Men’s Vs Women’s Golf Clubs – What’s The Difference?

In the past, golf clubs would have generally been made without a gender bias but that has changed dramatically in the last number of years with the explosion in popularity of women’s golf around the world and this has led to a huge amount of women’s only clubs on the market.

Women’s clubs are generally going to be shorter, lighter and more flexible than men’s clubs and they are often designed in the female colours while the underlying technology, that is used for peak performance is usually the same. The actual clubs that a man or woman should buy will come down to their height, swing speed and style of play more than the gender assignment of the club manufacturer, especially as you get better at the game.

In this article we are going to look at whether a woman should also shop in the women’s only golf club section or whether they can be better suited to choosing a set of clubs designed for men on occasion to improve their performance.

Afterall, that is the goal, optimal performance on the course. Read on to find out the exact similarities & differences and which sets of clubs we recommend.

Introducing Gender Bias In Golf Clubs

If you went back 10 – 15 years ago, you wouldn’t find the same amount of options for women as men, but that is not true today.

Most big manufacturers now make their clubs in a Men’s and Women’s variation from the new Taylormade Sim Range, to The Callaway Strata, to The Cobra XL golf sets.

There are also a ton of clubs made just for women of all tastes and far fewer sets made especially for men. We also have a ton of unisex options with custom options for length and flex to suit both men and women.

While it may not have been true in the past, golf is a game that has grown to become loved that is inclusive to both sexes if not still being an exclusive and traditional sport.

Differentiating Between Men’s And Women’s Golf Clubs

Club length

Your club length is generally determined by the length of your shaft. The maximum length allowed by the golf governing bodies is 48 inches.

Individual shaft length is based on your body proportions and built to suit your body type, arm length, and strength to maximize swing power and ball control.

Men’s golf clubs are standardized based on an average height of 5 foot 9 inches.

Women’s golf clubs are standardized based on an average height of 5 foot 7 inches tall.

Driver shafts for men are 45 inches and 47 inches while women’s drivers are generally around 44 inches.

On average women’s driver shafts are between 1.5 inches and 2 inches shorter than the shafts on men’s drivers.

This length difference is proportionally applied to all the clubs in your bag and there are also clubs made for taller men and for petite women readily available on the market.

Shaft material

Since men are generally generate faster swing speeds than women, men’s clubs have a selection of either steel shafts or graphite shafts.

The heavier steel shafts provide the male golfer with more control over the club as they swing it with more power.

Men’s drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids have graphite shafts more frequently than not.

Women require lighter clubs to enable them to achieve maximum swing speed and therefore lighter graphite shafts are commonly used on women’s clubs.

Shaft flex

Your swing speed determines the shaft flex that will suit your swing the best and the flex determines the distance, accuracy, and trajectory of your golf shot.

Men generate higher swing speed generated men through the power injected into the swing. This results in men generally requiring stronger flexed shafts than women.

Most frequent used shafts by men are senior flex (A) (75 to 90 mph), regular shaft (R) (90 and 100 mph), stiff shaft (S) (100 and 110 mph), or extra stiff (X) shafts (above 110 mph).

Ladies shafts (L) are more appropriate for golfers with a swing speed below 80 mph.

Grips

To enable you to grip the club correctly and not to squeeze it too hard, it is crucial that you select the correct size grip for your clubs. Since this is the only contact you have with your clubs, the correct selection becomes even more vital.

Women, in general, have smaller hands than men and therefore require slimmer grips. The same applies to men with small hands.

Men with bigger hands require standard to midsize grips. In his pursuit of excellence, Bryson DeChambeau has turned to jumbo grips to stabilize the hands during the swing.

Irrespective of your gender you have to ensure that the grips are not too slim. You can increase the thickness of the grip by placing a few layers of tape under the grip.

Club Weight

To create maximum speed, you want your club to be as light as possible while still maintaining ample control and accuracy.

Women have lighter shafts, a lighter clubface, and slimmer and lighter grips. This all adds up to create the lightest possible combination.

Men put more brute force into the swing and therefore require stronger steel shafts that increase the overall weight of the club.

The increased weight on men’s clubs furthermore provides more control and accuracy linked to the swing speed that men generate.

Club Heads

The differences in muscle strength and clubhead speed between the genders are reflected in the clubhead design.

Clubheads for women are frequently larger and lighter than the equivalent clubface in men’s clubs.

Manufacturers have managed to create the larger and lighter clubheads for women by moving the weight to the perimeter of the clubs and making use of graphite shafts.

Larger clubheads found on all the clubs in the bag of women golfers offer a larger sweet spot and adds to the forgiveness experienced in women’s clubs.

Men generate a great amount of extra power and therefore can swing a heavier club. The additional swing speed allows manufacturers to produce smaller and heavier clubheads for men.

