How Many Clubs Can You Carry In Your Golf Bag? [What Is The Allowed Amount?]

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In this guide we will answer the question ‘how many clubs can you have in your bag?’ This is a common question that amateur golfers want to know the answer to and is something that impacts golfers of all levels around the world all the way up to the professionals when selecting the right golf clubs for them.

In this guide we will cover exactly what the rule is, what gold clubs you should carry are as well as covering some other high profile incidents involving this rule from tournament play.

How Many Golf Clubs Can You Have In Your Bag?

You can have 14 golf clubs in your bag as outlined by the United States Golf Association. There are no policies that control the makeup of which clubs you are allowed to carry. If you wish to carry two drivers you can and if you would like to carry four wedges then that is fine too. You are also able to carry fewer clubs if you wish.

What Golf Clubs Should I Carry?

Now that you know that 14 golf clubs in a golf set is the recommend quantity, it is time to look at actually what these 14 golf clubs typically are and can be.

Each golf club that you will typically carry include the following:

Driver

Used for tee shots. Occasionally people will use the driver in the fairway, however this can be rare.

3 Wood

Used to provide less distance but more accuracy on tee shots. Can also be used on approach shots or more commonly the 2nd shot on a par 5.

5 Wood

Same as above – however the distance would be slightly reduced.

3 Iron – 9 Iron

Your irons which range in distance so you will will want to choose the irons which you feel most comfortable with.

Wedges

You can choose between the different degrees of a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. Each of these will be used for shots within 125 yards of the green. Wedge distances in golf vary so it is important to choose wisely between which ones are best for you.

Putter

A common question that we hear is ‘does the putter count in the 14 clubs?’ and the answer to this is that yes it does!

As you can see, there are a wide range of golf clubs that can provide the makeup of the golf clubs in a bag. However, there are no policies that control the actual makeup of the clubs in a bag. For example if you wish to carry a bag full of wedges or a bag full of drivers then you are free to do so.

What Are The Rules For Which Golf Clubs You Are Allowed To Carry?

Your golf bag can be made up of any clubs, as long as the total number maxes out at 14.

As you can see, there are a wide range of golf clubs that can provide the overall makeup. However, there are no policies that control the actual makeup of the clubs in a bag. For example if you wish to carry a bag full of wedges or a bag full of drivers then you are free to do so.

Additionally, if you are playing a practice round in none competition format, you can carry as many clubs as you want (although this could get heavy!). By carrying a wide range of additional clubs during practice rounds you will be able to tinker with your game and figure out your complete set ready for competition play.

As stated, when it comes to competition play it is 14 golf clubs. In terms of borrowing a club from somebody else within the competition that you are playing, you can only obtain a club from a playing companion if the combined overall quantity of golf clubs in both of your golf bags amounts to fourteen. You will also need to make this decision before the golf round and not during it to avoid penalty.

Additionally, borrowing clubs from others wouldn’t be recommended. This is because they may have different size golf clubs than you. This can severely have an affect on your performance on the golf course as having the right golf club length is pivotal in hitting consistent shots.

Stroke Penalty Example

At the 2001 Open Championship, welsh golfer Ian Woosnam was a victim of carrying too many golf clubs in his bag which came back to haunt him. (CBA.ca)

Ian Woosnam made birdie at the opening hole of his final round of the championship which lead to him getting into a tie for the lead with only 17 holes left to play. However, once Woosnam arrived at the second tee, he realized he had an extra club in his bag, bringing the overall he was carrying to 15 (as we know by now, too many clubs!).

Next, he ended up throwing the golf club out of his bag and he received a two-stroke charge. Ultimately, he ended the championship in a tie for third place, four strokes off the lead. This cost him a second place finish and who knows if he would have performed even better without this annoyance after the first hole.

In a match play format you would lose a hole each time that you play with over the limit of the 14 golf clubs allowed.

How Many Golf Clubs Are Allowed In Your bag?

In summary, the limit on the number of golf clubs in a bag is 14. This is standard across all forms of golf and provides the ability to mix clubs to your specific needs as there are different variations that you can choose from as part of your golf bag organization. For example Phil Mickelson has been known to carry two drivers in his bag, which is typically uncommon.

To figure out which combination of 14 is best for you it is best to spend time practicing your golf game to determine what club combinations work for you.