How Many Golf Clubs In A Bag? [& What To Carry]

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In this guide we will answer the question ‘how many golf clubs in a 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 Carry?

The answer to this question is that you can carry 14 golf clubs in a bag as outlined by the USGA.

Now that you are aware that 14 is the maximum being stated, there are no policies controling the makeup of your adjusting clubs. So if you wish to lug 4 wedges , you are free to do so.

14 Club Rule In Golf

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.

The Golf Clubs that you will typically carry are:

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

Pitching Wedge:

Sand Wedge:

Lob Wedge:

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.

Rules For Carrying Golf Clubs

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 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.

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.

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 additional club in his bag, bringing the overall he was carrying to 15 (as we know by now, too many!).

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.

How Many Golf Clubs In A Bag: In Summary

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. 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.