The State of Girls Golf in USA
Girls golf is on the rise both the USA and around the world (just look at the Korean girls golf development program and success on the LPGA Tour). However, it is still far less competitive than boys golf and in general junior golf tournaments have far less girls competing in them than boys. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent girls golf clubs on the market for juniors from beginner to advanced levels.
This can, of course, be a good and bad thing. The upside for girls looking to play golf in college is that there is less competition and there are many more college golf scholarship opportunities available, especially as compared to boys (boys scholarships at a Division 1 (D1) school are extremely difficult to get). According to the National College Athletic Association (NCAA), at least 200 golf scholarships for girls go "unclaimed" every year. This is a direct result of too few American girls competing in junior golf and thus applying for and qualifying for scholarships.
The downside of fewer girls playing golf is that girls tend to be more socially inclined and if they don't have good friends that also play golf they are more likely to give up the sport in favor of other activities that their friends are doing. There is also less incentive for girls to get into golf if they do not know any other girls that play.
As far as girls' college golf scholarships go, there are approx. 1,500 D1 girls golf scholarships available every year (250+ universities with 6 scholarships per team) and 750 D2 scholarships. In the last few years there has been a significant increase in recruiting and scouting for girl golfers but there are still many unused scholarships.
There are many junior golf tournaments for girls at the local, regional and national level. However, the size of the girls' field is usually much smaller than the boys' field. For example, the U.S.Kids World Championships (including Teen World) typically have 30-40% more boys in the field than girls.
Fortunately, with the recent uptick in interest in girls golf, there is excellent equipment and clothing for junior girl golfers. Below we have outlined some of the best golf clubs for girls as well as some accessories and other equipment.
Note - for girls over the age of approx. 12 years old and playing high level competition golf we recommend you look at the clubs outlined in the "Best Golf Clubs for Teens and Advanced Juniors" article. Many girls playing high level tournaments will opt for the types of clubs in that article, matched with fitted ladies, senior or regular flex shafts.
Single Beginner Golf Club
USKids Yard Club (~4 to 12 Years OId)
For girls just getting into golf or wanting to try it out, but not yet sure if they want a full set of clubs, the USKids Yard Club is ideal. It is specifically designed for beginners and has the appropriate weight, length and shaft flex. It also has a molded grip that teaches juniors the correct golf grip from the get-go.
At only $40, including 3 limited flight soft golf balls, this is an excellent choice for girls just starting golf. The yard club is available for girls from 39" tall to 63" tall - so approx. 4 to 12 years old.
For girls younger than 4 years old (i.e. girls 1 to 3 years old), we recommend the USKids Baby's First Club. It is a high quality 18 inch tall toddler golf club. See the review at this toddler golf clubs article.
Girls Golf Clubs for 4 to 12 Years Old
Set out below are the best girls golf clubs for girls from ages 6 through approx. age 12. These are high quality clubs that tournament players use and do not include some of the cheaper options that are more suitable purely for girls that want to play recreational golf.
U.S.Kids Ultra Light (~4 to 12 years old)
The USKids Ultra Light girls golf clubs are designed for the beginner to intermediate junior for approx. ages of 5 to 12 years old and the height range of 30 inches (just over 3 feet) to 66 inches (5.5 feet) tall. USKids makes kids golf clubs for both left handed and right handed juniors. The USKids Tour Series are designed for advanced junior golfers (see below).
The USkids sets are available in 9 different sizes. The club heads range from 30% lighter than adult clubs (in the smallest size set) to 10% lighter than adult clubs (in the largest size).
The Ultra Light clubs have light flex graphite shafts suitable for juniors. These clubs and bags are excellent quality and highly recommended for junior girls starting golf. Sometimes it can be difficult finding quality left handed girls golf clubs (right handed girls golf clubs are easier to find) but the USKids UL series is available in both left and right handed.
