Have you ever been at TopGolf hitting balls and accidentally picked up a women’s club?
The clubs at TopGolf look pretty similar so it’s easy to do. Pretty quickly you can notice a difference as it’s lighter, has more flex, and shorter than a standard iron.
But are they really that different? If you’re trying to get your other half involved in golf you might think about giving her your old set of clubs before buying some of her own.
When you keep reading, you will learn this is a bad idea! Women golf clubs are designed very differently than men’s golf clubs and can be detrimental to their game. To ensure she has a good first experience with golf, make sure to get her the right set of golf clubs.
Here’s why it’s so important to buy the right set when choosing golf clubs.
Men vs. Ladies Golf Clubs
Equipment is one of the most important parts of golf. If you’re playing the wrong equipment, you’re making golf 10X harder on yourself.
But if you play the right golf equipment that matches your size and skill level, you can make golf a little bit easier. I won’t say you’ll make it “easy” because it’s still golf, but your misses will be better and your good shots are even more rewarded on the golf course.
There are a lot of factors when it comes to golf clubs including clubhead, forgiveness, shaft flex, shaft weight, and grip. There are some major differences between men and women golf clubs in all of these categories. There is such a big difference because of slower swing speeds and shorter height.
According to Trackman Golf, the average driver speed for PGA Tour players is 275 yards (carry) with 113 mph swing speed. While the average LPGA player hits a driver 218 yards (carry) with a 94 mph swing speed. While the male golfers hits driver 214 yards (carry) with 93.4mph swing speed.
Let’s break down some of the biggest differences below to ensure you’re playing the right clubs for your swing.
Length of Golf Clubs
The first major difference in men vs. women golf clubs is the length. Men’s clubs are longer than women’s as the average male is taller than the average female.
According to Medical News Today, “The average height for a woman varies, depending on where she was born and raised. For a woman raised in the United States, the average height is currently 5 feet 4 inches. Meanwhile, the average height for men of a similar age in the U.S. is around 5 feet 9 inches.”
This is why it’s crucial to adjust and shorten ladies clubs accordingly. Otherwise, women trying to swing clubs that are made for men who are five inches taller on average would find it very difficult to hit the golf ball. Longer shafts lead to less accuracy and are harder to swing aggressively which also impacts distance.
Playing golf clubs that are longer hurt both distance and accuracy!
Women and Men Golf Club Length Difference
But how much shorter are ladies golf shafts vs. a men’s golf club? Let’s compare a few common sets of clubs from top manufacturers.
- Callaway Rogue ST Max OS Lite Irons: These popular Callaway irons are available for both men and women so it’s a great comparison. The 7-iron for men is 37 inches long and has 31.5 degrees of loft. While the 7-iron for women is 36 inches with the same 31.5 degrees of loft in the club head.
- Callaway Rogue ST Max Driver: The popular driver is also available in both men and women options. The men’s version is 45.75 inches (which is standard men’s driver length) and offered in 9, 10.5, or 12 degrees of loft. While the women drivers are 44.50 inches and offered in 10 or 12.5 degrees of loft.
Women’s irons are only one inch shorter vs. men in the same set. While the driver is 1.25 inches shorter and has higher loft options.
Since women golfers have a lower average swing speed than men, it’s important to use more loft to help get the ball in the air. Men tend to play steel shafts in irons (and graphite too, while almost all women’s golf clubs are graphite shafts.
Putters are also shorter for women as well. The standard length putters for women is 32 or 33 inches while the average length for men is 34 or 35 inches.
Weight of Golf Clubs
The second major difference between a man vs. ladies golf club is the weight of them. Women’s club heads weigh less than a men’s club to help with ladies’ slower swing speeds.
This happens in two ways; the weight of the clubhead and the ladies shaft. For example, some clubs that aren’t offered in men’s models are only available for women as they’re extremely lightweight and designed for a female golfer.
But the golf shaft is the piece of the club that makes the biggest difference, especially in women’s drivers. Take for example the Callaway Rogue ST Max driver we mentioned earlier.
The men’s driver comes with stock shaft options that weigh between 50-65 grams. While the women’s driver only comes with a 40-gram shaft option. This helps female golfers generate higher swing speeds as the overall weight is much lighter.
Shaft weight is another crucial component of the golf club as it impacts trajectory, accuracy and distance. If you play a shaft that is too light, it can lead to big misses (especially at high speeds). This is why men need heavier shafts, otherwise they would suffer from even bigger misses.
Playing the right shaft weight can impact your golf shot trajectory as well. If you play a shaft that is too heavy, it can lead to low trajectory and not much distance.
While a shaft that is too light can do the opposite and lead to high shots. They go more up than anything and can get crushed if you’re playing in the wind. This is why they need to adjust shafts for men’s drivers and all the clubs.
Flex of Women’s Golf Club vs. Men’s Golf Club
The third difference with women and men golf clubs is the shaft flex.
Men’s clubs are available in a variety of shaft flexes including lite (also referred to as light or senior flex), regular or stiff, extra-stiff, and tour-stiff. Each golf shaft is designed for a different type of golfer and based on driver swing speed.
The more speed, the more flex a male golfer needs. Otherwise, it can lead to all sorts of issues off the tee.
