How Many Clubs in A Golf Bag ?

Suppose you are new to the golf game and don’t know much about it. It would help if you first learned the basics of smooth playing. The first basic thing to start with would be, “How many Clubs should you carry in your Golf bag? 

A player is allowed precisely 14 clubs in a golf bag. However, some golf professionals have been penalized for taking too many clubs. Therefore, familiarize yourself with these basic things before practicing or playing professional golf.

Continue reading the below to learn more about how many clubs you can carry and other valuable information.

What is the Number of Clubs You Can Carry in Your Golf Bag?

What is the Number of Clubs You Can Carry in Your Golf Bag?

According to USGA and R&A, a player can carry fourteen clubs in his golf bag. These Clubs include the following ones:


Wedges are important clubs used by most golfers. There are different types of wedges for various reasons. The types of wedges include pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges, and lastly, lob wedges. Most professional golfers carry them all the time.


Drivers are the most important and common club found in most golfer bags. Their use comes in handy for hitting longer distance hits for tee-off. Therefore, drivers may be the first club a golfer puts in his golf bag. However, you would scarcely see their use on fairways.

5 Wood

The 5-wood clubs help determine a shot’s trajectory and length. They have a higher loft than a 3 wood, so they help in better fairway shots hitting. Their use is most common for hitting a second shot from the fairways.

3 Wood

A 3 wood helps when a ball falls between the greens and the tee. It helps the ball to travel further and lower from the closed-mowed fairway areas easily. Since their use helps acquire better accuracy, you can use them for tee-offs.

5-9 Irons

Use these irons around 200 yards away from the green side. Remember, the closer you are to the greenery, you’ll use irons in higher numbers. So, being a higher number, they are more favorite among senior golf players and even women golfers.


The putters are handy on the green to put the ball inside the holes. Instead of slamming the ball to get in the hole, use a putter to push it inside.

4 Hybrids

The 4-hybrids have a combination of designs. They have a larger head shape with a larger shaft length than 4-irons. Therefore, they help players with consistent swings, resulting in a higher speed for a greater distance.

Why Do You Limit the Golf Club Numbers in a Golf Bag?

Limit the Golf Club Numbers in a Golf Bag

At one time, professional golfers could carry around 20 to 25 clubs in their bags. However, it is no longer possible to carry this amount. The rule is now changed, as golfers could have a lot of options to hit a variety of shots. Therefore, the USGA and R&A changed the rule in 1938 and 1939.

Is there a Penalty for Carrying Clubs More Than 14?

The rule clearly states that a golf player must not have over 14 clubs. But why is that so, and what can happen if the limit exceeds it? A golf player can face penalties if found carrying over 14. The penalty would vary on the type of game being played at that time. These penalties include:

1. Stroke Play

It is the most severe penalty, where two strokes will be enforced against each hole the club was used for.

2. Match Play

In case you use a different club during match play. This penalty will result in a hole deduction from that match.

Taking Care of the Additional Clubs During Play

If you have an additional club more than the determined club’s quantity, you can take the below actions to rectify this issue immediately:

  • Inform your opponent of this mistake immediately
  • Turn that addition club upside down to mark it as an extra and not use it by mistake.

Is it Possible to Use Your Partner’s Clubs?

The simple answer will be No. You are not allowed to use your partner’s clubs. The golf rule prohibits players from using their partner’s clubs during a game. However, you may borrow and use your partner’s clubs during a practice match.

Carry Clubs Less Than 14?

Carry Clubs Less Than 14

Surprisingly, it is optional even to carry all 14 clubs counted. You can even carry clubs for less than this quantity. You can carry any clubs of want as long as they are below 14. Some professional golfers suggest that the minimum number of clubs needed is five only.

What are the Costly and Professional Golf Mistakes?

Carrying a number more significant than 14 clubs can become a professional and costly golf mistake. For example, Ian Woosnam’s caddie made the mistake of carrying an additional club in 2001 during an open championship match. Although Ian Woosnam still finished in third place, it was a costly mistake as he paid it with a two-stroke penalty.

Take Out the Additional Clubs From Play?

