Women Golfers: Fitting Clubs for Better Women Players

As a long-time Titleist player and enthusiast -- and the father of two daughters and one son -- I can't help but notice that no one on the LPGA tour appears to play Titleist golf clubs.  But there are approximately 90 LPGA players playing a Titleist golf ball.

Why don't we see better women players using Titleist golf clubs, especially the AP1 and AP2 irons?  Is this a "golf club" problem (e.g., swing weight and/or overall weight), a golf club "fitting" problem or a bit of both (and/or more)?

And with the sale of Cobra to Puma (which may have been a good source of clubs for women), is this likely to change?

Thanks.  J.A.C.

Titleist makes clubs for serious golfers regardless of age or gender and many women tour professionals, club professionals and top amateurs use Titleist clubs.  The 2010 US Girls Amateur Champion played AP2's and Vokey wedges and the 2010 NCAA Champion played a Titleist 909 driver.   We were the #1 iron at the NCAA Div. 1 Women's Ch. and the US Women's Amateur. 

We have full line players on the LPGA, PGA, World Tours and the Champions Tour with most of our attention focused on the PGA Tour.  LPGA players, such as Christina Kim, Meaghan Francella, Maria Jose Uribe have played the AP2's all season and there are many others that play the AP2's, and/or the AP1's.  We intend to keep making high performance clubs for serious women golfers and with the sale of Cobra, we will be looking to expand and improve our offerings for these players.  As a member of Team Titleist, if you have any suggestions as to what you want to see offered, please let us know. 

 

Cathi--

That's great.  Makes me even more excited about my daughter's and my trip to Oceanside this Wednesday.  I guess I was misled a bit by the fact that none of those LPGA players show up as "Equipment Players" on the main Titleist website.  Seems like a bit of a marketing "miss."

As for suggestions, my primary one involves making sure that Titleist offers their great clubs in swing weights and total weights that are appropriate to serious women golfers.  Although probably not an issue for LPGA and similar quality women, I think that remains an issue for younger, but serious, women golfers and for high-quality club players.

See you Wednesday.  Thanks.  J.A.C.

My daughter and I went through a "Tour Fitting" last week at the Oceanside facility.  Can't tell you how much we enjoyed it. 

Steve did a GREAT job fitting me for a 910 D2 driver with two shaft options, one stock and the other an extra-cost, up-grade.  I was particularly impressed with how reticent he was to try the more "exotic" shaft option.  He didn't want to look like he was pushing extra charges on me when, quite honestly, we'd found a great "stock" option with no up-charge.  As it turns out, although I really liked the upgrade, it's a really hard choice because the stock shaft was so good.

Cliff did a FANTASTIC job fitting my daughter for a set of AP1 irons.  Can't tell you how much more difficult that is with a 15-year old girl -- even one that's seriously interested in golf.  The sophistication of the fitting was particularly compelling.  I was prepared for the standard length, lie and shaft flex recommendations, but didn't anticipate loft recommendations as well.  I also liked the fact that they worked carefully through three shaft options, two steel and one graphite, before settling on one of the steel options.

Last but not least, to Cathi's point above, I was really surprised by how well the AP1s seemed to fit my daughter.  Not only was the swingweight and total weight not a problem, by feel she chose -- and Cliff confirmed -- that the heavier shaft option fit her better.  It was really fun to see how ball speed and other performance factors improved dramatically for her, particularly as Cliff took steps to increase her launch angle and carry.

I would STRONGLY recommend a "Tour Fitting" for anyone that wants a little more in the fitting experience -- as well as the opportunity to get a tour of the testing/fitting facility at Oceanside.

J.A.C.

Yeah you could say that Titleist creates clubs for all genders but in actuality, they create clubs mainly for men. There are no Titleist golf clubs designed for women to play such as having their own line of clubs. And when I see a Titleist advertisement and the motto is "serious clubs for serious golfers", and the people in the ad are men which is telling me that men are the only ones being a serious golfer. Can't women also be serious golfers? 

Another interesting point to make is that Titleist advertisements are mainly men. Why is there no support to women? I have never seen an advertisement that showed a women golfer swinging a Titleist golf club. Are you saying that only men play golf? When actuality roughly 25% of golfers in the United States are women. 