But ladies shafts are quite different. For the most part, they only come in women’s flex and don’t have more than one option.
This is why a lot of high-level women amateur golfers and LPGA Tour pros have to use men’s shafts. Otherwise, the stock shafts would be too light and not have enough flex to accommodate for their faster than normal swing speeds.
Golf Club Grips
The final difference between men’s and women golf clubs is the grip.
Men’s golf clubs come with a standard .580 size grip and can upgrade to midsize or jumbo grips as well. These bigger size grips are best for men with bigger hands, those who want lighter grip pressure, and/or people with arthritic hands.
But women’s golf grips are much thinner and lighter to fit women’s hands properly as well. This also impacts the swing weight and overall feel for the golf club.
Not to mention, women might have different grip colors including white, pink, turquoise, and purple. While most men use black or white golf grips a majority of the time (but there are plenty of other options as well).
FAQs About Men and Women Golf Clubs
Do you have more questions about men’s and women’s clubs? If so, keep reading to learn more now.
How do you tell the difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs?
The easiest way to differentiate between men and women golf clubs is the length.
If you’ve been playing golf for a while, it’s easy to notice how much shorter they are. If you can’t tell the length, the shaft is the second-biggest indicator as there is only one flex for women in most cases.
Are women’s golf clubs different from men’s golf clubs?
Yes, women’s golf clubs are very different from men’s golf clubs. Here’s how:
- Shorter shafts
- Lighter shafts
- Smaller/thinner golf grips
- More fairway wood/hybrid options
- Higher lofts in woods (same in irons)
This is why it’s important for women to play the correct size golf clubs. Otherwise, trying to swing heavy, long men’s golf clubs will make it very difficult to square the clubface and hit it in the sweet spot. Playing the wrong bus will result in less distance, fewer fairways, and less forgiving mishits.
Do LPGA Tour players use men’s golf clubs?
LPGA player’s golf clubs are different from most on the PGA Tour. Normally they are playing more fairway woods and hybrids than their PGA counterparts. In most bags you will see regular or stiff flex as opposed to extra stiff on the PGA Tour.
What is the length difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs?
About one inch with irons and a little more than an inch with fairway woods and driver shaft length. It depends on the make/model of each golf club as well.
For example, with some golf clubs you can opt for more control and they shorten the driver by one inch. This is why it’s important to check the shaft length before swapping shafts with your driver or woods.
Also, it’s important to note the USGA limit for driver length is 46 inches. It had previously been 48 inches but recently shortened and it didn’t go over well with players.
As Phil Mickelson said on Twitter, “Word is USGA is soon rolling back driver length to 46 inches. This is PATHETIC.1st it promotes a shorter more violent swing (injury prone,) doesn’t allow for length of arc to create speed, and during our 1st golf boom in 40 years, our amateur gov body keeps trying to make it less fun.”
While long drive golfers play much longer shafts as they have different shaft length limits. Click here to learn more about long drive competitions now.
Can women use men’s golf clubs?
Women golfers can use men’s golf clubs if they’re tall enough and have enough swing speed.
If a woman is 5’9” or taller and swings at the correct swing speed based on men’s shafts, it can work. Otherwise, it’s not suggested as the clubs won’t fit their swing and impact ball striking.
Can a man use women’s clubs?
Technically, yes a man can use women’s golf clubs. But in general, it’s not a good idea as they’ll usually be too light, too short, and not have enough flex in the shaft. If you have a high swing speed you could even damage or break the club as well.
However, if you’re closer to the average height of a woman and have a slower swing speed, this is an option. Or, you can opt to use men’s golf clubs with custom, shorter shafts and ones with less flex (like a senior or lite flex).
Can you trim men’s clubs to fit women?
While you can shorten club lengths, it’s not recommended for ladies golf clubs. A lot of people try to do this with men’s clubs to accommodate women and make clubs for junior golfers; but this is actually a bad idea for a few reasons.
First, when you shorten the shaft you make the club stiffer. Men’s golf clubs are already stiffer than women shafts and need custom length golf clubs with the right ladies flex shafts. This will allow female golfers to maximize swing power for more clubhead speed.
How do you know if a golf club is for a girl?
One thing you look at is the flex of the shaft. Men’s clubs are typically R or S (regular or stiff) while a women’s shaft says L (ladies).
The club should also be shorter and lighter than a typical men’s shaft as well. Grips will also be smaller, thinner, and might have different colors like purple and pink.
Final Thoughts on Men vs. Ladies Clubs
As you can tell there are a lot of differences in men’s and women’s golf clubs.
Men’s clubs are heavier, longer, and have stiffer shafts. They’re built for larger and stronger people to maximize performance with higher swing speeds. If you can’t generate higher swing speed then you shouldn’t use a men’s club head or men’s club shaft as it’ll make golf even more difficult.
While women’s golf clubs are typically lighter, have shorter and softer shafts, and smaller grip to accommodate for low swing speed. This makes it easier for women to increase their swing speed and total distance. It also helps with forgiveness as well.
Playing the right equipment is crucial in making golf a little bit easier. As I’m sure you know, this game is wildly complex and playing the wrong equipment only makes things more difficult. Play the set that matches your size and skill level to play your best golf.