Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs. It wasn’t too long ago that golf was considered a men-only kind of game.
Women playing the game, and women’s golf tournaments were almost nonexistent up until the late 19th century. In fact, the very first women’s golf tournament held in the United States took place in 1894 on the 7-hole course in Morristown, New Jersey.
And from then onwards, women matched their male counterparts in leaving their mark on the game we all love.
But even then, it wasn’t until about 15 years ago that more options for women in terms of golf equipment began to be produced in earnest. Up until then, most golf clubs would have generally been made without any gender bias.
Luckily, with the explosion of popularity of women’s golf, key adjustments have been made to the design of golf clubs that made them more worthy of the legends that held them.
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Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs
If you’re curious to know the difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs, it’s not that simple. In this article, we’ll highlight the key aspects where the two types of clubs differentiate and why these adjustments are necessary. Let’s get started with our discussion on men’s vs women’s golf clubs.
Although the length of clubs is made to suit an individual based on body proportion and arm length, women’s driver shafts, for example, are between 1.5 inches and 2 inches shorter than the shafts on men’s drivers on average.
- Standard men’s golf clubs are made for men that are 5’9″ tall
- Standard ladies golf clubs are geared towards female golfers, and are designed for women that is 5’7″ tall
Having a club length that’s proportional to your height is important since clubs should be built to suit your body type, arm length, and strength to maximize swing power and ball control.
The difference in the standard club length for either gender has also led to the production of gender-based golf bags and golf pull/push-carts. Now, women’s golf bags that are proportional to ladies clubs are readily available in the market.
It is also important to note that the maximum length allowed by most golf governing bodies is 48 inches
The differences in shafts for men’s and women’s clubs can be seen in the material they’re made of.
Men have the option of steel or graphite shafts while women almost always use graphite. This, in large part, has to do with the weight of the materials themselves. Steel shafts are heavier.
This provides the male golfer with more control over the club as they swing it with more power.
Women require lighter clubs to enable them to achieve maximum swing speed. This makes graphite the material of choice since it’s lighter.
There are, as always, exceptions to this. If a woman has a higher swing speed, she has the option of having custom steel men’s options fitted on her irons and in the correct length.
There’s a key difference in the flex of the shafts as well. Shaft flex is important because the shaft flex determines the distance, accuracy, and trajectory of your golf shot.
Men require more stiffness in the shafts of their clubs to accommodate for the force they exert in their swing. Since women generally have a slower swing speed, more flexible shafts.
The most frequently used shafts by men are senior flex (75-90 mph), regular shaft (90-100 mph), stiff shaft (100-110 mph), or extra stiff shafts (above 110 mph).
Ladies’ shafts (classified as L) are more appropriate for golfers with a swing speed below 80 mph.
The loft in a club is what decides how high the ball is launched in the air when contact is made. Since men have more force behind their swings and women rely on swing speed, generally, men’s clubs have less loft than women’s clubs.
For example, a stock option for men’s drivers has a loft of around 9-10.5 degrees. For a woman’s driver, the stock option rarely goes below twelve degrees.
We should say though that these are simply standard figures. Many golfers have their clubs custom-made to suit their preferences and playing style. This means there’s a chance you might find a woman’s club that does sport a loft below 12 degrees.
Most women have smaller hands than men, thus, requiring grips that are proportionate to this. Though it might not seem like it, grips are one of the most important parts of the club since it’s through the grip that the golfer wields the club as a whole. The right kind of grip for your hand size ensures you have firm control over the club and maintain the correct amount of pressure throughout all stages of the swing.
Women tend to have thinner grips than men who usually work with grips of medium-sized thickness. If either a man’s or a woman’s hand is around the mid-range size, then they usually remedy this with the help of a few wraps of tape underneath a women’s golf grip.
Club Head & Weight
The design of the clubhead for women’s golf clubs is usually larger and lighter. This has been achieved by moving the weight to the perimeter of the clubs.
Men’s clubs are heavier and have smaller designed club heads.
When you sum up all the differences in a women’s golf club, you have a club that’s much lighter in weight than its male counterpart. This allows the female golfers to be more accurate with her shots since the club is entirely proportionate to her strength and swing speed.
As you might have guessed by now, when talking about the difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs, it’s not THAT simple.
The changes and innovations made in the two types of clubs have maximized the performances of both men and women, paving the way for the success of the professionals and greats we love all today.
The differences might be apparent at first glance, but knowing can help you understand how much the game has evolved to be better and more inclusive than ever before.