Women's golf clubs generally have shorter and more flexible shafts than men's clubs. Although all the major club manufacturers feature clubs for women, there are fewer models from which to choose. The designation of clubs as "men's" clubs or "women's" clubs is somewhat misleading, though. While the average woman is probably better suited to playing clubs designed for women and the average man is better suited to playing clubs designed for men, there are many exceptions to the rule.
The standard length for women's clubs is simple: deduct 1 inch from the standard length of men's clubs. For example, the standard length of a driver for men is 43.5 inches for clubs with steel shafts and 44 inches for drivers with graphite shafts. Accordingly, the lengths for women's drivers is 42.5 inches for steel shafts and 43 inches for graphite.
The amount of bend in a golf shaft determines its flex. Golfers who generate the least amount of clubhead speed should use clubs that are most flexible. The most flexible shafts are known as "L" or Ladies. These shafts are designed for golfers with swing speeds of less that 70 mph who hit their driver less than 180 yards. The other main categories of shaft flexibility are Senior, Regular, Stiff and X-Stiff, but some manufacturers have additional categories.
The female golfer should visit a fitting expert to find the best clubs for her game. A good club fitter will measure a women's swing speed, lie, loft and trajectory of ball flight. If a woman is short, she'll likely be better off with shorter shafts, which will enable her to control the club more easily and hit more accurate shots. A tall and powerful woman is likely to need longer shafts. In the 21st century, club fitting has become both a science and an art, and every golfer who wants to play her best will take advantage of the advanced technology to buy clubs that fit her to a tee.
Another difference between men's and women's clubs is the graphics. Women's clubs are available with shafts in such colors as pink and purple. Although men can get their clubs outfitted with pink shafts, such shafts are not standards -- as they are in women's clubs. Women's clubhead designs may feature more feminine designs. Club manufacturers design accessories to match the clubs -- bags and headcovers in complimentary colors and designs.