how many clubs in a golf bag

The golf club is the main gear a golfer needs while playing a golf match. One golf club does not get the job for people who take golf seriously. Golfers may be required to carry different golf clubs. You might have even seen golfers carrying a bag containing multiple golf clubs. And you might have often wondered, how many clubs in a golf bag?

So, carrying multiple golf clubs is allowed. However, this doesn’t mean that golfers can have all the golf clubs they want. The number is limited to 14, but they are free to make any combination of different golf clubs. 

The number of golf clubs is restricted to ensure fair gameplay and maintain competitive integrity. R&A and USGA primarily govern these rules and regulations. 

In this article, you will learn more about golf clubs, the reasoning behind restricting the number of clubs to be carried at once, and how to make your golf club combo. 

How Many Clubs In A Golf Bag?

Rules regarding the number of golf clubs to be carried at once by a golfer are embedded in the USGA Rules of Golf, Rule no four, which concerns the player’s equipment. 

According to this rule, the maximum number of clubs a golfer can carry at once is 14. This rule must comply strictly, and non-compliance with this rule would bear consequences which will be described in this article further. So, how many clubs in a golf bag now?

Before these regulations came into force, pro golfers even carried more than 20 clubs. It would grant the golfers more shot-making opportunities. So, the 14 club regulation was imposed to prevent the golfers from getting any undue advantage. 

So, the legal requirement is that a golfer cannot carry more than 14 golf clubs at once. They are free to bring less and pick their preferred combo. 

How Many Club in a Bag: The 14 Clubs Golfers Are Allowed To Carry

clubs in a golf bag

According to the official golf rules, golfers can carry up to 14 golf clubs. This rule does not prohibit them from carrying any specific type of individual golf clubs and making their preferred combination. 

Different types of golf clubs exist to serve other purposes. Some golfers need more power to send the ball to a relatively far away hole. Sometimes they need precision to direct the ball to the hole accurately. 

Even though amateur or professional golfers know what club does precisely what, it can get very confusing for beginner golfers – it’s recommended to use between 8 to 12 clubs. 

There are some essential clubs that every golfer should consider while making their preferred golf club combo. They are:


The driver is a part of the woods category of golf clubs. It is also known as 1-Wood. 

Out of all golf clubs, this has the longest body. It also supports the largest head. This body type allows the golfers to swing it very fast and very hard for the longest shots. A long shot ensures a great start for any par hole.

The driver’s job is to send the ball as far as possible. It is used for the first stroke for par -4, par -5 holes, and sometimes longer par -3 holes. 

Fairway Woods

Like the driver club, fairway woods is another member of the woods category. 

Unlike the driver club, fairway woods have a short shaft and a smaller body. It maintains a similar structure to the driver, except it’s smaller. 

Fairway woods are mainly used for the first shots like a driver but in shorter par -4 or long par-3 holes. It can be used for the second stroke of short par -4’s or par -5’s. 


Irons are a golf club that ranges from number 3 to number 9. These are known as long irons, medium irons, and short irons. 

Iron number 3 has the longest shaft with the least loft. It would allow the ball to travel further. Every number above 3 has a shorter shaft with more loft, meaning a ball would travel less distance if hit with a shorter iron. It means that the number 9 iron would have the shortest shaft with the smallest loft making it suitable for a minimal distance. 

Which type of iron club to use depends on the situation. The situation means how far away the hole is from the ball and how many shots are left, and other things. 

Compared to woods or drivers, irons club heads are pretty small but solid at the same time. There are hollowed-out clubheads that cut a bit of the weight. 


As the name suggests, it’s a hybrid between woods and irons. It’s a comparatively newer type of golf club that is an excellent choice for beginners. 

Iron clubs have some advantages and disadvantages, and so do woods. Hybrids take advantage of both iron and woods clubs and discard the downsides simultaneously. I would give you a near-perfect experience for different types of conditions. And as it’s easy to operate and wiggles little, it’s recommended for beginners. t


When the distance is small, and you need accuracy to make it to the hole, wedges are what you need. Wedges are great to pull off short distance accurate shots. There are four different types of wedges.

Pitching wedges are the most used of different types of wedges. These are used for approach shots and chip shots as well. The sweet range for using a pitching wedge is between 50 to 120 yards. 

If you get sand trapped, the best way to get out of it is using sand wedges. Sand wedges have a lot of lofts, so you can get the ball in the air and get out of sand traps quickly. It can also be used for rough shots. 

If the ball gets trapped in a rougher situation than the sand, the lob wedges are the last resort. The biggest loft will allow you to get the ball out in almost every case. 


