Many golfers are unsure of the difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs. Most beginners assume that the only difference is in the length of the club, but, in reality, there are several key factors that differentiate between men’s and women’s clubs.
Here we give a breakdown of the key differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs and how it will affect your performance. We’ll use the Ping LeG2 and Ping G425 irons to explain the difference throughout.
Overall weight of the golf club
The most obvious difference between men’s and women’s clubs is the overall weight of the club. A lighter overall club allows a player to generate a higher swing speed with the same amount of force being applied to the club.
A secondary benefit is control, lighter clubs are generally easier to control and manipulate – this can be really beneficial and a key point is someone feeling like a club is forgiving.
The exact change in weight is dependent on the make, model and the shafts you have fitted, but expect women’s golf clubs to be 10 – 50 grams lighter than men’s clubs. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is when the club starts travelling at 80+ mph!
Women’s golf clubs are also typically shorter than men’s clubs
Women’s golf clubs have shorter shafts, usually 1/2″. This is to accommodate the change in average height between men and women, but the key metric for club fitters is wrist distance to the ground. It is your height and your arm length that should be considered when looking at the length of your golf clubs.
Shorter clubs enable both male and female golfers to generate a solid posture at setup. This leads to a range of benefits, including improved strike and better use of the larger muscles used to rotate during the golf swing.
Shaft flex between men’s and women’s golf clubs
Shaft flex comes into play with the weight of the golf shaft – having the right club flex can make a massive difference to your golf game.
Your club head speed, launch and overall feel of the shot all depend on getting the right flex for your club shafts – especially when it comes to men’s and women’s clubs.
Generally, club shafts designed for men have stiffer and more rigid club shafts designed to flex at higher club head speeds. Whereas club shafts designed for women tend to be more flexible or ‘softer’ in order to promote a better launch off the club face and maximise club head speed with a lower swing speed.
Shaft flex isn’t a binary option – there is a massive range of shaft flex and weight that allow golfers to choose nearly any combination.
Grips on women’s golf clubs are smaller
Having a great golf grip makes all difference to your entire golf swing and performance.
Women’s golf clubs have smaller grips, specifically designed to accommodate smaller hand sizes. This small adjustment helps female golfers create a neutral and comfortable grip that can improve performance.
Using golf grips that are too big results in less wrist hinge and power and often creates a swing that results in an open club face (and a slice). Golf grips are subtly different between men’s and women’s clubs but they can make a big difference.
The ideal launch to maximise carry distance is dependent on a few factors, but a key factor is swing speed. As swing speed increases, less loft is required to maximise carry.
For this reason, women’s clubs have slightly more loft. On a Ping 7-iron, the difference is only 0.5º, but as we move towards drivers we’ll see a typical men’s driver loft at 9-12º and a women’s driver loft range from 10.5 – 15º.
Now that you know the main differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs, you can make a more informed decision about which type of clubs are right for you and how they will impact your golfing performance.
If you’re looking to buy new clubs, can check out our round-up of the best men’s and women’s beginner golf sets, along with a specific round-up of golf suppliers that offer shorter women’s golf clubs here.
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