Women's Golf Clubs: What to Know, Where to Buy

Female golfer on the course with her driver
There are more choices than ever before in women's golf clubs. Stephanie Noritz/Taxi/Getty Images

The percentage of golfers who are women has grown over the years, and today women make up a healthy quarter or so of golfers. Hopefully, that number continues to grow.

As more women play golf, more golf club manufacturers pay attention to the women's market. As more manufacturers market their clubs to women, more women (likely) become encouraged to take up an interest in golf. It's a good cycle.

So what do you need to know about women's golf clubs?

  • What companies make clubs for women?
  • Should you buy a complete set (often called a "boxed set") or fill your golf bag piece by piece?
  • Are they any different than men's clubs? If so, how?
  • Do women really need to buy "women's clubs" or "ladies clubs?"

Let's take each of these, one at a time.

Major Brands' Selections of Women's Golf Clubs

The market in women's golf clubs used to have more niche companies that specialized in making clubs for women and fewer offerings from the major golf manufacturers.

That's not the case anymore. Most of the major brands now offer clubs and sets designed specifically for women. And if they don't offer lines of women's clubs, most at least offer "women's versions" of their "regular" clubs. That is, if Major Brand X announces its latest Whiz-Bang Driver, then it is much more likely these days (than in the past) to also offer that driver in a women's model. (And there still are a handful of brands that specialize in women's clubs.)

The following links take you to the women's golf club sections of each brand's website, where you can see what's available and (in some cases) also view pricing:

Other manufacturers, including major brands, may offer "women's models" of their clubs, but without necessarily having a section of their website devoted to those clubs for women. So if you have a brand in mind but don't see it above, it's still worth checking out the company's website.

All major online golf retailers, plus most brick-and-mortar golf retailers and big-box department stores, also carry women's golf clubs - some of them carrying brand names found only in retail outlets. To browse a large selection, see other brands, and get an idea of pricing, check out Amazon.com's selection - browse women's golf clubs on Amazon.

Box Sets vs. Piecing Your Set Together

There is much more variety (and name-brand options) for female golfers in "box sets," or complete sets, of golf clubs than for men. That is, more companies offer for sale a full set of clubs - some combination of driver, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, putter - all-in-one in the women's market.

Boxed sets can be a good option for beginners and for casual golfers (that's true for women and men) because, in general, they'll be much cheaper than buying a driver here, a set of irons there, a putter on its own, and so on.

Serious golfers, and those who wish to be serious golfers, are better off going the latter route: building the set piece by piece, since you'll be able to fit each club or group of clubs to your personal specs. (Club fittings are great ways to do that.)

Amazon.com, again, is a good place to research boxed sets - browse women's complete sets on Amazon.

Are Women's Clubs Really Any Different Than Men's Clubs?

Yes! A golf club or set marketed as "women's clubs," "ladies clubs," or a "women's model" will, indeed, show some differences.

The most obvious is the coloring and graphics. Golf club manufacturers remain convinced that women prefer pinks and pastels in their golf clubs!

Beyond the cosmetics, certain specific things are likely to be different in a women's club:

  • Lofts - the loft angles tend to be higher (more loft) in women's golf clubs.
  • Shaft length - the shafts tend to be shorter in women's clubs (because the average female golfer is shorter than the average male golfer).
  • Shaft flex - the shafts are more flexible in women's clubs. The "L" flex rating stands for "Ladies," although women certainly do not all need L-flex shafts.
  • Lie - the lie angles in women's golf clubs tend to be more upright (because, the average female golfer being shorter than the average male, women tend to stand closer to the ball at set-up).

Should Women Focus Only on 'Women's Clubs' or 'Ladies Clubs' When Shopping?

As we learned above, there really are differences in golf clubs made for and marketed to women golfers, beyond just cosmetics.

That doesn't mean that women can't or shouldn't take a look at other clubs ("men's clubs"), too, if they wish. (For some women, particularly low-handicappers, men's clubs may be a better fit.)

Here's a rule of thumb: If you're going to be buying clubs off the rack, focus on golf clubs marketed specifically to women. For the reasons discussed above, they will probably provide a better fit.

But if you are willing to go through a club fitting and plan to practice and play a lot of golf, then consider all options.