If you’re heading out for a game of golf and you’re packing your golf bag you may be wondering – How many clubs in a golf bag?
You may be surprised to know that this is actually an important question as a player could incur penalties if they ever exceed the maximum number of clubs in their golf bags.
We’ve done extensive research and gathered the official rules on how many clubs are allowed in a golf bag for you. We’ve also provided a list of the BEST clubs to bring with you when you’re a beginner at the game.
Here’s how many clubs go in a golf bag and everything you need to know about your golf club setup when you’re heading to a golf course.
How Many Clubs Can You Have In A Golf Bag?
The United States Golf Association and The R&A ruled that the maximum number of golf clubs you can have in a bag is 14.
You can find the official ruling stated in Rule number 4 of the Players Edition Rules Of Golf.
How Many Golf Clubs Are Actually In A Golf Set?
Most golf sets come in a set of 12. However, depending on the golf set you buy, a standard golf set can consist of anywhere between 8 – 14 clubs.
For example, the Strata Golf Set, (known for being an excellent starter golf set), consists of only 9 clubs in total. The set consists of a putter, driver, 5-hybrid, a pitching wedge, 3-wood, no. 6 to 9 iron, a stand bag and 2 head covers.
This set consists of a driver, a wood, a hybrid, four 6 – 9 irons, a pitching and sand wedge, a putter, a stand bag and three Head Covers.
What Golf Clubs Should You Carry In Your Golf Bag?
Knowing how many clubs you are permitted to carry in your bag during a game might have you wondering which clubs can benefit you the most. To help you excel on the golf course, we’ve prepared a list of the names of the most common golf clubs you should be carrying in your bag, especially as a beginner.
In addition to getting your golf bags set up, check out our easy step-by-step guide to learn how to properly hold your golf clubs to get you started right away!
These clubs will get you far in your game and allow you versatility throughout a round.
1 Driver (12-degree Driver)
Drivers are usually used for hitting golf balls when they’re on a tee. They’re designed to get your ball to travel long distances. You should always carry at least one driver in your bag for these long shots. An amateur golfer should start out using a driver with 12-degrees of loft (also called a 1-Wood) as they are more forgiving to new players.
2 Wedges (A Pitching Wedge & A Sand Wedge)
Wedges are used for shorter-range hits. A beginner should have at least 2 wedges in their bag, a pitching wedge and a sand wedge.
1 Wood (3-Wood)
Woods are clubs that can be used for getting your golf balls off the fairway and even off the tee. You’ll be glad to have this on hand when you’re navigating your way on a course, especially as a beginner.
4 Irons (No. 6 – 9)
Iron shots are used for your shorter-range shots. Having a range of irons will help you get the loft you need to make a good shot. A general guide to choosing an iron is: The higher the number, the lower the number of yards it’s good for.
1 – 2 Hybrid Clubs
Hybrid golf clubs are clubs that combine features of both woods and irons. They have a head similar in shape to irons but with a larger sweet spot than a wood. They are extremely versatile clubs and are handy to have in your golf setup. However, it would benefit you to learn to wield them correctly as some people can struggle with using a hybrid club correctly.
A putter is a club used for putting on a green. To use a putter, you’ll have to hold the club at about waist height and swing the club back and forward along an arc that starts behind the ball and ends just ahead of the ball.
Do You Need To Have 14 Clubs In Your Golf Bag?
No, you don’t! You can have any amount of clubs in your bag, as long as it doesn’t exceed 14. Every player has their favorite assortment of clubs to carry with them. As long as you’re carrying no more than 14 clubs, you’re good to go!
What Is The Penalty For Carrying More Than 14 Clubs In A Golf Bag?
If you’re caught with more than 14 clubs, you’ll be penalized by two strokes for every hole where the rule breach occurred.
If you’ve only realised your situation in the middle of playing a hole, the breach will be reviewed when you’re done with that hole. And if you’re only aware that you’ve breached the rules between playing holes, the penalty will apply to the hole you most recently completed.
Basically, if you realised you have more than 14 clubs in your bag when you’re playing your second hole, you’ll get a penalty of four strokes. The good news is – there’s a cap on the penalty you can sustain for breaking this rule and the maximum penalty is capped to four strokes.
However, staying on top of what’s going on with your golf bag setup is still the best thing you should do to avoid any penalty altogether.
Is There A Minimum Number Of Golf Clubs You Need To Carry In Your Golf Bag?
There isn’t a minimum number of clubs you need to carry in your golf bag. Having less clubs in your bag doesn’t really pose as an advantage to you in any way so naturally there are no rules on the minimum number of clubs you need to carry.
Could You Get A Penalty For The Types Of Clubs In Your Golf Bag?
You may not carry any clubs other than those listed in Rule 4-1a unless otherwise specified in the Rules of Golf or approved by the Committee. You may carry three woods and two irons, but you may not carry six woods and seven irons.
Can I Add More Clubs To My Golf Bag While Playing A Round?
Good news – you can add more clubs to your golf bag during a round! If you’ve just started a new round, you can add additional clubs to your bag as long as the total number of clubs in your bag doesn’t exceed 14 clubs.
Can I Replace A Broken Golf Club During A Round?
You can only replace a broken golf club when your club has been damaged by an external factor or natural forces.
If you ever have a broken golf club during a round, you’re allowed to continue playing with your club or alternatively, you have the option of fixing your club during the round.
What About Changing Your Golf Clubs During A Round?
Unfortunately, once you’ve chosen your club for a round, you can’t swap it for any of your other golf clubs mid-play. So if you’ve stepped up with a club with a driver that’s too low and realised you may be better off using a club with a higher driver, you won’t be able to do anything about it during that round.
Am I Allowed To Use Someone Else’s Golf Club While Playing?
Interestingly, players are not allowed to use another players clubs while playing. This is interesting because players are actually allowed to share a golf bag to carry their clubs. They aren’t, however, allowed to use each other’s clubs.
If you really want to, be sure to do your golf club exchanges before or after playing a golf course.
Stories Of Players Who Got A Penalty For Carrying Too Many Clubs
You may be surprised to learn of an incident that happened to Woody Austin, a player who has won the PGA Tour FOUR times.
He unknowingly had more than 14 clubs in his bag and received a 4-stroke penalty. The incident that happened in 2013 serves as an important reminder to all of us. If this could happen to a pro player, it definitely can happen to us. We have to make sure we know what’s going on in our golf bag!
We may want to rely on a caddy to handle our golf equipment but being complacent isn’t worth the penalty we’ll get if we weren’t more vigilant.
What 14 Clubs Do Golf Pros Carry In Their Bag?
Professional golfers typically have the following 14 golf clubs in their golf bag.