How many golf clubs are allowed in a bag?

Find out the magic number of golf clubs you’re allowed to have in your bag.

It’s 14. You’re allowed to have 14 clubs in your bag.

Did you know players used to play around a golf with 15, 20, up to 35 different golf clubs?

Now, you’re allowed 14 clubs in the bag in a tournament so it’s good practice to use this as a common rule of thumb for when you’re out on the golf course.

And it doesn’t matter what combination of clubs you choose. If you want 2 Drivers you can have that.

But what 14 clubs should you have?

This all depends on you as a golfer.

To determine which clubs should be in your bag. think to yourself:

  • What are my strongest areas
  • Where do I struggle
  • Do I know the gaps in between my clubs?

These are all important questions to ask because it identifies the clubs that you need.

Clubs every (well most) golfer will have in their bag.

  • Driver
  • 3 Wood
  • 6-9 iron
  • Putter
  • Pitching wedge
  • Sand Wedge

So there’s 9 clubs to get us started. Ok, so there’s going to be golfers out there who don’t carry one of these, but these are going to be the clubs which are bought most frequently.

Now it’s all about find which other clubs can complement your game. If you struggle hit low irons then totally ignore them, why bother have a 3 or 4 iron in the bag when you can’t even hit them?

People who struggle to use low irons replace them with hybrids because they are easier to hit. You want to find the degree on the hybrid to replace the lower irons.

Traditionally golfers would have a Driver, a 3 Wood a 5 Wood and perhaps even a 7 Wood.

What’s the penalty for carrying too many clubs?

If you carry too many clubs it’s only natural you’re going to get a penalty for it. If you go 18 holes with too many clubs you there’s a 2 shot penalty on each hole. Thankfully it’s only up to a maximum of two holes so the maximum penalty is four strokes.

If you realise mid way through the 1st hole then assess after the 1st hole is over.

Or if you’re walking to the second tee and realise you’ve got an extra club the penalty will be applied to hole you just played.

What happens if my putter or driver breaks, can I borrow my playing partners?

If one of them breaks, it’s going to be unfortunate because it’s not possible to use a playing partners clubs.

[New Rule]

It’s now possible to add to your bag mid round. If you start with less than the 14 clubs permitted, on any hole you can choose to add a new club as long as it doesn’t go over 14 clubs.

Examples of players who’ve broke this rule

In 2001 Ian Woosnam was aiming to win the Open Championship. When he was walking to the 2nd tee he realised there was an extra club in the bag, dropping in to position 6.

In 2013 Woody Austin got a four shot penalty and this was during a PGA Championship. It wasn’t until the 3rd hole he realised he had an extra club in his bag.

Do i have to have a driver in my golf bag?

No, many beginners and even regular players fear the driver because it's size can make it hard to use.

I'm really bad will low irons, what should i do?

Find an equivalent hybrid (get testing some out) for a club with a similar degree but easier to hit.

Can you use more than 14 clubs to practice?

Yes, if you're just practicing load your bag with as many clubs as you can carry.


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