Wouldn't it beneficial for Titleist to create clubs for women and to target women in their advertisements to earn more revenue?? 

Yes, Golf had a tradition of being for the elite, and upper class men only, but we should not be continuing to support golf being a male only sport by only targeting one side of gender. Both men and women can play the game. 

Then why is your focus mainly on the PGA Tour?!? Why can't you give support to your LPGA players or advertise those women who are using a Titleist golf ball? What is so bad about that? Are they not good enough or what is the reason behind that?


 

Hi TJ,

Thanks for the post and feedback. In terms of product development and design, we approach all of our equipment from the mindset of designing for golfers - not a specific age, skill level or gender. 

Our focus is to design and develop the best performing equipment for serious golfers of all skill levels. And we always recommend working with a certified Titleist fitter to get a precision fit to ensure the clubs are optimized for the individual's game. If you read John's reply above, you can see that his 15 year old daughter went through a fitting experience and had great results.

We've also remained committed to providing a wide range of stock and custom options to ensure optimal fits are achieved across a wide range of skill levels and ball speeds. 

In terms of our LPGA players, we do provide a lot of support week-in and week-out on tour. Here is a recent TV spot featuring a number of our players...

Hope this helps clarify and feel free to drop me a line if you have any other questions.

Thanks again for the post!

Cheers,

Mike

There doesn't seem to be the same presence of Titleist staff bags on the LPGA as there is on the PGA.  That could be an area to improve for marketing.

Aside from that, I'm helping my wife in her early 60's get into golf.  We went through all the women's lines available through the local retailers in looking for clubs.  Are these really supposed to be for serious women golfers?  When the driver is labeled as a 1 Wood (no loft description) and it comes with a putter - no choice to select?  When one high end option has 3 choices - all colors?  Is it necessary to accessorize shafts and heads to match to the color of the bag as the options for a serious golfer?

I didn't end up getting any Titleist clubs for her, but the driver has a loft, and her putter is not color coordinated with her irons and has a SuperStroke grip.  She worked through all the variations on putter styles to find the one that felt right for her.  The iron/hybrid set does use 4/5/6 hybrids (Titleist doesn't support the 6H - would be nice for women) and are the only coordinated colors in the set.  If she gets a little more serious (more lessons - practice - rounds), then we will look at feeding in Titleist clubs fitted for her game, and if necessary, get club covers that match the bag.

Finding all these pieces as a Super Game Improvement set for her took effort.  Only the putter was off the rack.  Even the companies that cater to women golfers have many more options in their male SGI lines for shafts, number of hybrids, and separate woods.  Titleist doesn't offer SGI for men, and shouldn't be faulted for not offering that line to women.  I don't know how well other companies supplies L shafts for their Game Improvement lines (equivalent to AP1), but these are not marketed to women any better than Titleist.

If the only point was that women receive less attention in marketing relative to their numbers on the courses, then I don't entirely disagree with TJT.

I'm speaking from 25 years of fitting experience…..  Titleist makes clubs for anyone that has at least 110 mph ball speed with a driver.  It is wise and correct for them to not label clubs "men, women, sr, jr…."  In  acutality the only that makes a difference in the type of club one should play is their ball speed, skill level, launch and spin numbers. Again from 25 years of experience there are a lot of women that might play with "men specs" and visa versa. There are especially a lot of "senior" players that should play with women's clubs.  As soon as you put a lable on it then that pretty much excludes everyone else -- kind of like the "ladies tees, red tees, senior tees…."
  Titleist makes great clubs for all classes of players regardless of gender, class…..  Any good fitter will not be concerned with any of that - just what the player brings to the fitting session. I fit lots of women players and good junior girl players and never have a problem finding Titleist clubs that work. Again I'm basing it on the above mention mph criteria.

 As for their marketing to women, men….  none of us know for sure. But, my opinion --- the tour, especially other tours such as Champions, LPGA does very little to influence players decisions.  If it were any of our money I'm sure we would look at it the same way.

Steve Ball
PGA Master Professional
Top 100 Club Fitter 2011 and 2013, Golf Digest

There is a rather young LPGA pro that used Titleist clubs as an amateur but she is now sponsored by Callie.