The use of gender to differentiate between golf clubs is still a relatively new concept. Only since the early 2000s have manufacturers really started to produce golf clubs specifically designed and marketed towards women.
Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed equally by both men and women, but when it comes to selecting what golf clubs to use it can be confusing. Golf clubs are branded towards a certain golfer, based on the overall average swing of that type of golfer. Ergo, women’s golf clubs are designed for the average swing speed of a women’s golf swing.
What if you swing faster or slower than the typical average male or female though? It is easy to get trapped into buying the wrong clubs just because of how they have been marketed.
Women’s golf clubs are not always going to be best suited for women. Senior golf clubs are not always going to be best suited for seniors.
So, can a man use women’s golf clubs? The short answer is yes, definitely. For some golfers it could actually improve their performance.
In this article we will be taking a look at what actually makes a women’s golf club different as well as who should be using them.
What is the difference between men’s and women’s golf clubs?
The specific differences between men’s and women’s golf clubs will vary between manufacturers and models of clubs. Certain clubs will have little difference from the equivalent men’s model, except for the colors and branding. Whereas, other golf clubs could have any number of differences, as shown below:
The clubhead weight is sometimes a little lighter in women’s clubs and the CG can also be placed deeper in the clubhead. These adjustments allow for improved clubhead speed with a higher launch and more spin.
Loft options for ladies golf clubs will typically start higher than men’s. This is especially noticeable on drivers and woods. For example both TaylorMade and Callaway start their standard men’s driver lofts at 9-degrees, but their ladies’ driver lofts at 10.5-degrees.
The shaft is where the most noticeable differences are found between women’s and men’s golf clubs. Shafts are usually between 1-2 inches shorter, lighter and more flexible. They are designed to suit the average lady golfer, who is slightly shorter with a slower swing speed .
The grips tend to be slightly thinner, because women’s hands are typically smaller than men’s.
Which men should use women’s golf clubs?
The flexibility and design of a ladies golf club is targeted towards the average swing speed of a female golfer. Research by True Spec Golf shows that based on average swing speeds with a driver, golfers slower than 72mph should be using ladies shafts. This data is regardless of gender, so applies equally to any male golfers that fit into this category.
Less than 72mph
The name of the shaft is redundant, because you should be using the correct shaft based on your speed and not based on how a golf manufacturer has branded it. This also applies to a ‘senior’ or ‘regular’ shaft, as shown above. You do not need to be classified as a senior to use a senior golf shaft. Equally, many low handicap and Professional women’s golfers will use regular men’s shafts, because they are most suitable to their swing speed.
So, if you’re a man with driver swing speeds less than 72mph, then it might be time to consider trying out ladies golf clubs.
What are the potential benefits of using women’s clubs?
If you have a swing speed of 72mph or less and have been using men’s golf clubs, then it is likely you have been underperforming because of your golf clubs.
Your clubs are likely to currently be too heavy and lack the flexibility required. The result of this will be not generating enough spin and struggling with a low ball flight. Your clubhead speed is also likely to have suffered, resulting in less distance. A common bad shot is likely to be a push or thin, with balls often struck out of the heel.
As a result of changing to women’s clubs, you could see a drastic improvement in the issues mentioned above. A lighter clubhead and more flexible shaft will help improve your clubhead speed, launch the ball higher and hit it further.
Things to consider for men using women’s golf clubs
As mentioned above, the shaft length of a women’s golf club is likely to be shorter and the grips could be thinner. These are not traits that will suit most men above 5’7” tall. Therefore, you should consider getting the shafts lengthened to suit your height and consider changing to thicker grips.
Every golfer should be looking for the right clubs to suit their game, regardless of what category comes on the label. It is unhelpful branding from golf manufacturers, which hopefully change in the future. For now, it is up to golfers to overcome their ego when it comes to club selection.
In reality, there should be no such thing as men’s and women’s golf clubs. Instead, just golf clubs that are designed for specific swing speeds.
Hopefully this article has helped you to decide whether women’s golf clubs would suit your golf swing. If you do fall into the below 72mph driver swing speed category, I definitely recommend trying them out.
Still not sure? Try having a custom-fitting and see what the data and a PGA Professional says. The priority should be trying to find the right clubs to suit you.