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How Many Clubs In A Golf Bag

If you’re a beginner to golfing, you might want to find a definite answer to “how many clubs should I have in a golf bag” and “what golf clubs should I carry”.

Even for an experienced player, this is equally important to know. The rules regarding how many golf clubs are in a bag can be overlooked sometimes.

In this article, you will find the answer to the maximum amount of clubs you should bring in your golf bag for the play or tournament.

To be short, you can carry 14 clubs in your golf bag according to USGA (United States Golf Association). Carrying more than 14 clubs in your bag during a round is officially forbidden.

Let’s read the Rule No. 4 the Rules of Golf (The Players’ Equipment)

Rule 4 covers the equipment that players may use during a round. Based on the principle that golf is a challenging game in which success should depend on the player’s judgment, skills and abilities, the player:

• Must use conforming clubs and balls,
• Is limited to no more than 14 clubs and normally must not replace damaged or lost clubs, and
• Is restricted in the use of other equipment that gives artificial help to his or her play.”

Is there minimum number of clubs you can carry?

There is no “minimum” for the amount of clubs you can carry, only a maximum (14).

Why the limit in golf clubs?

In the history, the early 20th century, the experienced golfers who played tournaments used to carry 20-25 clubs in their golf bags. But now it has been changed.


The reasons to set the 14 clubs limit in a bag are as below:

1) to make players become more creative with course maneuvers and allows for more creative shots

2) to keep the golf bag lighter to carry around (14 is already heavy)

3) to cut the cost for players as golf clubs can be very expensive 

Penalties for Carrying More than 14 Clubs

Remember to always count your clubs before going to a competition or a tournament. Because there will be penalties for excess clubs.

According to USGA, golfers in violation of the club limits will be declared out of play. The penalty depends on the type of your game.

In match play, one hole from your score will be deducted if you use the 15th club on this hole. You can get up to two holes deduction in match play.

In stroke play, the penalty you can get for excess clubs is two strokes for each hole where the extra club was used. The maximum penalty is up to four strokes per round.

What are the common 14 clubs in a golf bag?

Golfers have the discretion to choose their 14 clubs. Most golfers carry these 12 clubs in their golf bags:

(1) driver;

(2) 3-wood

(3) 5-wood

(4-11) 3-iron through 9-iron

(12) putter

The final two clubs to complete the 14 depend on your preference and personal needs. Keep in mind, you can always customize your own clubs to take to the play, this common combination does always suits everyone.

Can I add clubs to my bag during a round?

Yes, you are permitted to add more clubs to your bag during a round, provided that you have less than 14 clubs. For example, if you start a round with 12 clubs, you could add 2 more clubs without penalty at any point.

But remember that you cannot violate any other rules in the process to get this opportunity. Also, you can change your club setup in between tournament rounds.

Can you use another player’s club to play?

No, you can not use any other player’s clubs during your round of golf. You would be in breach of the rule of maximum 14 clubs in the bag. To use another golfer’s club, it can only be before or after playing the golf course.

Here are some more rules you might find interesting:

So, you and your partner can carry both of your clubs in one single bag
Although both of your golf clubs stay in the same golf bag, you can’t use each other’s club
And, you have to identify which clubs are yours and which are your partners.
No one is allowed to carry an extra club for you in their bag if you already have 14 clubs

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