Men’s vs Women’s Golf Clubs – The Difference Between Them

Written by Michael VanDerLaan 

Women's golfer with golf club

No matter the level of golfer you are or aspire to be, everyone needs the proper equipment. As a female golfer, the question of “men’s vs women’s golf clubs” has frequently come up.

It's not always the case that women’s clubs only for women and men’s clubs only for men. There are several factors that can determine which clubs are right for your game, such as length, weight, club head speed, swing speed and more. Here, we’ll break down the differences and help you decide which clubs might best suit your game.

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What Is The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Golf Clubs

Men's And Women's Golf Clubs

Understanding the differences in men's vs women's golf clubs can be a huge help to deciding what clubs will work best for you.

There are variety of differences in length, weight, shaft type, and more that are specifically designed to aid in giving you optimal performance. These differences are essential to understand as they relate to your game and needs in order to play your best golf.

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Length Of Women’s Golf Clubs vs Men’s

Golf clubs are typically measured from the wrist of the player to the ground. That said, there are common adjustments to standard club lengths based on height. For reference, below is the sizing chart:

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Overall Height

Golf Club Length Adjustments

Under 4’10”

Minus 2”

4’10” to 5’

Minus 1”-1.5”

5’ to 5’2”

Minus 1”

5’2” to 5’4”

Minus ½”

5’4’ to 5’7”

Minus ¼”

5’7” to 6’1”

Standard

6’1” to 6’2”

Plus ¼”

6’2” to 6’4”

Plus ½”

6’4” to 6’6”

Plus 1”

6’6” to 6’8”

Plus 1”-1.5”

6’8” and above

Plus 2”

The adjustments above can help to determine how to be properly fit into specific clubs. Below are the standard lengths for men’s and women’s clubs. Based on your height from the chart above, you can use these benchmarks to determine the length of club that works for you.

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Club

Average Shaft Length for Women

Driver

44 inches

5i

37-37.5 inches

6i

36.5-37 inches

7i

36-36.5 inches

8i

35.5-36 inches

9i

33-33.5 Inches

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Club

Average Shaft Length for Men

Driver

45-46 inches

5i

38-38.5 inches

6i

37.5-38 inches

7i

37-37.5 inches

8i

36.5-37 inches

9i

36-36.5 Inches

Using shafts that match your needs will help make sure you are not standing too close or too far from the golf ball.

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Shaft - Men’s vs Women’s

When we discuss the shafts of men's vs women's golf clubs, it's important to remember that it is a generalized discussion based on average swing speed and swing characteristics. Many women have success playing men's clubs, and there are men who would probably benefit from trying women's clubs!

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What's important is that you find what works best for you. 

Graphite vs Steel

Men's vs Women's Golf Clubs

The graphite vs steel debate is ever evolving. In modern day golf, both graphite and steel clubs have come leaps and bounds in terms of quality and performance. Graphite shafts are typically lighter in weight (think: 50-80 grams) and can help players generate more swing speed. Steel shafts are typically heavier in weight (think: 90-120 grams) and geared towards more experienced players looking to have more control over their shot shape.


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Graphite shafts now have the technology to provide controlled shot shaping and ball flight, just like steel shafts. Steel shafts are catered to the more advanced player who may be looking to have more responsive impact and trajectory. 

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The main difference to think about when selecting a graphite shaft or a steel shaft is your swing speed and what you’re trying to get out of your clubs. If you’re a beginner looking to develop your game, a graphite shaft with more flexibility may be the best fit for you. If you’re a more advanced player looking to shot-shape and control the ball flight, the steel shafts might be your best option.

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Grips - Men’s vs Women’s

Men's vs Women's Golf Club Grips

If you look closely, you can see the women's grip (bottom) is narrower than the men's (top)

Oftentimes when someone gets a new set of clubs, there are already grips on the clubs. On a new women’s set, the grips are typically thinner and squishier. On men’s sets the grips are usually thicker and more rigid. The grips we choose to use are usually based on preference in feel, but there is a grip that could be improving your game.

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There are four sizes of grips: undersize, standard, midsize, and oversize. Juniors and women typically use the undersize to standard size grips as their hands are generally smaller. Men and people with slightly larger hands typically use standard to midsize grips. Choosing the best grip option for you out of all of these for your game can be tricky. It's important to understand the different features before making your purchase!

If you’re unsure what size grip is right for you, your glove size can be a good indicator:

  • Men’s small / Women’s small-medium: undersize
  • Men’s medium-medium large / Women’s large: standard
  • Men’s large: midsize
  • Men’s XL: midsize to oversize

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There are also better grips for no glove golfers. If you are one of those who prefers to play without a glove, going to try one on at your local pro shop or golf equipment store is a great way to figure out which grip might fit your hand best.

