could have a hard time releasing the club. Men who swing with a grip that is too small tend to overcompensate and hook the ball to the left. Choosing a grip on your golf club that matches your hand size is extremely important.
It may seem as though women’s golf clubs are priced higher than men’s. Upon closer inspection, you will see that many ladies’ golf clubs are only offered in graphite shaft. Graphite is much more expensive than steel. If you compare a men’s graphite iron set to a ladies’ graphite iron set, the price should be the same. However, if you compare men’s steel shafts to women’s graphite shafts, you’ll find that the women’s clubs are typically more expensive.
How Can You Tell Which One To Choose?
99% of the time, men will play men’s clubs, and women will be women’s clubs. Simple.
There are really only two people that are borderline for using men’s or women’s golf clubs. If you are a female golfer that can hit her seven-iron 140 or more yards, you may benefit from a men’s golf shaft. If you are a male golfer that struggles to get distance or has had some medical issues that cause slower swing speeds a ladies shaft and club could help you get some of your swing speed back. Outside of those two scenarios, you won’t see too many men playing with ladies’ clubs or vice versa.