How Many Clubs Should You Have in Your Golf Bag?

Overview of Golf Bag

A golf bag is an essential part of the game of golf and is used to hold all the golf equipment and accessories needed for a round. A golf bag typically includes a number of pockets to store a variety of items, such as tees, golf balls, markers, tees, and other golf-related items. The number of clubs a golf bag can hold depends on the type of bag and the size of the clubs.

In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of golf bags and how many clubs they can hold:

Types of Golf Bags

Golf bags come in many different shapes, sizes and colors, depending on the clubs and items you intend to store. Three main types of golf bags are offered – carry bags, cart bags and staff/tour bags. All types of golf bag typically have similar features: pockets for storing equipment and accessories, sturdy construction for protection during transport, an ergonomic handle for a comfortable grip and shoulder straps for hands free transport. The size and number of pockets vary based on the type of bag.

Carry bags come in two main varieties: lightweight design (usually weighing around 5lbs) with a single shoulder strap that allows you to take it on the course by hand; or stand bags with retractable legs so they “stand” without extra support while playing your round. Carry bags usually hold less clubs than cart or staff/tour versions (typically 9-10 clubs max) but they are more portable due to their lightweight design. They fit into tighter spaces such as trunks, small cars or tight corners at home than other larger models—especially if you want something that’s easy to take on longer trips.

Cart bags are larger and heavier (sometimes up to 10lbs) compared to their smaller counterparts but offer more storage. Built with a center divider system—typically configured into 14 separate compartments—they have ample space to store all the necessary equipment: multiple woods, irons, wedges, umbrellas, putters etc., plus multiple pockets of various sizes for foodstuffs (water bottles or energy bars), accessories like tees or markers etc., handguns for wet weather occasions! They can also be placed into a trolley providing maximum convenience when traveling long distances around the course – from green-to-tee during your round!

Staff/tour level golf carry bags are preferred by professional players as these offer maximum convenience when traveling long distances around courses due to their extra-large size (many can weigh up over 20lbs), featuring 15+ individual compartments which provide ample space for up to 14-15 golf clubs plus lots of additional pockets designed specifically for cell phones, valuables and personal items such as water bottles etc..

Number of Clubs Allowed in a Golf Bag

When playing a round of golf, the maximum number of clubs allowed in your bag at one time is 14. This rule was enacted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA).

In addition to being restricted to a maximum of 14 clubs, some prohibitions exist regarding the type and specifications of those clubs. All players are required to carry at least five different types of golf club, including a putter and no more than 14 individual clubs in total. Each club should fit within certain parameters specified by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

  • The driver must have no more than 14-degrees Loft and have a clubhead volume not exceeding 460cc, while all other woods must have no more than 9-degrees Loft.
  • Furthermore, all irons must have flat soles with cavities designed for performance improvement, while all wedges must remain traditional V or U grooves or face designs approved by the USGA or other approved associations.

In order to ensure players adhere to these rules when playing professional tournaments or rounds of golf on courses requiring competition level play, it is important that loose clubs are not carried in pockets attached to the golf bag but instead stored alongside other official clubs in your set for convenience when packing away after play.

Types of Clubs

A golf bag typically consists of 14 clubs, which include drivers, woods, irons and wedges. You can also carry an additional putter, if desired. Each of these clubs is designed for a specific purpose and ranges in length, weight and loft. You'll need to understand the basics of each of these clubs in order to make the most of your golfing experience.

From hybrid clubs to pitching wedges, let's take a look at the different types of golf clubs:


Woods, or fairway woods as they’re sometimes referred to, are the longest-hitting clubs used in golf. They have a huge club head size which makes them easier to hit than irons when playing from the fairway. Woods generally come in 3, 5 and 7 numbers (3 wood, 5 wood, 7 wood) and often feature a low center of gravity to help promote maximum launch angle.