It is better to recheck your golf bag before the play starts. If, by mistake, there is an additional club there; you can leave it outside the play. Otherwise, it will cost you severe penalties. Therefore, always double-check your golf bag before leaving for the golf course.

Which Clubs Should I Have in My Golf Bag?

We already know the number of clubs should be at most 14. But, the type of clubs to be carried in a play always depends on the player’s experience and planning. Therefore, know your strategy and game and choose the clubs accordingly for better results.

What Clubs Do Most Average Golf Players Carry Around?

An average golf player mostly carries the below clubs:

  • Four wedges are: (Sand, Pitching, Lob, and Gap Wedge)
  • One Putter
  • One Driver
  • One Hybrid
  • The five Irons are: ( 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 Irons)
  • 2-Woods which are: (5 & 3 Woods)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It Possible to Carry Two Putters at a Time?

The USGA and R&A allow carrying two putters in your golf bag simultaneously. Therefore, you can carry two putters when playing a professional golf game. However, ensure the total clubs limit does not exceed 14. Otherwise, it can cause a severe penalty during that game, according to the game situation.

2. Can You Ask A Golfer About Which Club They Have Used?

No, you cannot ask a golfer which club they used to hit a shot. It usually happens on par three of a tee box where golfers try to hit the closest shot to the pin. So, you cannot ask a golfer about the club they are using.

3. Should I Be Carrying A 5-Wood or A 3-Wood?

Most golfers prefer carrying a 5-wood instead of a 3-wood. First, a 5-wood helps them better in hitting more fairways than a 3-wood. They have a shorter shaft and more loft, which helps in easy fairway shot hits.

4. Is It Possible to Carry Lesser Clubs?

Yes, you can carry any number of clubs as long as they are below 14. No minimum number of clubs quantity is set in the rules for compulsory carrying. You can even play the whole game with just a single club of your liking. No one would question it.

5. Who Decided About the Limit Of Golf Clubs There Should Be in a Golf Bag?

The USGA sets the rules and regulations about golf standards or playing. Therefore, the USGA set the maximum amount of clubs to fourteen in a golf bag back in 1938. Soon afterward, the R&A also implemented the same rule.

6. What Happens Upon Breaking a Golf Club?

Suppose a golf club gets damaged during a normal course of play. A player has two options, continue playing the rest of the game with that club, or they can repair it or ask someone else to repair it without causing a delay.

7. Is There a Minimum Amount of Clubs Set That You Can Carry?

No, there is no minimum limit of clubs that a player can carry. Therefore, you can carry or finish the game even with a single putter without an issue. However, there is a maximum limit that you must not exceed, which is 14. Otherwise, you will have to face severe in-game penalties.

8. Can You Ask A Golfer About Which Club They Have Used?

No, you cannot ask a golfer which club they used to hit a shot. It usually happens on par three of a tee box where golfers try to hit the closest shot to the pin. So, you are not allowed to ask a golfer about which club they are using.

9. Is It Possible to Alter Cubs During a Round?

A player cannot alter any golf club during a round. However, they can always repair it by themselves, ask someone else to do it without interrupting the play time, or continue using the same club.

10. Is It Possible to Replace a Damaged Club During A Round?

Replacements are not possible even if a player damages the club in anger. However, repairs by yourself or asking someone else to do it on your behalf are always permitted. Otherwise, you may have to continue using the same cub in that broken condition.

11. How Many Clubs are Allowed in a Golf Bag, Including a Putter?

A player can always add as many golf clubs as they’d like unless that limit does not exceed 14, including a putter. There is no fixed number of any specific clubs that a player should be carrying.


No matter which sport you are playing, there are always some rules and regulations set by its governing body. It is compulsory to follow those rules; otherwise, players or a team can face severe penalties. Similarly, USGA has set a limit of 14 golf clubs a player can carry during a game.

Any player taking more than the set limit will face severe penalties, as with Ian Woosnam, whose caddie miscalculated and carried an extra club. Therefore, as a golf player, always double-check your golf bag before leaving for the golf course.

Read more: 12 Best Hybrid Golf Bag

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