Leveling the Playing Field
Women, be confident in knowing that golf clubs built for us are no longer just men’s clubheads with a pastel-colored shaft and smaller grip. The latest models — for the most part — are weighted and sized specifically with ladies in mind. So regardless of your skill level — beginner, causal or advanced — the clubs you buy are built for you and your needs, helping you hit the ball longer, straighter and higher. And just as with the guys, always consider going through a clubfitting session to help you hone in on the single-best clubs and specs for your unique game.
“When getting new equipment, we recommend that all golfers go through a fitting session to find the clubs that help them achieve their best performance,” says Tom Olsavsky, vice president of research and development at Cobra Golf. “We see that fitting helps all types of players, and many times the higher handicap player can see more improvement than the better player. Fitting helps with many aspects of performance: Zeroing in on the right types of clubs, clubheads, lofts, shafts and grips — as well as set composition — will help to solve problems and improve performance.”
Consider buying clubs from a major brand, assuring you that you’re getting top-quality gear. “At Cobra, we do a number of things differently in our specific women’s offering, to provide better playability and distance,” says Olsavsky. “Certainly club length, shaft weights, swing weights and grips are all designed for women. Mostly this is by shorter length, lighter weights and smaller grips. But we also provide higher lofts in all of our women’s metal woods, to help these players launch the ball higher for optimum performance. And we also find that many stronger women players tend to hit the ball higher, so they may well perform better with lower lofts.”
One thing companies like Cobra and Callaway do is offer packaged sets for women. This type of option is especially convenient for several reasons. First, women generally don’t have the same vast club selection that men do. So trying to piece together a set can be a little more daunting. Secondly, it makes club shopping more convenient. Thus, consider sets such as Cobra’s women’s F-Max Complete Set ($1,199). This particular one includes offset clubs, including a driver, three fairway woods, a hybrid, six irons and wedges, a mallet putter and a full-featured cart bag. There’s also a similarly stocked set, the Women’s Cobra XL for $400 less, that’s more distance-oriented with game-improvement features such as low-and-back CG weighting and ultralight shafts. Point is, you have options. Yes, you can still buy the latest top-of-the-line KING F8 clubs for women, as well. But expect to pay a bit more.
Callaway offers full sets at anywhere between $220 and $400 — some come with fewer clubs — but the company also has women’s versions of its latest Rogue woods and irons. The Rogue driver ($500) has a shorter shaft than the men’s model, with a lighter swing weight, adjustable loft and women’s-specific shaft. The Rogue irons ($1,000/set) are ultralight and feature clubheads with a wide sole, large cavity and an uber-low center of gravity that helps slower swingers generate more clubhead speed.
If you’re looking to invest a little bit more into your equipment for a less-common brand name that’s still at the top of the quality scale, Honma offers its brand-new Be ZEAL 535 Ladies series. The low-CG driver ($605) aims to boost launch angle, while promoting a straighter ball flight. The irons ($200/each with graphite shaft, $160/steel) have large heads that help lengthen distance — thanks to internal low-deep tungsten weighting, titanium clubface insert and slot technology on several parts of the clubhead.