Higher lofts on woods can make them easier to hit than their metal woods counterparts, however lower lofted woods can be difficult for less accomplished players. Common fairway or wooden clubs that you should consider carrying in your bag include the driver (1 or 2 woods available in different levels of customization), a 3-wood and a 7-wood (or equivalent). Although using any more than this is really down to individual preference.


Irons are an important part of every golfer's bag, as they offer greater accuracy and control around the greens than other clubs. Irons come in many different shapes and sizes, and can vary greatly in loft angles. Irons have shorter shafts than woods, and are primarily designed for hitting the ball lower onto golf courses.

Most professional golfers carry at least five or six irons in their bag – typically a 3-iron through a 9-iron.

  • Mid-irons (4-6) are the most useful for hitting greens and fairways,
  • while long irons (2 & 3) are used for extra distance off the tee.

The wedge is also considered to be an iron; it's used to hit very precise shots from trouble spots like bunkers.


Hybrids are a newer addition to the club lineup and were specifically designed for distance and better accuracy than long irons. Hybrid clubs resemble a combination of both irons and woods. Their design creates a unique clubhead that is formed from stainless steel but with a larger face area than an iron, which increases the sweet spot or area of ideal impact.

A hybrid will usually have an even higher loft than its respective numbered iron, which means that they are more forgiving and result in a higher launch angle – making them perfect for getting out of difficult spots on the course. Hybrid clubs are generally numbered 4 – 7, and their length and lie angle will vary depending on the model chosen.


Wedges are a type of golf club used to play shots from tight lies, bunkers, thick grass, and other difficult areas. They vary in loft and clubs range from 46 to 64 degrees, which makes it the highest-lofted club in a golfer's bag. Wedges are available with various sole designs for better performance from different lies. Wedges typically have larger and more prominent grooves that help with spin and control around the greens.

When hitting a wedge shot, players should maintain a square clubface at impact by providing more of an upward hitting motion rather than sweeping at the ball. This way, you will minimize the risk of having your ball pull-hook or push-slice off-line.

Regulations for Golf Bag

Knowing the regulations for golf bags is key for any golfer looking to ensure they have all the necessary equipment for a successful round of golf. The rules from the United States Golf Association (USGA) stipulate that you can't have more than 14 clubs in your bag while playing a round. This includes the putter, so in effect, you can only have a maximum of 13 clubs other than the putter.

Let's dive into the regulations for golf bags:

Rules of Golf

Under the Rules of Golf, as governed by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A), you are allowed to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in your golf bag when playing golf. This includes all long clubs, such as woods and hybrids, and short clubs, such as irons down to the wedge. Exceptions to this include special circumstances where a golfer has been granted relief from specific rules.

The types of clubs can be mixed depending on preference and skill level. A player can have any assortment of woods, irons, wedges, hybrids or even putters in his/her bag; however the total cannot exceed 14 clubs at any given time during a round of golf. As an example: A golfer may carry seven woods, an additional six irons plus a 60-degree lob wedge. In this instance, the golfer would not be able to add anything else until one club is removed from their bag in order to stay within USGA rules.

If a golfer elects to take additional clubs on course they must store these additional items outside their golf bag (in another form of multiple club/bag device) or rent a trolley which would allow for more than 14 individual club compartments within one sports bag unit. Strict adherence must be followed if using a trolley for local competitions where specified rules for each event could over-ride USGA regulations with regard to maximum amounts permitted per tournament play round – so always check local tournament rules or regulations prior participating in interclub competitions or just social rounds in order not to be disqualified due incorrect equipment usage!

Local Course Rules

Golf bag regulations can differ from course to course, so it is important to check with the local professional or course rules before you set off for a round. Generally, the U.S. Golf Association's Rules of Golf allots a golfer to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in one bag and requires that every club be unique and solely used by that golfer.

