If you’re new to golf, the different golf clubs and what each of them does might be overwhelming at first.
On top of that, you may be wondering how many golf clubs you can carry and which clubs you should carry!
In today’s post, we’ll cover everything you need to know so you can have the right golf clubs with you and not have to worry about getting a penalty or having the wrong clubs with you.
Here's What We'll Cover
How many golf clubs are you allowed to carry?
According to the USGA, you’re allowed to carry up to 14 clubs in your bag. There are no restrictions on which clubs you can carry, you may carry multiple putters, drivers, or an opposite-handed club.
If you’re playing a casual round, nobody cares if you carry more than this, but it’s best practice to keep a maximum of 14 clubs in your bag at any given time!
Is there a penalty for carrying too many clubs?
The penalty for carrying over 14 golf clubs in your bag is two strokes for each hole where the rule was broken.
So if you’re carrying 15 golf clubs in your bag and don’t realize until Hole 2, you’ll receive a four-stroke penalty.
Luckily, that’s the maximum amount of strokes you can be penalized for having too many clubs, so it won’t get worse than that!
And if you’re playing match play, it’s a one-hole penalty, instead of losing the hole you’re currently playing.
Which 14 clubs should you carry in your bag?
Each golfer has their personal preferences on which clubs to carry in their bag, but here’s a general guideline for which clubs to carry.
- 3 Wood
- 5 Wood
- 4 Iron (or hybrid)
- 5 Iron (or hybrid)
- 6 Iron
- 7 Iron
- 8 Iron
- 9 Iron
- Pitching Wedge (PW)
- Gap Wedge (GW)
- Sand Wedge (SW)
- Lob Wedge (LW)
You can easily replace one of your wedges with a 3 Iron (or hybrid) if you desire, it all comes down to preference, and only you know which clubs you need and don’t!
And if you need help keeping your golf bag organized, our step-by-step guide will help you out.
Can you and your partner share golf clubs?
You and your partner are not allowed to share golf clubs during a round.
If you’re playing a casual round with friends, it’s no big deal, but if you’re playing in a tournament or competitive setting, it’s a no-go.
You shouldn’t do this anyway, since each golfer should be using different length golf clubs sized for them.
Is there minimum number of clubs you can carry?
You can carry as few clubs as you wish without risking a penalty.
If you’re looking to re-enact Tin Cup and play with only a 7 Iron, have at it!
Can I add or replace clubs to my bag during a round?
No, you cannot change, or replace any of your clubs during the middle of a round.
But, you may add clubs to your bag during a round if you started with less than 14; so if you started the round with 12 and wanted to add 2 more throughout the round, that is allowed.
If you’re playing in a multiple-round tournament, you are allowed to switch your clubs in-between the rounds.