How Many Clubs In A Golf Bag? Unwritten Rules Of Club Selection

Are you a golfer looking to optimize your game? One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need is a golf bag, but have you ever stopped to think about how many clubs should be in your bag? The answer may surprise you.

According to the rules of golf, a player is only allowed to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in their bag at any given time. This may seem like a small number, but you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any shot on the course with the right selection of clubs.

Choosing the right clubs for your bag can be tricky, and the number of clubs you carry may vary depending on your skill level, playing style, and course conditions. 

This blog post will explore the different types of clubs available and help you decide how many clubs you should have in your bag to improve your game.

5 different Types Of Clubs And Their Uses

There are several different types of golf clubs, each with a specific purpose and designed to be used in different situations on the golf course. Here are some of the main types of golf clubs and their uses:

#1: Driver: This is the club used to hit the ball off the tee on the first shot of a hole. Drivers have the longest shaft and the largest head of any club, allowing maximum distance and a high trajectory.

golf Driver

#2: Fairway woods: These clubs are used for long shots that are not off the tee. They have a smaller head than the driver but a similar long shaft. They are often used to hit the ball out of the rough or off the fairway and can also be used to hit the ball onto the green.

Fairway woods

#3: Irons: These clubs have a shorter shaft and a smaller head than woods, and they are used for a variety of shots, including tee shots, approach shots, and shots from the fairway or rough. The numbers on the irons indicate their loft, with a higher number indicating a higher loft and a shorter distance.

golf Irons

#4: Wedges: These clubs are similar to irons but have a higher loft, which is useful for shots that require a higher trajectory and more spin. Wedges are often used for shots around the green, such as approach shots, chip shots, and bunker shots.

golf wedges

#5: Putter: This club is used for the final shot on a hole when the ball is on the green. Putters have a flat face and are used to roll the ball into the hole.

golf Putter

In addition to these main types of clubs, a variety of other clubs can be used in specific situations, such as hybrids (a cross between wood and iron), long irons, and specialty wedges.

Ultimately, you might have a few variations of it based on manufacturers, but the basic concept remains the same. The right club choice will highly depend on your skill level and what you feel comfortable with.

If you are new to the game, it would be best for you to take an instructor’s help in choosing the right club set for yourself.

Reasons Why Golfers Carry 14 Clubs In Their Bags

The main reason golfers carry 14 clubs in their bag is that it is the maximum number of clubs allowed by the rules of golf. 

Golfers Carry 14 Clubs In Their Bags

Having 14 clubs in the bag allows golfers to have a more balanced and complete set of clubs and have options for every situation they might face during the round. However, there are other reasons like-

  • The rules of golf state that a golfer may carry a maximum of 14 clubs during a round.
  • Different types of clubs (woods, irons, wedges, and a putter) are used for various shots, and carrying 14 clubs allows the golfer to have options for every situation.
  • Having a more balanced and complete set of clubs can help improve the golfer’s overall game.
  • Golfers can select clubs that are best suited to their swing and playing style by carrying a full set of 14 clubs.
  • Carrying 14 clubs allows the golfer to fine-tune their game by adjusting their club selection to the course and weather conditions.
  • Having 14 clubs in the bag helps the golfer to make the correct decision on club selection in different situations; in turn, this can lead to better accuracy and overall performance
  • Extra clubs also allow golfers to switch out clubs if they are not performing well during the round.

How Having The Right Mix Of Clubs In Your Bag Can Affect Your Performance On The Course

Right Mix Of Clubs In Your Bag

Having the right mix of clubs in your bag can have a significant impact on your performance on the golf course. It is worth noting that having the right mix of clubs also depends on what type of golfer you are and your play style. 

A good way to start is consulting with a professional club fitter or a golf instructor and using that experience to work on adjusting the clubs in your bag to your personal needs. Here are a few ways that having the right clubs can help improve your game:

Distance control

Having a variety of clubs with different lofts and shaft lengths can help you control the distance of your shots more effectively. This can help you hit your approach shots closer to the hole, which can lead to lower scores.

Shot shaping

Having different types of clubs, such as wedges and fairway woods, can give you more options for shaping your shots. This can be especially useful when playing on a course with challenging greens or when trying to avoid hazards.

Course management

Knowing which club to use in different situations can help you make better decisions on the course.

For example, if you know that you can hit a 7-iron 150 yards, you can use that information to make club selection decisions based on the distance you need to cover to reach the green.


When you have a set of clubs that you are comfortable with and know will perform well for you, it can boost your confidence on the course. This can help you relax and play your best golf.

Note: It is important to keep your clubs in good condition; with regularly scheduled maintenance such as new grips, re-gripping, and professional club cleaning, you will ensure optimal performance from your equipment.

How To Determine The Right Mix Of Clubs Based On Your Skill Level And Playing Style?

How To Determine The Right Mix Of Clubs?

Determining the right mix of clubs for your skill level and playing style is important in improving your game. The type and number of clubs in your bag can affect your shot-making and overall performance on the course. 

A good rule of thumb for most golfers is to carry a driver, a putter, and a set of irons that includes at least a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. This will give you the basic clubs you need to play most golf holes.

A common set for intermediate to advanced golfers is a Driver, 3 wood, 4 hybrid, 5-PW, GW, SW, and a putter. That’s 14 clubs, which is the maximum allowed by the rules of golf.

It’s also a good idea to get fitted by a professional club fitter. He will help you determine what type of clubs would be best for you and ensure they are the right length, lie angle, and loft for your swing.

Here are some things to consider when selecting your clubs:

Skill level

As a beginner, you will likely want to start with a smaller set of clubs that are easy to hit and control. This might include a driver, a putter, a couple of irons, and a few wedges.

As you improve your skills, you can add more clubs to your bag to give yourself more options on the course.

