How Many Clubs In A Golf Bag?

Just getting into the game of golf means learning everything that’s important about the sport. Playing a round of golf, as a beginner, consists of more than just having lightweight, more flexible shafted golf clubs (although that is a very crucial aspect indeed). But then how many clubs in a golf bag are you supposed to or even allowed to carry?

According to United States Golf Association (USGA) rules, no more than 14 clubs can be in your bag during a round. So what does that imply? That if you exceed the limit, you can get penalized and that would just mess with your scores.

Be it competition-level players or beginner golfers, I think everyone should know the correct answer to ‘how many clubs?’ along with other equally important information regarding golf clubs.

What Are the 14 Clubs In A Golf Bag?

How Many Clubs In A Golf Bag?

To be honest, there’s no pre-set checklist you are obligated to follow in terms of what those 14 golf clubs should be in your bag. But then the general, classic setup includes the following.

  • Driver
  • 3-wood
  • 5-wood
  • 4-hybrid
  • Irons (5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, and 9-iron)
  • Wedges (Pitching wedge, Gap wedge, Sand wedge, and Lob wedge)
  • Putter

What’s the Least Number of Clubs You Can Carry?

If 14 is the max limit, what then is the minimum number of clubs in golf bag?

Now, of course, you can carry less than 14 golf clubs, but there’s no official minimum limit as such. That means carry 10 clubs, 8 clubs, 6 clubs, 4 clubs, or even just a putter, that’s all on you. Just don’ exceed the 14-club limit!

Why Only 14 Clubs in A Golf Bag?

But then why 14 golf clubs as the official maximum limit? Because those many clubs are sufficient for allowing the players to get more creative during their round of golf, that is when they’re compelled to overcome the most challenging situations. And 14 golf clubs also pave the way for more cleverness against course maneuvers.

Other obvious reasons include – 14 clubs are easy and comfortable to actually carry around during your round of golf and buying only 14 clubs limits spending too much money.

How Many Clubs Make A Golf Set?

This article, best packaged golf clubs sets, is proof that a set can include 10 or 14 total clubs. It actually depends on you as to how many golf clubs you want in your set based on factors like price, your golfing skills, etc.

What Do A Pro Carry In A Golf Bag?

More often than not, pro-level players carry the following in their golf bags.

  • Driver
  • 3-wood and 5-wood
  • 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, and 9-iron
  • Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge
  • Putter

Needless to say, not every pro golfer follows this particular setup, so the clubs may differ slightly (especially replacing woods with a longer golf club, hybrid, or one of these driving irons).

Even the wedge setup may change a bit – just 2 wedges in order to include more long-shooting clubs.

When You Carry Too Many Golf Clubs, What’s the Penalty for That?

More than 14 golf clubs and be ready for losing 2 strokes per hole. For example, you decided to carry 15 clubs. Now, during your round, second hole to be more specific, if you haven’t realized you’re exceeding the 14-club limit, you’ll get a 4-stroke penalty.

And now comes the maximum number of penalties one can warrant. Fortunately, that number is only 4 strokes in total. So nothing less than 4 strokes, doesn’t get any worse (phew, right?).

But then what happens when you actually realize that breach? At such times, the penalty acquired is then assessed toward the finish of the hole. As opposed to the penalty being applied to the hole just completed when you recognize the violation between holes.

In the case of Match Play, you get a 1-hole penalty. In simpler words, for breaking the rule, your total game score changes rather than just losing that hole being played.

How to Take Golf Clubs Out of Play?

What is the process of taking golf clubs out of play? This means removing an additional club from your round of golf.

The procedure is pretty straightforward actually when you realize you’re violating the 14-club rule. Take the required action immediately then by letting another golfer know about this breach. Or you could just place that extra club in a bottom-up position in the golf bag.

Can You Add Clubs to Your Golf Bag During A Round of Golf?

Quite surprisingly, adding golf clubs during your round of golf is allowed so long as your total club count is not exceeding 14, as long as this addition isn’t delaying playtime, and as long as the club or clubs you’re adding aren’t from another golfer’s bag.

Can You Replace A Damaged Club During A Round of Golf?

One of the most unfortunate scenarios in golf is when your club happens to get damaged during the round. In such moments, grievously, you are not permitted to repair or replace it. Meaning you have to keep playing with it, no matter how big the damage.

But then if this damage is done by a natural cause or some external influence, it’s allowed for another, unbroken golf club to take the place of the damaged one.

So you better think twice before you start smashing your club after those unlucky, bad shots. Also, now you know why some Tour pros putt using a 3-wood or wedge.

What Should I Have In My Golf Bag?

One of the most effective ways for combating challenges faced on the golf course is being well-prepared to face them. And that you can do with the help of both essentials and accessories/extras.

The essentials include your set of golf clubs (max. 14 clubs), at least 6 golf balls (if you tend to lose them more than you care to admit, then they should be a mix of both used and new), headcovers for your hybrids and woods, tees (a dozen of them), and a golf glove.

And then you add more stuff in your bag to make your round of golf easier for yourself. So that golfing gear would include the following…

How to Organize Golf Clubs In A Golf Bag?

An in-depth guide to how to arrange golf clubs in bag, be it a 14-way, 8-way, 6-way, or 4-way golf bag!

But here are the quick, most generic instructions for the same.

  • Your longest golf clubs always go in the back, which is the closest compartment/divider to the bag’s strap.
  • Clubs should be arranged from the left side to the right.
  • Arranging the irons consists of keeping the longer irons in the left while the shorter ones in the right. Smaller golf clubs, and this includes your wedges, ought to be stored in the front.
  • If your golf bag has a separate putter well like most of these top Taylormade bags do, then that’s where your putter is placed. But if there’s no such individual putter slot, keep that golf club in just about any divider. Since the putter length is shorter, make sure it goes to the right.
  • As for your golf balls, tees, etc., these should be stored in the easy-to-access front pockets. While the additional side pocket or pockets (mostly on the bag’s right side, also easily accessible even when strapped to cart), this is where you can carry your jacket or other items of clothing based on the weather conditions.

The End – It’s All About the Most Suitable Configuration of Golf Clubs!

Just know that the maximum allowed limit is 14 golf clubs. Even one more is going to cost you in the form of holes being deducted from your round of golf. And now that you know the official limit, the most important thing is to find the right configuration or setup of golf clubs for YOUR game.

So if there is a club that exaggerates your weaknesses, for instance those difficult-to-hit long irons, then replace it with one that’s much easier to hit (hybrids are indeed less challenging alternatives to long irons, even for highly skilled golfers and not just beginners).

Keep in mind that the most useful golf clubs you carry, the fewer clubs you’ll end up with. And the fewer golf clubs in your bag, the more lightweight, comfortable, and convenient it is to carry down that fairway!

Photo of author

Jim Furyk

One of the PGA TOUR’s most recognizable and talented golfers, Jim Furyk was born on May 12, 1970 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It seems like Furyk was born to play golf; his father Mike as an assistant pro at Edgmont Country club, and young Jim was raised into the game. Jim Furyk’s only golf instruction came from his father; and many note that might account for his unusual—yet effective—swing. In addition to Edgmont Country Club, Mike Furyk also served as head pro at Uniontown Country Club.

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