The Ultra Light sets range in price from $105 for the smallest size, 3 club set (Fairway Driver, 7 iron, putter and bag) to $280 for the largest size, 7 clubs set (Driver, Hybrid, 6 iron, 8 irons, Pitching Wedge, Sand Wedge, Putter and Bag). These club sets are excellent value for the money!
Note that if you are unsure as to club sizes, USkids has a great fitting system based on height and swing speed.
Worldwide Golf Shops (Roger Dunn, Edwin Watts, Golfer's Warehouse, Golf Mart, Van's Golf Shops & Uinta Golf) offers the lowest price on USKids Ultra Light sets that we found by $10 and generally offer free shipping. However, they sometimes do not have the full selection as buying directly from the USKids website (e.g. Worldwide Golf Shops currently offers 3 to 5 clubs sets and the USkids site has a few more options). We recommend checking both before buying.
U.S.Kids Tour Series (~7 to 13 Years Old)
The USKids Tour Series golf clubs are designed for intermediate to advanced junior girl golfers. Many girls who use the Tour Series also play local, regional and national golf tournaments. These clubs are designed for higher than average junior golfer swing speeds.
The Tour Series golf clubs are excellent junior golf clubs that prepare girls to eventually transition into adult clubs. The Tour Series are available for girls ranging in height from approx. 51” (4 foot, 3 inches) to 66 inches (5.5 feet) tall - so from approx. 8 years old and up. These are excellent quality clubs and highly recommended. They are used by many of the top juniors in the USA and overseas.
The TS3 are the 2018 models and the V5/V10/V15 are the prior year models. Read more for an in-depth review of the USKids Tour Series 3.
Flynn Golf - VT Max (~5 to 12 Years Old)
Mike Flynn has been making premium junior golf clubs for 10+ years. The Flynn VT Max and Alto clubs can be purchased in "EZ Order" sets ranging from a 7 club iron only set ($340) to a complete 14 clubs set including putter, irons, wedges, hybrid, 2 fairway woods, a driver and a stand bag. These are available in both junior left handed club and right handed club options.
Alternatively, you can custom order either single clubs or a set, with your choice of shaft, grip, length, color etc. The custom order VT Max or Alto clubs are assembled based on input that you provide to Flynn Golf when you order, including player specs such as Boy/Girl, Age, Height, Weight, Experience Level, Swing Tempo, Hand Size (a template is provided), Wrist to Floor Measurement, Average Driver Distance, and a free form commentary box for any other specifications. You can even upload a swing video to help Flynn Golf with the "fitting".
This sounds like a lot but it is actually not too technical or time consuming and when in doubt you can leave certain fields open - the only specs that are "required" are the age and size measurements. We have found that Mike is very responsive and will provide recommendations and ask questions where more information is needed.
Girls will enjoy that they can select the color of their shafts for their new clubs (red, blue, pink, orange, green, or white). The grip colors can also be selected. Bags are pink/white, blue/white or silver/white. Kids clubs should be fun for them and the color options help. Flynn Golf also sells shafts with OEM adapters that can be used with any major brand driver - so for example you could buy a Ping driver and fit it with a custom shaft for your junior.
Overall, these are high quality clubs that we highly recommend, especially if you are looking to customized girls golf clubs. Similar to USKids, they are great clubs for girls up until the time they are ready to transition into adult irons or to a light weight adult driver.
Ping Prodi G (~7 to 13 Years Old)
Ping launched their Junior Prodi G clubs in the summer of 2018. Up until then they sold only the Ping Thrive (60" to 64" tall or approx. 12 to 14 years old) and Ping Moxie (54" to 60" tall or approx. 10 - 12 years old) sets of clubs. Both the Thrive and Moxie are being phased out and replaced by the Prodi G which is also available in a left hand option.
These Ping junior golf clubs are suitable for girls and use the same advanced technology of the Ping adult clubs. The Prodi G are designed for junior golfers from approx. 7 to 13 years old (from 4' 5" to 5' 2" tall). In addition, Ping offers a one-time, no-charge upgrade to have the clubs re-shafted / lengthened, weight adjusted and re-gripped if you buy at least 5 clubs in one purchase. This is a nice touch since kids grow so quickly at that age! Effectively getting two sets of clubs for the price of one set brings the cost down somewhat, although these are still expensive at the start.