Playing style

The type of player you are will also influence the mix of clubs you choose. If you’re a player who likes to hit a lot of fairway woods, you’ll want to have more fairway woods in your bag than a player who doesn’t use them as much.

Similarly, if you’re a player who likes to use a lot of irons, you’ll want to have more irons in your bag.

Gap between clubs

The gap between the longest club you can hit comfortably and the shortest one is important to consider. That will help you choose the right mix of irons and wedges to fill that gap.

Personal preferences

Finally, choosing clubs that feel good in your hands and that you enjoy using is important. Golf is a game of confidence; if you feel confident with a particular club, you’re more likely to use it well.

Note: Remember that you can always start with a smaller set of clubs and add more as you improve and get more comfortable with the game, and also, consider talking to other more experienced golfers for advice.

Rules Set Forth By The Usga And R&A Regarding The Number Of Clubs Allowed In A Golfer’s Bag

The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) are the governing bodies of the sport of golf, and they each have their own set of rules regarding the number of clubs that a golfer is allowed to carry in their bag during a round of golf.

The USGA’s rule is that a golfer may carry no more than 14 clubs during a round. The R&A has the same rule for professional competitions and for amateur competitions under their jurisdiction. 

Number Of Clubs Allowed In A Golfer's Bag

The Rules of Golf, which is jointly administered by the USGA and the R&A, state that a player is not allowed to carry more than 14 clubs in their bag during a round. 

However, if a golfer starts the round with less than 14 clubs in their bag and then replaces a club, they do not violate this rule.

However, there are a few exceptions to the 14 clubs rule for amateurs. For example, if a player has a physical condition or disability that affects swing, requiring additional clubs, players may be allowed to use more than 14 clubs.

image 24

It’s important to note that the 14-club rule applies only to the number of clubs a player carries during a round and not to the total number of clubs that a player owns or has available to them. 

Players can change their clubs between rounds, but they must comply with the 14-club limit during the round itself.

Penalties For Carrying Too Many Clubs And How They Are Enforced

There are some other restrictions on clubs that are allowed in the bag. For example, clubs are not allowed to have a spring-like effect, the shaft of the club cannot exceed a certain length, and certain types of clubs, such as square-grooved clubs, are not allowed at all.

In general, the rules are in place to ensure that the game is played on a fair and level playing field and that all players have a reasonable chance of success regardless of their equipment.

How To Maintain And Properly Care For Your Clubs?

Proper care and maintenance of your golf clubs are essential to keeping them in good condition, which will help you play your best golf. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your clubs:

Clean your clubs after each round

Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down your clubs, paying special attention to the heads. This will remove dirt, grass, and other debris that can affect the performance of your clubs.

Dry your clubs

After cleaning, make sure to dry your clubs thoroughly before storing them. This will prevent rust and other forms of corrosion from forming.

Store your clubs properly

Store your clubs in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in damp or humid areas, as this can cause rust and other forms of corrosion. It’s also a good idea to store them in club head covers.

Check for damage regularly

Check your clubs for any signs of damage or wear, such as bent heads, cracked shafts, or worn-out grips. If you notice any damage, it’s best to get it repaired as soon as possible.

Keep your clubs properly adjusted

Make sure that your clubs are adjusted for your height and swing. This will help you get the most out of your clubs and help you play your best golf.

Regularly re-grip the clubs

As time goes by, the grip becomes dirty and worn out. It’s recommended to re-grip your clubs every year or when they become dirty or worn out.

Protect your clubs during the travel

Use a travel cover or a protective case when traveling with your clubs; this will help protect them from damage during transport.

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How To Properly Fit Clubs And Test Them Before Making A Purchase?

Fitting clubs properly is an important step in ensuring that you will be able to play your best golf.

Properly fitted clubs can help you hit the ball farther, straighter, and more consistently. Here are some steps you can take to properly fit clubs and test them before making a purchase:

Step 1: Get your swing analyzed

Before you start trying out different clubs, it’s important to know the basics of your swing.

A professional club fitter or golf pro can analyze your swing and provide you with information about your swing speed, ball flight, and the type of clubs that would be best suited for your game.

Step 2: Test different shaft flexes

The flex of a club’s shaft determines how much the shaft will bend during a swing. Different flexes are designed for players with different swing speeds.

Softer flexes are best for players with slower swings, while stiffer flexes are better for players with faster swings. Make sure you test different shaft flexes to see which one feels most comfortable for your swing.

Step 3: Experiment with different clubheads

Different clubheads are designed for different types of shots. For example, a smaller clubhead is generally better for control, while a larger clubhead is better for distance. Try out different clubheads to see which one you prefer.

Step 4: Test different lofts

The loft of a club refers to the angle of the clubface. Different lofts are designed for different types of shots.

Higher lofts are better for short shots, while lower lofts are better for longer shots. Experiment with different lofts to see which one you prefer.

Step 5: Try different brands

Different brands of clubs can have different feel and performance characteristics. Don’t limit yourself to just one brand; try out several different brands to see which one you prefer.

Step 6: Take note of the Length, Lie, and Grip

Other factors to consider in club fitting are length, lie and grip size. Make sure that the length of the club is appropriate for your height, the lie angle is correct for your swing, and the grip size feels comfortable in your hands.

Note: Once you’ve gone through these steps, you should know the type of clubs that will work best for your game. Make sure to test the club on the course and see how it performs on the fairway, rough, and greens before making a final decision.

Final Thoughts

While 14 clubs may seem like a lot, it’s important to remember that each club is designed for a specific shot, and having the right club for the right situation can make a big difference in a golfer’s game. 

Ultimately, the key is to find a combination of clubs that work best for your individual swing and playing style. 

By taking the time to experiment and make informed choices about the clubs in your bag, you can take your golf game to the next level.