How Many Clubs Are Allowed In A Golf Bag?

You are allowed to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in your golf bag. That is the rule.

You can carry fewer clubs, but you cannot carry more than the maximum allowed which is 14.

The number of golf clubs you carry can be influenced greatly by the way you transport the bag around the course.

When carrying the bag on your shoulders it can become rather heavy and cumbersome if you are not fit. This can affect your round as you tire towards the end.

The question remains “how many clubs are allowed in a golf bag?”

How many clubs are allowed in a golf bag during tournament play?

Max 14. Carrying more than the legal number of golf clubs allowed comes with consequences. This varies between the type of game being played.

The Rules

Although the initial penalty called for disqualification, new penalties were adopted by the governing bodies.

The rules of golf as stipulated by both golfing governing bodies, the USGA and the R & A stipulate that you are only allowed to carry 14 conforming clubs in any sanctioned competition event or around that is counted towards your handicap.

The 14-club rule was adopted by the USGA in 1938 and the R&A in 1939.

Carrying more clubs than allowed or replacing clubs can result in the loss of a stroke in stroke play, loss of a hole in match play, or disqualification.

📋 Keep in mind: Understanding the rules and the sanction for using equipment outside the rules is extremely important.

How many golf clubs are allowed in a golf bag in casual play?

The definition of a casual round is when the score is not counted as competitive and not registered towards the calculation of your handicap.

There is no limitation on the number of clubs that you can carry in casual play.

The only limitation is the number of clubs you can fit in your bag and the weight that you can carry.

📋 Keep in mind: This provides you with an opportunity to test several options under course conditions.

Can you carry 15 clubs in golf?

The short answer is no. The rules are clear on the maximum number of clubs.

The legal golf club limit of 14 clubs includes all equipment that is used to execute a stroke on a golf ball. That includes drivers, woods, irons, wedges, and the putter.

There is no specific indication of how many of each club you can carry in the bag. It is allowable to carry two drivers or two putters.

📢 Need To Know: Phil Mickelson has carried two drivers on occasion thus enabling him to hit both a draw and fade.

A club damaged by you may not be replaced if it breaks during the round, but you may use the damaged club again. If there is a break in play due to weather or any other condition, repairs may be done providing it does not cause a delay in play. The original components must be used in the repair process.

Using a club that has been modified outside this rule may lead to disqualification.

📋 Keep in mind: Out of competition, rounds are not covered by the rules allowing golfers to carry any number of clubs.

Does the putter count in the 14 clubs?

Putters are included in the maximum of clubs allowed at the start of the round but there is no limit on the number of putters allowed.

What happens if a golfer has more than 14 golf clubs in their bag?

Carrying more than 14 clubs during match play can result in the loss of one hole if any additional club is put in play. The maximum penalty that can be applied is the loss of two holes.

Stroke play carries a penalty of two strokes for every hole up to a maximum of four strokes.

📋 Keep in mind: Should you remove the excess number of clubs after the first hole, the penalty will be limited to two strokes.

What are the 14 clubs in a golf bag?

There is no definitive requirement on the clubs carried in your bag. It all depends on the level at which you play and the confidence you have in hitting certain clubs.

There is no need to carry a driver if you are not going to use it. Nor does it add any value to carry four wedges in your bag if you can achieve the same results carrying only two.

Beginners do not have to add extra weight to their bag and carry a full set of clubs on their back. It is advisable to carry the clubs that provide maximum coverage and provide you with options when you are in between clubs.

A set of twelve clubs would be ample but you can get optimal coverage from even less.

What are the typical clubs in a golf bag?

Although most iron sets include a 4-iron, it is common for golfers to replace it with a hybrid.

The most commonly used clubs found in amateur golfers are

  • 1 x driver
  • 1 x fairway wood
  • 2 x hybrids (replacement for 3-iron and 4-iron)
  • 5 – 9 irons (5 irons)
  • Pitching wedge
  • Sand wedge
  • Putter

What 14 clubs should I carry?

Beginners may decide to leave the driver and fairway woods out of the bag until they have built confidence in hitting these clubs consistently.

As you grow in experience and confidence you can add more clubs to your bag. For more precision within 100-yard from the green, a wider range of wedges will benefit better golfers.

📋 Keep in mind: Better golfers frequently change wedges to accommodate the grind and bounce required on the type of course and the conditions that they expect.

What 14 clubs do pros carry?

Clubs used by professional golfers vary depending on the preferences and strengths of the golfer. Professional golfers that rely heavily on their short games may carry a wider range of wedges.

The most frequently used combination in professional golf consists of:

  • 1 x Driver
  • 1 x fairway wood
  • 1 x hybrid
  • 4 to 9 irons (6 irons)
  • Pitching wedge
  • Gap wedge
  • Sand wedge
  • Lob wedge
  • Putter

A minimum number of clubs in golf bag: Is There A Rule?

There is no minimum number of clubs dictated by the rules of golf. It may benefit you if you start a round with less than 14 clubs.

The rules allow for you to add clubs during the round if you started with less than the maximum of 14 clubs. Rule 4.1b(4) places some restrictions on this.


It is important to be acquainted with the rules of golf and restrict the number of clubs you carry.

It is beneficial to include the minimum clubs required to offer the maximum coverage and options on the golf course. With fewer than 14 clubs in your bag, you may add clubs should a club break while being outraged after a bad shot.

Remember that there is no limitation on the number of a specific club in your bag, only the total number of clubs that you carry.

If you have any feedback, please add it to the comments section below.


Can you have two putters in your golf bag?

Yes, you can have two putters in your golf bag. It depends on how you use them and how much weight you carry. You can also carry both of the same size and type, but you can’t have more than 14 putters at a time.

How many golf clubs are allowed in bags in Australia?

You can carry not more than 14 clubs in your bag in Australia at a time. There are no limitations on the kinds of clubs you can bring. For example, you can get left- and right-handed clubs and several putters and drivers.

How many wedges do pros carry?

Pros carry four wedges in their golf bag. The most commonly used wedge setups are sand wedge having 54° to 58° range, lob wedge with 58° to 63°, gap wedge ranging from 50° to 52°, and pitching wedge at 46°. As far as the direction of the loft is concerned, it all depends on players’ preferences. 

When did the 14 club rule start?

The 14-club rule was first introduced in 1938. Before that, golfers used to be able to carry as many clubs as they wanted. However, modern golfers are only permitted to carry a maximum of 14 clubs. Certain golfers choose to have less than 14 clubs.

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Charl is a full-time writer who has been with Golfible since 2019. He is an avid golfer and tech enthusiast. When not writing, he tries to squeeze in a round of golf or escape to the mountains.

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