Learning to play golf can be intimidating for anyone, and for women it can be particularly difficult to get up the nerve on that first tee and hit the ball. The best thing to do for women learning the game is to take lessons to learn the basics, practice to instill muscle memory and then get out on the course and play. The time invested in learning the correct swing and practicing can result in years of enjoyment on the golf course. Using the right golf clubs can help the beginning woman golfer achieve accuracy and distance.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Technological advances in women’s golf clubs make the game more fun for women, especially if they are beginners. Women typically are shorter in stature than men, have less upper body strength and have a slower swing speed than men. These factors can affect accuracy and distance. Fortunately, playing with the right clubs for your game can go a long way in accommodating women. To buy the correct clubs for your swing, ask for advice from your teaching pro and get fitted at a good golf store that has experienced, helpful staff members.
The Golf Club Shaft
Women need advice about which golf club shaft and club head suits their swing. A shaft is composed of either graphite or steel, and there are five grades of stiffness. The more flexible the shaft, the easier the club is to hit. Graphite shafts are generally more flexible than steel shafts and are often recommended for women golfers. A flexible shaft is appropriate for a female golfer with a slower swing speed. While most women take the standard club length, very tall or very short golfers may need a longer or shorter club.
The Driver Clubhead
Clubhead size has increased over the years. For beginning women golfers, a larger club head is appropriate. A large clubhead will provide a larger sweet spot which is more forgiving of miss hits typical of a beginner. For beginners who have a problem launching the ball into the air, a driver with a loft of at least 9.5 degrees can remedy this problem. If, after trying out a driver with a 9.5 degree loft you are still having trouble, try going to a higher loft of up to 15 degrees. The driver can be considered a 1-wood, although it is not generally used on the fairway.
Fairway woods have deep clubheads made of titanium or steel. They are referred to as woods because years ago clubheads were made of wood. Beginning golfers usually find the driver and the fairway woods the most difficult clubs in the bag to handle because of their long length. Many golfers carry a 3-wood and a 5-wood to use on the fairway. The lower the number, the further the distance you will get using the club. Some beginners find that they hit a better shot off the tee with a 3-wood than a driver. In the fairway, women may find it easier to hit a 7-wood or a 9-wood than a long iron, although hybrids are generally used for that purpose.
Hybrids, sometimes called utility clubs, have become popular clubs in the golf bag. Women generally find them easier to hit than the long irons they replace, like the 3, 4 and 5-iron. Women golfers with a slower swing speed appreciate hybrid clubs because the placement of the center of gravity allows for greater impact when the ball is hit along with a higher trajectory. The shorter club length enables more control and greater accuracy. Women’s hybrids have higher lofts, lighter and more flexible shafts, larger heads, shorter lengths and thinner grips than men’s hybrids.
Irons and Wedges
In previous years, many golfers carried a set of irons from the long 3-iron to the short 9-iron, along with some wedges. Today, hybrids have replaced the longer irons which are difficult to hit, especially for women beginning golfers. Many women no longer carry the 3, 4, 5 or even 6-iron. So which irons should you carry? Keep in mind that you according to official Professional Golf Association (PGA) rules, you are allowed 14 clubs in your golf bag. If you have a driver, two fairway woods like a 3-wood and a 5-wood, the 4, 5 and 6-hybrid, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge and a putter, you are left with a choice of five additional irons. You may opt to carry the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9-iron, or, like some players, stick with the 7, 8 and 9-iron which are easier clubs to hit.