Knowing how many golf clubs in a golf bag is important, especially if you’re playing in an open tournament or competition. The USGA, or United States Golf Association has put in place rules that many state and local associations follow regarding the number of clubs a golfer is allowed to carry around. If you carry too many clubs it can result in a penalty that can quickly ruin a match.
What are the Golf Club Limits?
According to the United States Golf Association, you’re only allowed to carry a total of fourteen clubs in your bag. This limit includes the following:
- Three woods
- Eight irons
These are the standard twelve clubs that you’ll find in most golf bags. If the player starts with fewer than fourteen clubs, they can add more clubs until they reach fourteen.
The USGA put rules in place that will require the player in violation of the club limit to have their extra clubs declared out of play. The extra clubs can be declared out of play by the opponent. The offending golfer will incur a two-stroke penalty for every hole where the club was used. Unfortunately, there’s also a four-stroke max penalty per round. A match play penalty will require the golfer to deduct a hole that was won for every penalty, with a max of two holes for each round.
Two Extra Clubs
Typically, when you choose golf clubs, you’re allowed to add a couple of clubs to the standard twelve in the bag. The extra two clubs can be a couple of wedges, including a sand or lob wedge, or it can be a wedge for your short game or a hybrid driver that you can use on the fairway. The sand wedge can help with difficult bunker shots, while the lob offers better lift.
The hybrid club features a combination of an iron and a wood, which helps to condense the number of clubs you carry. Some models look more like a three wood, while others look more like an iron. Hybrids are counted as one of the clubs in a bag, but they’re able to serve a wide range of purposes out on the green. Hybrids can be used as a replacement for a long iron, or they can be used off the tee. If you use a hybrid you can get rid of the three iron and a fairway wood, which will allow you to bring in another wedge.
Ask any golfer and they’ll tell you the game is complicated in a number of ways. In fact, the book of decisions on the golf rule book is much larger than the golf rule book itself. Because of this, many golfers aren’t very clear on many of the rules that govern this game.
However, one rule is very clear-you can only have a total of fourteen clubs in your bag.
There are no rules that can actually dictate the type of clubs you use in your set however, you can only have fourteen. Fortunately, you’re free to organize the clubs in your set any way you want, just as long as they don’t exceed the limit.
Choosing the Right Clubs
Hitting on the green is always a challenge, it’s what keeps us coming back for more. With the right gear, such as the Leupold GX 4i series golf rangefinder, you can easily determine the distance to the next flag. This helps to take a lot of the guesswork out of the game and it’s a tool that offers almost instant results, meaning a better score.
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Additionally, using the wrong type of club during a round can actually lead to golf shoulder pain or a more serious injury if you use too much power during the upswing.
If you have the basic clubs, then there are only five or six extra clubs you should consider that can really improve your game.
When it comes to finding the right clubs for your golf bag, this is usually more a matter of personal preference. Most players choose some variation of the standard set, including a single putter, a set of irons, and a driver. Many new golfers will simply use only the clubs that came in the original set.
But is this a good idea for your golf game?
The clubs you decide to use can go a long way toward what shots you can hit. If you often find yourself faced with shots that you don’t have the right club for, then you need to make some serious changes.
As you fill those fourteen spots in your bag, some of the clubs you choose will be pretty easy.
You need a putter and driver, there’s two spots gone. Next, you’ll definitely need a three wood. You should carry at least a set of irons that run from six through PW. This will count for around five clubs.
Totaling up your club count so far, you have eight, with six spots open.
Most golfers will fill those six spots with a combo of wedges, long irons, hybrid clubs, and fairway woods. The final mixture of clubs you decide on should depend on your skills on the course and your playing style, in addition to the type of course you normally like to play.
Many pros recommend adding a couple of wedges and three long clubs. If you were to go with fewer than two extra wedges or less than three long clubs you’d end up with a set that’s lopsided. This would make you vulnerable to a wide range of shots on the green. The goal here is to determine which types of clubs you use the most, which clubs you often need but never have, and how each club can help to improve your game.