In many courses, totally conforming to USGA regulations may not be required. Local or regional rule variations or suspensions can affect how many clubs you can use; however, all courses must ensure fairness and competitiveness with players carrying fewer clubs than the limit of 14 allowed. Amendements may include limiting how many woods or irons included in the golf bag, or prohibiting oversized drivers (400+ cc) while permitting them on other holes. Knowing your local rules prior to teeing off is imperative for gaining competitive advantage so that all players have an equal opportunity at success come tournament time.

Tips for Choosing Clubs

Choosing the right clubs for your golf bag can be a difficult decision, as the wrong choice can limit your performance on the course. The number of clubs you should have in your bag is 14, with a variety of different clubs that all serve a different purpose and have different characteristics.

Let's look at the different factors to consider when deciding which clubs to include in your bag:

Consider Your Skill Level

When choosing clubs to add to your golf bag, it is important to consider your skill level. If you are a beginner golfer, it might not be wise to try and fill your bag with all the latest and greatest clubs. It may be more beneficial for a beginner's game if they focus on getting the basics, such as a driver, some irons and possibly one or two fairway woods.

Intermediate players can benefit from purchasing a mid-range set of golf clubs that best suit their game and course conditions. They will also have more options with their purchase as these sets are often sold with multiple woods, hybrids, irons and wedges.

Advanced golfers can invest in more expensive sets of clubs and choose from individual models ranging from drivers to wedges that provide the most benefit to their game. This can help improve ball flight while also providing accuracy and control on shots around the green.

Choose the Right Shafts

Choosing the right shafts for your golf clubs is essential in finding optimal performance on the course. Shafts are responsible for transferring energy from your body to the club head, so they play a critical role in creating maximum distance. When selecting new clubs, consider some of the following factors to ensure you make an educated decision:

  • Stiffness: Are you a beginner or experienced golfer? Beginners will benefit from more flexible shafts while experienced players may need a stiffer shaft option.
  • Weight: Determine how much weight and flex you’re comfortable swinging with, then look for shafts that match up to those preferences.
  • Material: Different materials are used to create golf shafts – graphite, Kevlar, steel – each offering unique benefits and varying price points.
  • Length: If you’re unsure which length of club would work best as part of your set-up, it can be helpful to consult with a golf professional who can guide you based on specific body type and ball position.

Remember that the right set of clubs will not only help improve your game but will also give you increased confidence when taking shots out on the course. With this in mind, consider investing in quality golf equipment when making your next purchase; it could really give an edge over your opponents!

Try Different Clubs

When considering the number of clubs to take in your bag, don’t forget to also think about strategies for using them. Trying out different types of clubs during practice sessions is a good way to become aware of the advantages and disadvantages for each type. Taking too many (or even too few) clubs can hinder performance, so use this time to gauge your skill level and preferences for specific club types.

For instance, those who struggle off the tee may want to consider adding a driver and fairway wood or two that provide maximum results from longer distances. On the other hand, a sand wedge, lob wedge or gap wedge can help bring challenging shots back into play should you find yourself in trouble near the green. Some golfers even go as far as carrying a putter on their bag in order to double their putting chances while on the green.

At the end of day, deciding which clubs stay and go should ultimately come down to gauging what’s necessary for success on any given golf course. Knowing exactly how many and which type of clubs you need will help you be more confident when selecting and playing with your eventual selections over time.


The number of clubs you can legally carry in your golf bag on the course is limited to fourteen. While the rules don't dictate how many of each type of club must be carried, it's common practice for players to carry around fourteen clubs total. The usual make-up includes the following:

  • three (3) woods
  • nine (9) irons
  • one (1) wedge
  • one (1) putter

It's important to remember that all golfers are different, so feel free to alter your make-up of fourteen clubs as needed or preferred. Ultimately it depends on which clubs work best for you and your game.

On top of the fourteen clubs allowed in a golf bag on course, additional training or practice clubs may also be kept in a separate bag off course at any given time. These can certainly help improve feedback for different types of swings and shot shapes within a player's overall game.