How To Tell The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Clubs

The differences between men’s golf clubs and women’s golf clubs are difficult to discern at first sight.

Although women’s clubs tend to be more colorful and stand out in a crowd, that is only the superficial aspect of the differences.

The functional differences are more noticeable when you swing the clubs and experienced the weight difference and flexibility in the shaft.

Female vs Male Golf Swing

Much research has been done related to the swing kinematics for male and female golfers. This research identified several differences in the movement variability between male and female skilled golfers during the downswing of the full golf swing

Major differences were found at the wrist and elbow, where different incidences of injury were previously reported.

A women’s swing generally uses timing, tempo, and hip turn to generate clubhead speed while men are all about the use of brawn to generate higher swing speed.

Trackman studies have shown that the average PGA Tour player reaches 113 mph driver swing speed while it is only 94 mph on the LPGA Tour.

Can Women Use A Man’s Clubs?

It all depends on body type, strength, and swing speed. There is no reason a woman should not play with a set of men’s golf clubs.

It is recommended that women that are 5 feet 9 inches or taller seriously consider playing with men’s clubs as most women’s clubs are designed for people that are 5 feet 7 inches or below.

Tall and strong ladies, should definitely consider using men’s clubs.

Can A Man Use Woman’s Clubs?

There is no rule or regulation issued by the golfing governing bodies that prevent either of the sexes from playing with golf clubs designated for the other sex.

It is more likely to dent your pride as a result of the snide remarks made by your playing partners.

If you have a low swing speed of below 80 mph, a women’s golf set will add more value and lower your score, irrespective of what your golfing buddies have to say.

Men’s clubs are designed for golfers with a height of 5 feet 9 inches. If you are shorter than that, you will gain more control using women’s golf clubs.

Are There Different Clubs For Petite Ladies Or Taller Men?

Petite ladies are generally classified as women that are less than 5 foot 3 inches. The standard women’s golf clubs will be too long for petite ladies. The optimal shaft for petite ladies is approximately 1 inch shorter than the standard length.

Taller men will also experience difficulty using standard length clubs as these are designed for an average male of 5 feet 9 inches. Depending on your length you should add length to your clubs. A club fitting is highly recommended for tall men.

Differences In The Different Clubs

Driver

Men generally use the largest allowable clubhead on a driver (460cc). In contrast, women generally use smaller clubheads but there are some 460cc drivers available for women.

It is also more common for women drivers to have an offset whereas this is seldom the case with men’s drivers.

Other than the size and offset women’s drivers are generally lighter than men’s drivers and have higher lofts to enable women to get the ball into the air easier.

These differences can be attributed to the difference in strength between the genders.

Woods

Ladies’ woods have a higher degree of loft and are weigh less than men’s woods.

Furthermore, women have a larger range of fairway woods going up to a 13-wood.

This affords women more flexibility in their club selection as the woods are easier to hit than long irons.

Hybrids

Women’s and men’s hybrids are aimed at replacing the long irons in your bag.

Women’s hybrids require the same weight-saving changes, shorter shaft, softer flex, slimmer grip, and lighter clubhead compared to men’s hybrids

Irons

Ladies’ irons have a softer flex, and the clubhead might be slightly heavier (though the club is lighter overall).

Women’s clubs have shorter shafts due to their shorter stature.

This combination is designed to make the most of ladies’ slower swing speeds.

Wedges

Women’s wedges are typically shorter than men’s wedges and have a slimmer grip.

The swing weight on men’s wedges are generally higher than women’s wedges

Putters

There is hardly any difference between a men’s and a women’s putter other than the length of the shaft, thinner grip, and frequently women’s putters are available in a wider range of colors and color combinations.

Is There A Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Golf Balls?

Golf balls react differently based on your swing speed and therefore it is to be expected that there will be a difference between men’s and women’s golf balls.

The clearest distinction between men’s and women’s golf balls can be found in the compression rating. Harder golf balls require more force and therefore higher swing speed to compress the ball. In contrast, softer golf balls require less force and lower swing speed.

Most men’s golf balls have a compression rating between 70 and 110 while women’s golf balls have compression ratings between 45 and 70.

Many of the highest-rated women’s golf balls have dimple counts and designs to especially boost lift and get the ball up in the air.

Best Women’s Sets

STRATA Women’s Golf Packaged Sets

The Callaway women’s strata plus women’s package set is designed for beginners and mid handicap golfer combining distance and forgiveness to provide full coverage from tee-to-green.

