When you’re looking for the best women’s golf clubs for yourself, it’s reasonable to wonder whether there’s any difference between women’s and men’s golf clubs. There’s not much difference in terms of a design and visual perspective. Still, some technical differences have a knock-on effect on performance.
These technical differences include shaft flex, shaft type, weight, as well as driver loft. I’ll not just talk about the differences, but what these differences mean for different players.
Are Women’s Golf Clubs Different from Men’s Golf Clubs?
1. Shaft Flex
Most female golfers have below-average swing speeds when compared to men’s golfers. As a result, women are best suited to playing with more flexible shafts to generate extra clubhead speeds.
The average driver clubhead speed for women is 65mph. Still, in comparison, the average speed for male golfers is over 90 mph. This difference in swing speed influences the decision to provide women’s and men’s golf clubs with different shaft flexes. In general, women’s clubs feature ladies’ flex shafts, and men’s clubs feature regular shafts.
Shaft flex and swing speed are correlated and don’t be left thinking that just because you’re a man, you can’t play with women’s clubs and vice versa. If your swing speed is below average for whatever reason and you’re struggling to get the most out of your clubs, then you may benefit from a more flexible shaft.
Playing with the correct shaft flex to match your swing speed is what matters most.
2. Shaft Type
Shaft type refers to the material used in the build of the shaft – i.e., what is the shaft made of. Golf shafts are produced using graphite or steel, commonly used in drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids. Steel shafts are typically found in irons and wedges.
Steel shafts are heavier than graphite shafts and are limited in terms of flexibility. Graphite shafts are lighter and offer more flex which is why ladies’ clubs come standard with graphite shafts.
For players with slow swing speeds, a lightweight, flexible shaft will deliver the best results. Slow swinging players will maximize speed with these shafts, and it will also give them the best chance of squaring the clubface up at impact. Optimization, thanks to the correct shaft, will ensure maximum distance and accuracy.
Weight is also a common difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs. Women’s golf clubs are lighter than men’s golf clubs, and with good reason. The average swing speed of a women’s golfer is nearly 30 mph slower than that of the average male golfer.
Simply put, the average female golf swing isn’t fast enough to get the most optimal performance, or consistency, from the weight of men’s golf clubs. It’s for this reason alone why lighter clubs are best suited for female golfers. By playing with lighter clubs, women can maximize their swing speeds which in return ensures optimal performance.
In technical terms, women’s golfers are best suited with clubs that have a C-0 swing weight. In comparison, D-2 is a good swing weight for the average male golfer. Don’t worry too much about understanding how the swing weight works. If you visit a professional club fitter, they will ensure that your clubs are the correct swing weight based on your average swing speed.
4. Driver Loft
By now, it is clear that the average woman can’t swing the club as fast as the average male golfer. Due to slow swing speeds, female golfers struggle to launch the golf ball into the air. Height issues are particularly evident when we look at driving.
Since women struggle to launch the golf ball into the air with their driver, women’s drivers feature added loft. The average driver loft ranges between 8.5 and 10.5 degrees. In comparison, the loft on most women’s drivers ranges between 11 and 13 degrees.
5. Club Length
Standard men’s and women’s golf clubs differ in length. Women’s clubs are slightly shorter than men’s clubs because women are shorter than men on average. To learn more about the length difference between men’s and women’s clubs, read our “How much shorter are women’s golf clubs?” article.
Golfers need to understand the key differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs. Shaft flex, shaft type, the weight of the shaft and clubhead, loft, and length are important factors to consider when buying new clubs.
By understanding the differences, male and female golfers of all skill levels will make an informed decision when shopping for clubs. For instance, it might be that a lightweight women’s driver with added loft is the best option for you as a senior player with a below-average swing speed.
The next article in our series looks at what the best brands are for women’s golf clubs. It’s not that there’s one specialist brand, it’s more about the brand that has invested more time developing a separate range of clubs to help more with a lady golfers game.