Grip size may even help you fix those never-ending hooks or slices. If you notice that your ball flight tends to be more of a fade or slice, a smaller grip may help you correct that. Inversely, if your standard ball flight tends to be more of a draw/hook, a larger grip may help to straighten it out a bit. Size does matter!

When it comes to the physical grip itself and how it feels in your hands, that is based on how it feels to you in your hands. If you like something squishier, aim for a rubber grip. If you like something more rigid and tough, a corded grip might be more your speed.

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Lofts - Men’s vs Women’s

Men's vs women's golf clubs Loft

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You may have noticed when shopping around that when it comes to men's vs women's golf clubs, there is a noticeable difference in loft. The reason for this is for added forgiveness.

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Most notably, women’s drivers have higher degrees of loft. A higher loft on the driver will be beneficial for added accuracy and forgiveness, however inversely it will decrease distance. Men’s degrees of loft are typically in the 9-11 degree range where women’s are in the 11-12 degree range.

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Men’s degrees are typically lower due to their higher swing speed. The higher the swing speed, the easier it is to launch the ball in the air. Statistically since women have slower swing speeds, the added loft will help a player with lower swing speeds launch the ball higher in the air.

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Weight - Men’s vs Women’s

As a general rule of thumb, men’s clubs are heavier than women’s clubs. The weight bias in clubs is due to swing speeds. Men typically have faster swing speeds than women, creating more torque and bending in the shaft. When the club is lighter, it allows the player to put more force into the swing to hit the ball further.

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With a slower swing speed but a heavier club, it becomes a lot harder to generate speed effectively. Inversely, a club that is too light and a quick swing speed is going to change the flexibility of the club.

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When finding the club that works best for you, you want something light enough to generate the most swing speed while maintaining proper control of the ball. Golf clubs with the wrong weight for you will be hard to swing while you are using the proper golf grip.

What's more, having a club with the proper weight will help you maintain the proper grip pressure day after day!

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Club Head - Men’s vs Women's

Men's vs Women's 7 Iron Club Head

Different club heads in men's vs women's golf clubs are also a factor in weight and aerodynamics for the most optimal use. When looking at an iron and noticing the bottom of the club is thicker, that is for added forgiveness and a larger sweet spot - typically found on women’s clubs and beginner clubs.

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The thickness doesn't always equate to heaviness, however. You may notice skinnier-looking irons when you are shopping around. These “player improvement” irons, as they’re typically referred to, are made out of lighter materials making them light and easier to hit.

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Advanced amateurs and tour players generally use what is often referred to as a “blade” iron. The blade offers less forgiveness, is heavier, and has a smaller sweet spot.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can women use men’s golf clubs / women use men’s clubs?

Absolutely! The main things to focus on when selecting the best clubs for your game are length, swing speed, and shaft weight. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who plays what clubs. What matters is that you’re out there trying to get better with equipment tailored to you!

If you can, play around with different lengths and weights of clubs. The more opportunity you have to try different things and learn what works for you is how you’ll build a perfect set. Once you start to get a feel for the proper length and weight for you, then you can start to introduce other variables like grip size and material.

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Why are women's golf clubs shorter than men's?

Women’s clubs are shorter than men’s because typically women are shorter than men. Refer back to the chart we built towards the top. Height and club preferences vary person to person, so keep trying new things until you find what works for your game.

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How can you tell men's clubs from women's?

A quick and easy way to distinguish women’s vs men’s golf clubs are by shaft. More often than not, men’s clubs will have steel shafts while women’s will have graphite. The weight in grams is also typically provided on the shaft. If it is more than 75ish grams, it is most likely a men’s club. If it is less than 70 grams, it is most likely a women’s club.

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Final Thoughts

Golf clubs are meant to work with you, not against you! There are a million different combinations of lengths and weights and styles for every level of player. Play around with different styles and metrics until you find what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a PGA Professional near you. It’s often helpful to get another set of eyes or technology on your swing and numbers to help narrow down the club search with you.

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And remember: what you need might not be what the person on the range who thinks they are the authority says you need!

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Photo of author

Michael VanDerLaan

Michael is an Associate Editor here at Golf Gear Advisor. He is a playing professional with a passion for finding the best equipment through product testing and evaluation. He has an intimate knowledge of the golf swing and a very effective way of communicating his knowledge to those that are interested in learning more. As an Associate Editor at Golf Gear Advisor, Michael shares his knowledge about the golf swing, fitness and finding the right equipment for your game.

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