The putter is the club you use to put the ball in the hole. It’s used to cover the shortest distances. 

The putter is used in special situations when the game is at the end where the ball is very close to the hole, and you can see yourself scoring the hole with one shot. 

Always remember that the putter is something that you will have to use quite often. Putters are available in different sizes and shapes, but they all do the same. 

While picking a putter for yourself, pick the one you feel the most comfortable with, as you will often use it. Pick the perfect one according to your height. 

Minimum Number Of Clubs

By now, you already know how many clubs in a golf bag. A golfer is not allowed to carry more than 14 clubs. However, there is no minimum limit even if there is a maximum limit set. It means that you can play around even with one club or a putter if you wish so.  

Individual Types Of Clubs To Carry In A Tournament

clubs in golf bag

As said, a golfer is not allowed to carry more than 14 clubs at once, according to the UGSA regulations. However, no regulation imposes any restriction on any specific type of club. So you are free to carry any club as long as the number does not cross 14. 

For a beginner, you might be confused about what clubs to carry and how to make a suitable combo. In this case, you can follow a commonly followed combination by professionals and amateurs, which is quite effective. 

You can follow the combination of 1 driver, 1 fairway wood, 1 pitching wedge, 1 sand wedge, 1 putter, 5 irons (5-9), and 2 hybrids. It makes a total of 12 clubs. The reasoning behind this is that you won’t need more than 1 driver, 1 fairway wood, 1 pitching wedge, 1 sand wedge, 1 putter. 

Out of all the irons, picking the iron 5 to iron 9 is a better choice because the two hybrids would make up for iron 3, and iron 4, which is not included here. These two hybrids also act as a wood replacement, so carrying 2 hybrids is a smart pick. 

You can also add a lob wedge and a gap wedge for the short-distance precision shots, but it’s not super necessary for beginners. These are more professional or experienced player picks. After playing for a while, you can always add your preferred club and remove some to make the perfect golf club combo for yourself. 

Consequences of Carrying More Than 14 Clubs

How many clubs in a golf bag? Not more than 14! The rule is that a golfer cannot carry more than 14 clubs at once. As it is an established rule, there is a consequence or penalty in non-compliance with the rule, meaning having more than 14 clubs. 

In the early days, breaking the 14 club rule resulted in disqualification. However, some people consider this rule too harsh, which was revised by introducing a penalty instead of disqualification. According to the new regulations, if a player breaks the 14 club rule, it will lose two strokes per hole. 

You will get a chance to remove the extra clubs after losing two strokes for the first hole. If not, you will lose a maximum of 4 strokes per hole. The penalty will not exceed 4 strokes per hole. 

The penalty for carrying more than 14 clubs is stringent, and there’s no chance to take it lightly. Moreover, the penalty may vary from match to match or competition to competition, so it’s better to check the rules beforehand. 

The Procedure Of Removing A Club

If you notice by any means that you are carrying one or more different clubs than the maximum limit of 14, you can take it out of the play following the proper procedure. 

There is nothing much for taking clubs out of play. If you carry more than 14 clubs, that amounts to a violation of rule 4. Once you have noticed that you violate the 14 club rule, you must immediately take action indicating each club you are taking out of play. 

This rule means that immediately after you have noticed the violation, you must expressly do an action that would indicate the other players of the specific club that you are taking out of play. It can also be done by turning the club upside down in front of any other player. 

Can You Use Your Partner’s Golf Club?

As said earlier, golf equipment or golf club rules are stringent, and it’s strictly prohibited to use your partner’s club during a match. 

The concerned rules do not forbid you and your partner from sharing the same bag to carry golf clubs. It still does not mean that you can use each other’s clubs. Before every match, each club must be identified regarding which player it belongs to. So, you cannot bypass the 14 club rule by using any extra club belonging to your partner. 

You can always test or check out your partner’s club before or after the game in the range. But you can’t do it in the middle of a match. 

Can You Add Clubs To The Bag During A Round?

You might have less than 14 clubs in situations or simply forgot to include all the clubs in your bag. You can add the missing club according to the new rules in these situations. 

For example, you carried 12 clubs without knowing that you have less than 14 clubs. The rules will allow you to add clubs as long as it does not exceed 14 clubs, or in this case, 2.

Conclusion: How Many Clubs In A Golf Bag?

Golf is an exciting game, and golf clubs are the leading equipment to play golf with. Even though it seems simple, there are many rules regarding carrying and using golf clubs that the players must comply with to ensure fair gameplay and maintain competitive integrity. So, how many clubs in a golf bag? The number could be anything from 1 to 14, but not more than that!

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