What’s the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs?
By Britt Olizarowicz – Sep 13, 2023
(Reviewed by Coach Erik Schjolberg)
Key Takeaways – Mens vs Womens Golf Clubs
- Length, weight, and flex are the main differences between women’s golf clubs and men’s golf clubs
- Men can play with women’s clubs, and women can play with men’s clubs
- Golf club manufacturers will always try to make men’s clubs appealing to men and women’s clubs appealing to women, but all golfers should be able to understand the technological differences
- The price point between men’s and ladies’ clubs is comparable
- The average height of a female golfers is shorter than a male golfer, which plays into the golf club options available for both players
Female golfers certainly have different needs on the golf course than men, so it’s important that we have the equipment to appeal to all players. Let’s take a look at these main differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs and how you can determine which is the right fit for your golf game.
Mens vs Womens Golf Clubs “Typical Stats” Chart:
|Depends, but usually High
|Depends, but usually a little higher than Men’s
|Standard to High
|Usually a little higher than Men’s
|Both the same
|Both the same
|Availability On the Market
What’s the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Golf Clubs
The main difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs include weight, length, flex, forgiveness, price, and availability. Depending on the clubs you choose, these differences can be extreme or just minimal.
As a general rule, men’s clubs are heavier than clubs for women golfers. Expect the differences in weight to mostly being in the club head and shaft. However, even a men’s golf club’s grip is heavier than a woman’s.
In addition, many of the woman’s golf club choices will have graphite shafts which are considerably heavier than steel shafts. This difference in weight is a tough one to make up.
The good news is that a male golfer should almost always play with a heavier club than a woman because they tend to have higher club head speeds. A female golfer with high club head speeds will need heavier ladies’ golf clubs, or they can always switch to a man’s club.
As an example, the TaylorMade Stealth irons in a stock shaft for women have a swing weight of C2. In the men’s regular, the swing weight is D1. The ladies’ shaft certainly decreases overall weight, and it’s a significant decrease.
A woman’s golf iron is one inch shorter than a man’s. The same difference of one inch will apply throughout the entire set.
Even a standard men’s putter is 34 inches, while a ladies putter is 33 inches.
The standard length driver is usually 45 inches for men, but 44 inches for women.
Some manufacturers will have the women’s clubs just ¾ inch less, so you must check the specific stats and specifications of a woman’s club before you put it into play.
Remember, too, that graphite shafts are sometimes a little longer than steel shafts because of how they are manufactured. However, a standard women’s golf club is one inch short. If you are a taller woman, the club shaft can be custom ordered to be the standard size of a men’s golf club.
Flex has a major impact on how you hit a golf ball, and there are some significant differences between men’s and women’s flex golf clubs.
For starters, men can choose between extra stiff, stiff, regular, or senior flex shafts.
Ladies have the option of ladies’ flex shafts.
(senior women should give this a read as well)
There are no levels for women the way there are for men. Most ladies’ slower swing speeds up in the same category, so only one shaft selection exists. However, this shaft selection is not a perfect match for all women golfers.
Women golfers with slower to average swing speeds do well with ladies’ golf shafts. However, someone like myself, with a higher swing speed, men’s a men’s golf shaft in my golf club heads.
The only way I know what flex I need is because I know what my swing speed is. If you can learn what your swing speed is, choosing golf clubs and deciding between men’s and women’s clubs will be considerably more manageable.
The bottom line here is that women need to choose a shaft flex based on clubhead speed if they want to maximize swing power. Don’t choose a flex because it’s labeled that it is a good fit for women players.
The golf equipment is almost the same when you compare something like the TaylorMade Stealth irons for men to the TaylorMade Stealth irons for women. Golf manufacturers sometimes just put a lighter shaft in the same clubhead and call it a women’s golf club.
However, where you see the real difference in forgiveness between a men’s club and a ladies club is when you look at the sets explicitly made for a female golfer. If you choose a beginner’s women’s set (like these), chances are they will be lighter clubs, have offset club heads, and have a large sweet spot.
Equipment like this will cater to a slower swing speed and fit well in a women’s hands.
All the clubs on the market have different levels of forgiveness, and you have to look at the individual clubs to determine which is the one that matches your game.
Sometimes the price for women’s golf clubs looks like it is higher than men’s. This is not true.
When you look at women’s drivers or women’s fairway woods vs men’s drivers and fairway woods, the pricing will be almost exactly the same.
You only notice women’s golf clubs being slightly higher because ladies’ shafts are almost exclusively offered in graphite. Graphite shafts cost more to make, and therefore the ladies’ clubs could look a little more expensive.
