You can have 14 clubs in a golf bag during a regulated event according to the rules of golf. You would be penalized for carrying extra clubs, but there is no penalty for carrying fewer clubs. However, if you are simply playing a round of golf with your friends, you can have as many as you like. The rule is called the 14-club rule.
Whether you are like professional golfers playing on an official golf tour or a mere mortal playing in a scramble at your local course, you will need to know how many clubs you can carry in your golf bag.
As someone who has directed golf tournaments and had to penalize players for carrying too many clubs in a stroke play event, I can tell you that it is very important to make sure you have the correct amount in your bag.
Below I will go over what the typical golfer carries in his/her bag.
What Is In The Typical Golf Bag?
- Fairway Wood
- 4 Iron – 9 Iron
- Pitching Wedge
- Gap Wedge
- Sand Wedge
- Lob Wedge
What Are The Different Clubs Used For?
The driver is the club used to hit the ball off of the tee on Par 4’s and Par 5’s. It is the club that you can hit the furthest and some (including Arnold Palmer) would say it is the most fun to hit!
The fairway wood most commonly used is a 3 wood. Some players carry a 5 wood and nowadays even some PGA Tour pros are starting to carry 7 woods. The fairway wood is great to hit off the tee on Par 4’s and Par 5’s for more accuracy than your driver, or to hit off of the fairway into a green.
A hybrid is a club that is like a mixture of a long iron and a fairway wood. Hybrids are easier to hit then a long iron, like a 3 or 4 iron. Beginners to the game should probably all carry a hybrid instead of a longer iron, but the is a topic for another time.
4 Iron – 9 Iron
Your irons are used for shots from the fairway into the green, as well as off of the tee on Par 3’s. These are the clubs you will be using out of the fairway and also from the rough (hopefully not too often). Your 4 thru 6 iron is considered your long irons and your 7 thru 9 irons are your short irons. It is important to choose the right clubs for each shot on the golf course.
Your pitching wedge is typically used just like your other irons, just from a shorter distance. You can also choose this club around the greens to play a low chip shot that will have some roll out on it.
The gap wedge got its name because it fills the gap in distance between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. Most players use this wedge for full shots, but some also use it for chips and pitches around the green.
The sand wedge is the club most golfers use for chips and pitches around the green. This club has a lot of loft on it so the ball should be able to stop pretty quickly after hitting the green. The sand wedge can be a go-to club for any golfer.
Now with this club having the word ‘sand’ in it you would think you might use this club most out of sand bunkers. That can definitely be the case, but there is another club that a lot of players prefer to hit out of bunkers, and that is the club we will talk about next: the lob wedge!
The lob wedge is the most lofted club in the golf bag and is great to have when you need to stop the ball quickly out of a bunker or if you have to carry a bunker. You can also play touch shots under 100 yards with this club.
The lob wedge can be tricky for the beginner to make great contact, so if you are just starting out there is no shame in just using the sand wedge for now.
The putter is the club you use to ‘putt’ the ball into the hole when your ball is on the green. This is arguably the most important club in your bag because it is, statistically, the club you are going to use the most during a round of golf.
Wrapping It Up
If you are a beginner to the great game of golf, and need more helpful content like this, check out our Beginners page. Read a few of our most recent articles here:
- Masters Winners
- Best Wedge For High Handicappers
- Best Driver For High Handicappers
- Best Hybrid For High Handicappers
- Best Putter For High Handicappers
How many clubs are in a golf bag?
You can have 14 clubs in a golf bag during a regulated event. However, if you are simply playing a round with your friends, you can have as many as you like.
How long does 18 holes of golf take?
Typically 18 holes take about 4.5 hours. For an in depth post on how long it takes click here.
Does the putter count in the 14 clubs?
Yes, the putter counts as one of the 14 clubs you are allowed to carry in your golf bag.