Number of clubs in a golf bag featured image

Number of clubs in a Golf bag

When you are new to playing golf, you get excited to learn new things. There are many important things to know as a beginner, and one of them is knowing about the number of clubs in a golf bag that you are allowed to carry.

The United States golf association (USGA) has set some specific rules and every golfer must stick to them. So, in this article, we will cover these rules about how many clubs you can carry in the golf bag. What are the penalties for carrying many clubs? and when can you use your partner’s clubs?

Number of golf clubs in a Golf bag and their types

According to USGA, you can have a total number of 14 clubs in your bag. This includes drivers, wedges, irons, putters, and hybrids.

  1. Driver
  2. Sand wedge
  3. Lob wedge
  4. Pitching wedge
  5. Gap wedge
  6. 3-wood
  7. 5-wood
  8. 5 Iron
  9. 6 Iron
  10. 7 Iron
  11. 8 Iron
  12. 9 Iron
  13. 4 hybrid
  14. Putter

For beginners, it can be a little frustrating to remember each and every golf club. Therefore, we have put together a comprehensive guide for you to remember each type of club right here. This will solve a lot of problems and initial confusion for amateurs who have just begun their game.

Number of Drivers in a golf bag

The driver is the very first club that a golfer reaches out for in a bag. It helps with hitting the ball off the tee on par 5s, par 4s, and also occasionally on par 3s holes, in case the golfer has slow swing speed.

The trajectory of the ball hit with a driver is usually medium to high and rolls out very nicely on the green. However, keep in mind that you can always count on a driver if the fairway has many hazards. Typically, for male golfers, the average distance of a driver is 230 yards, and for females, it is around 200 yards.

Golfer with driver

Number of Wedges in a golf bag

The wedges are used for high shots that are needed to be made near the green or the sand bunker. There are four types of wedges in particular, so let’s discuss these, one by one.

Sand wedge

This wedge is used to get the ball out of the sand bunkers which are sunken areas of the golf course, filled with sand. Designed with a wide sole, this club glides through the sand, rough, or mud.

Pitching wedge

If you see an obstacle in your way, for instance, a small plant or a bush, you can use this wedge to get a higher shit and lift the ball. It can also be used on the sand in case the ball is on the surface.

Gap wedge

This wedge acts both like the sand and the pitching wedge. This means that you can hit a shot that is higher and shorter than that of a pitching wedge, but also longer and lower than that of a sand wedge.

Gap Wedge Golf club

Lob wedge

Lob wedges are quite interesting, considering their L-shape. These act similarly to pitching wedges and help with hitting the ball over obstacles, as the ball leaves the ground in a straight high arc, helping it climb over any hazard in the way.

Number of wood clubs in a golf bag

As we move from a 3-wood club to a 5-wood, we get a higher loft. The loft helps determine the angle and trajectory of the shot. In simple words, take into account a good rule of thumb, according to which, the higher the golf club number, the higher the loft and thus shorter the club shaft.

This club is used in the second shot of the play, and you can hit the ball with it sitting on the fairway.

Number of Irons in a golf bag

If you are ever in a situation, where you are around 200 yards from the green then you can use another rule of thumb. According to this rule, the closer you are to the green, the higher the number of Irons you can use from 5-9 Irons. The higher-numbered Irons are easier to hit compared to the lower numbers, which makes them very likable among senior golfers.

Number of Irons in a golf bag

4 Hybrid

When you think about the term “Hybrid”, you instantly understand that it is a cross between two different things. So, with this hybrid club, you get a combination of an iron-length shaft and a wood golf head design.

This club can be sometimes used instead of the 4-wood club. Typically, most hybrids work similarly to their wood and iron counterparts, but another thing that you should definitely look out for is the loft of the club.

The hybrid clubs are easier to hit and give good performance in terms of accuracy and distance.


Finally, we have a putter, and it is the 14th club in a golf bag. It helps around the location of the flagsticks and holes, to put the ball into the hole.

So once the ball is in close proximity to the hole, you don’t hit it with a club, you simply use the putter. In miniature golf courses, they help to give smooth shots which roll the ball right into the hole.

Number of clubs in a golf bag and penalties for carrying more than 14

Now you know about the number of clubs you can carry in your golf bag. Let’s talk about two penalties that you can face on the golf course! These penalties depend on the type of game you are playing.

Irons in a golf bag

Match play

You can face this penalty if you are using an extra club during a match play, and it results in a deduction for that particular hole.

Stroke play

This one is somewhat more severe than Matchplay. For using an extra club, you will be enforced with two strokes per hole on which the extra club is used. The maximum number of strokes enforced can be up to 4.

Worst penalty in history

During the 2001 open championship at the Royal Lytham & St. Annes., the most notable violation of the penalty occurred when Ian Woosnam scored a birdie at the opening hole resulting in a tie for the lead with only 17 holes to play. Unfortunately, that did not last!

When Ian made it to the second tee, he realized that he had an extra wood club in his bag. So, after the assessment, he faced a two-strike penalty and fell into a tie for 6th. This eventually ended when he finished T3.

Can you use your partner’s golf clubs?

After knowing the rules of golf regarding the extra clubs in your bag, you must be wondering if, by any chance, you can use your partner’s clubs. Well, the simple answer is no! because that’s clearly against the rules.

the number of clubs in a golf bag is set to 14, but if you want to use your partner’s clubs during a friendly match, then you can do so. However, when it comes to professional games, it is a big no. All the players must use their own clubs to score and avoid penalties.


As a professional golfer, the final combo of golf clubs in your bag will depend solely on your skills, playing style, and the condition of the course. But the most important thing is to know your skill level and make sure you have got a shot in any situation. Therefore, choose your golf clubs wisely because it’s going to be a baseless decision to carry a lot of clubs that you cannot hit with and thus never use.

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