With faster swing speed, women could play with a steel shaft in a softer flex like a soft regular, and the set of women’s golf clubs will likely be a bit lower in price.
Availability/Options On the Market
There are more options for men’s golf clubs on the market than there are for women. Let’s face it: most women golfers are not lower handicap players looking for blade-style irons. Women in this category are likely on the LPGA tour.
Therefore golf manufacturers do not even put out equipment that would work for this group of women golfers.
Instead, these manufacturers will offer custom options. Women can customize a men’s golf club to work for their game.
For the majority of women golfers in the mid to high handicap range, there are plenty of options out there for equipment. It tends to only be the lower handicappers that struggle to find a good set of blades or precision-type irons.
If you’re somewhere in the middle thought, an intermediate women’s golf club set is the way to go.
How To Know If Womens Vs Mens Golf Clubs Are Better For My Game?
As we mentioned, many women golfers need to use men’s golf clubs to get the ball control, ball flight, and total distance they are looking for. Here are a few of the things that golfers can look at to help determine which golf club is the better fit.
I play with men’s golf clubs, but I’m short; therefore, I need to have clubs that are custom-made. Years ago, this was expensive, but today it is incredibly affordable and, most of the time, doesn’t cost a dime more than it does for the stock set.
Depending on your body type, you will want to ensure you have the clubs that match your height.
Women golfers taller than 5’8 inches should look at a men’s club or something longer than a women’s golf club (my recommendations are here).
Women golfers that are shorter than 5’4″ may need to look at a petite golf club to get the extra power and more control that they need.
Your height is a major consideration in the clubs you choose, and without the proper length of golf clubs, the center of the club head is much more challenging to hit. Although other differences between men’s and women’s club matter, this is probably the most important.
Muscle strength for men is typically a little higher than it is for women and requires women to use ladies’ golf clubs. The slightly heavier men’s clubs help golfers with faster swing speeds trying to control the club.
Women golfers tend to have swing speeds in the 60-70mph range. This is even a bit slower for a men’s senior shaft. If you went for a club fitting, one of the most important factors they would look at is the swing speed.
Generally speaking, unless your speeds are up into the 80s, it’s fine to use a women’s golf club.
If you can overcome the length difference as well as the heavier weight of a men’s club, that is great, but can you be consistent with it? I know that I play with men’s regular steel shafts. However, I can hit a club with a men’s stiff steel shaft; it’s just hard work.
The last thing you will want to do is set yourself up with a club that requires extra work.
Making solid contact on both the first hole and the 18th hole is a key factor in finding the right golf clubs for your game.
In addition to club head speed, golfers should consider overall strength. If you are a golfer that is new to the game but has a lot of power overall, don’t be so quick to choose women’s golf clubs with ladies’ shafts in them. Chances are the men’s starter set could be a better choice.
Women’s clubs tend to be a bit flimsy and flexible; if you have a lot of strength, you will leave distance on the table without going for something stiffer. Trying out a few different sets before you purchase can give you a better idea of which to choose.
As you can see, a good majority of women will need women’s golf clubs, but it isn’t always quite that easy. All players need to be aware of the different options they have to ensure they pick a club that will last long-term.
Can women use men’s golf clubs?
Women can and should use men’s golf clubs if they have faster swing speeds and lots of strength. Women golfers that can hit a driver 200 yards or more are likely able to switch to men’s clubs and have it be beneficial to their game. Always ensure the club length is adjusted to accommodate the player’s height.
Can a man use women’s golf clubs?
A man could absolutely use a women’s golf club. Shorter-stature men and those that find that men’s clubs are too heavy can switch to women’s golf clubs and have plenty of luck. Women’s golf clubs tend to have a higher loft making it easier for male golfers to get the ball up in the air as well.
Should a short man use women’s golf clubs?
A short man with a slower swing speed can use women’s golf clubs. However, if a short man has a fast swing speed, he must have men’s clubs cut down and made to the proper length for him; otherwise, he will struggle to make consistent contact with the club.
Final Thoughts – Is There a Difference Between Mens and Womens Golf Clubs?
Hopefully, you now feel you know the true differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs. Women golfers may seem as though they are limited in the golf club choices they have, but this is not the case.
Women golfers who have fast speeds and go after the ball (our picks for the best women’s golf balls are here) can easily use a men’s golf club and see great results.
One tip for women beginners – keep an open mind when shopping for clubs so you don’t force yourself into a set that is not the perfect fit for your game.