Callaway offers 3 sets comprising of 11, 14, and 16 clubs

The 14-piece set consists of

  • 13° 460cc titanium driver
  • 18° fairway wood
  • 26° 5-hybrid
  • 6 – 9, PW and SW cavity back irons
  • Mallet putter
  • 3 headcovers
  • Stand bag
    • 5 pockets
    • Cooler pocket
    • Rain hood
    • Padded strap system
    • 4 full-length dividers

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Wilson Golf Profile Platinum Women’s

The 10-piece Wilson Golf Profile golf set combines the technological advantages of the men’s set with the adjustments expected in women’s golf clubs. The shaft flex, shaft length, grip size, and swing weight is set to suit women players

It delivers performance, durability, comfort, and convenience in sizes and materials designed specifically for female players.

The set consists of a

  • Driver with a durable mirror PVD finish
  • 5 fairway wood
  • 5 hybrid
  • 6-PW, SW irons
  • Heel/toe head-shaped putter
  • Premium, lightweight cart bag
  • 3 matching headcovers

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Cobra Golf 2020 Women’s XL Speed

The 13-piece women’s Cobra XL speed complete set is aimed at beginner golfers with lightweight, easy-to-hit clubs.

Consists Of:

  • 12 ½-degree titanium driver with an oversized clubhead and low, back/heel weighting,
  • 3-wood, 5-wood, and 7-wood fairways woods
  • 5- Hybrid,
  • 6-PW, SW cavity back irons
  • Mallet Putter
  • Premium Black/Mint or Black/Pink cart bag with
    • a 14-way top
    • 7 zippered compartments
    • 1 velour-lined valuables pocket
    • large insulated beverage cooler pocket than can hold up to fourteen 12 oz. cans.
    • Standard or Petite size

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Best Men’s Sets

2020 Men’s Callaway Strata Ultimate Complete 16 Piece Set

The Strata Ultimate set is loaded with innovative golf technology to provide you with ultimate distance, performance, and forgiveness on every club in the bag.

You will gain confidence from the extra distance and more control.

The full complement of clubs will have you covered from tee to green.

The set consists of

  • 12-degree titanium driver
  • 15½ degree 3-wood fairway
  • 18-degree 5-wood fairway
  • 22-degree 4 hybrid
  • 26-degree 5 hybrid
  • 6-PW, SW cavity back irons
  • Face milled putter
  • The lightweight, durable bag combines a cool authentic look, convenient pockets, tee holders, and an easy to carry back strap.

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Cobra Golf 2020 Men’s XL Speed

The men’s Cobra XL speed complete set is targeted at beginners that want a lightweight set that is easy-to-hit clubs.

You will have full coverage from tee to green.

The set consists of

  • Titanium driver (10.5 degrees in Reg, and 11.5 degrees in lite)
  • 3-wood and 5-wood fairway woods
  • 4-hybrids and 5-hybrid
  • 6-PW, SW cavity back irons
  • Blade putter
  • Cart bag
    • 14-way top
    • 7 zippered compartments
    • 1 velour-lined valuables pocket
    • Large insulated beverage cooler pocket than can hold up to fourteen 12 oz. cans

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 Wilson Men’s Complete Golf Set

Wilson Platinum Set

The Wilson profile platinum men’s complete set is manufactured from the best materials in line with Wilson’s design philosophy

It is aimed at beginner golfers that require performance technology and lightweight components for good distance off the tee

Engineered for maximum control, the lower center of gravity on the clubheads improves launch trajectory and produce greater distance

All clubs have been fitted with tip-reinforced graphite shafts

The 10-piece set consists of

  • Driver with black PVD finish
  • 5 Wood
  • 5 Hybrid
  • 6-PW, SW cavity back irons
  • Putter with offset face
  • Stand bag
  • 3 matching headcovers

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For an excellent practical example of the difference between men’s golf clubs and women’s golf clubs view this video on YouTube. I will highlight the difference in shaft flex and the impact thereof on both men and women,

CONCLUSION

Men’s and Women’s clubs are designed differently to make the best suited to the swing characteristics of the different sexes.

Men van use women’s clubs and vice versa. Although women will have no difficulty using men’s clubs, some men will have their egos tested by their playing partner for playing with women’s clubs.

Women’s golf clubs are made for golfers with low swing speeds below 80 mph irrespective of gender.

Select the clubs that suit your body type, swing speed, and physical abilities the best and let the clubs do the talking on the golf course

The differences between men’s and ladies’ golf clubs

Conclusion

Although it is a generalization, men are normally stronger and bigger than women, and therefore produce higher swing speeds.

This means that women require shorter and softer shafts on clubs that are lighter and easier to swing than the clubs that men require.

Can a man use women’s golf clubs?

Men with a swing speed lower than 80 mph will be well advised to consider a set of women’s golf clubs irrespective of the comments you may get from your playing partners.

At the end of the day, the golf ball only knows the clubhead speed at which it is struck, not your gender.

A drive in the middle of the fairway will always beat a drive in the rough.

Any questions or queries can be posted in the comments section below