- Ping brand name and technology.
- Lightweight graphite shafts. Regular flex for the smaller sizes and stiff flexes for the larger sizes.
- Club lengths are appropriate to the height of juniors (similar to the USKids height to club size guidelines).
- Stainless steel heads on the 6 iron to Pitching Wedge are perimeter-weighted and an elastomer insert provides a soft feel.
- The wedges are based on the adult Glide 2.0 wedge design to optimize spin and control around the greens.
- Great looking Hoofer Prodi G stand bag. The 30 inch bag weighs only 3 lbs (designed to fit golfers approximately 4'5" to 4'9" and the 34 inch bag weights only 3.5 lbs (for golfers 4'9" to 5'2"). The bags have four pockets, adjustable padded cross shoulder straps, and a four-way club divider.
- Expensive for junior clubs. However, if you buy the set you get one free refitting once your junior grows out of them - which essentially means you do not have to buy your junior a whole new set the following year.
- For kids smaller than 4'11" the only option is the 7 club package set. For competitive golfers this means they do not have a hybrid, 7 iron, 9 iron or GW. For beginner to intermediate golfers this is not a problem but for advanced golfers it may be.
Overall these are good quality clubs that benefit from Ping's research, manufacturing and technology and compete with USKids and Flynn Golf clubs.
Callaway XJ Hot and XT (Junior and Teen)
The Callaway XJ Hot golf club sets are designed for juniors and are light weight with graphite shafts.
Available in level 1, 2 and 3 these are designed to fit juniors from 42” to 57”.
- XJ1: 4-piece Set - Fairway Wood, 7-iron, Sand Wedge and Putter.
- XJ2: 6-piece Set - Driver, Fairway Wood, 7-iron, 9-iron, Sand Wedge and Putter.
- XJ3: 7-piece Set - Driver, Fairway Wood, Hybrid, 7-iron, 8-iron, Sand Wedge, Putter.
The Callaway XT are designed for girls that are approx. between 60" and 66" tall or approx. ages 11 to 13 (the same as the other options in this category above). The driver is 43.5" long and the 7 iron is 36" long.
The Callaway XT junior golf set makes use of Callaway's advanced design and materials technologies that help juniors deliver more distance on every club and also provide excellent forgiveness. The iron club heads are approx. 5% lighter than the average adult irons. Graphite shafts are suitable for slightly slower swing speeds that are usual with girl golfers.
The 10 piece set includes a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, 6/7/8/9 irons, PW, SW, Putter and a stand bag. The set retails for $550. They are available in right handed and left handed girls clubs.
Overall these are an excellent option for beginner to intermediate girls in the 60-66" height range and is a true full set at a reasonable price.
Girls Golf Clubs for Teens
Most of the top brand name golf manufacturers make high quality women's golf clubs that are suitable for teenage girl golfers. These generally feature more flexible light weight graphite shafts and most also have lighter club heads. For older teens or girls that are able to play comfortably with regular size adult clubs we recommend referring to "Best Golf Clubs for Teens and Advanced Juniors".
Some of the better known brands for ladies clubs include:
Girls golf is definitely on the rise in the USA with more girls than ever competing in tournaments and continuing the game into college and beyond.
A great example of this is the "LPGA*USGA Girls Golf" program. It is a non-profit organization that empowers girls through the game of golf and aims to inspire girls to dream big. The program provides girl-friendly environments to have fun and learn the game while teaching valuable life skills like confidence and perseverance. They operate at 415 sites and help girls ages 6 – 17 to learn the game while inspiring them to feel confident, build positive self-esteem and live active and healthy lives.
As for equipment, fortunately there are quite a few companies in the USA that are producing high quality golf clubs for girls. We have tried to provide a broad selection of girls golf clubs based on a cross section of price points and levels of experience. Let us know your favorite clubs and your personal recommendations!