How Many Clubs Allowed In A Golf Bag?

A golf club is one of the most important pieces of equipment to play golf. If you are a beginner, it is very essential to know how many and what types of golf clubs are allowed in bags to play in any competition or tournament. 

In this article, we have answered how many clubs allowed in a golf bag? and provided some more information that will help you start the game.

After long research and analysis by the experts, this article is going to reveal the rules and regulations about carrying golf clubs. 

How Many Clubs Are Allowed in A Golf Bag?

How Many Clubs Allowed in a Golf Bag?

According to the golf association (USGA), a golfer can carry 14 clubs in his bag. The USGA and R&A, golf boards have strict rules on the use of golf equipment.

It even determines how many golf clubs you will have in your bag and what type of clubs you will have.

Rule no.4 the Golf Rules ( The Player’s Equipment): The equipment that can be used by a player is described in the rule no. 4.

Success should be depending on the player’s judgment, skills, and ability due to the fact that golf is a challenging sport:

  • Conforming clubs and balls must be used by a player,
  • A player can not use more than 14 clubs and usually damaged or lost clubs must not be replaced, and
  • Are limited in the use of other tools that give your play artificial help.”

Thus, in a nutshell, a player can carry a maximum of 14 golf clubs in his bag during a round but is not allowed to carry more than that. This rule was imposed by the USGA in 1988 and adopted by the R&A in 1999.

Some golfers do not want to follow this rule. In the 20th century, an experienced golfer could take about 25 clubs in a single round because of the shaft structure. But now the structure of the shaft has changed as well as the rules of the equipment.

There are several types of golf clubs in a golf bag. Basically, clubs have five categories. They are woods (including the driver), irons, hybrids, wedges, and putters. According to the USGA, in a golf bag, you can carry: 

  • A putter
  • three kinds of woods ( driver, 3-wood, and 5-wood), and 
  • eight irons (3-9 iron and sand wedge, pitching wedge).

Rules of Playing Around with Less Than 14 Clubs

There is no rule in golf that a golfer cannot play with less than 14 clubs. So you can play using,8,10, or 12. But don’t play with just 14 clubs extra.

All over the world, golfers practice golf with clubs of their choice. You can even play with just the driver or the putter in one round if you want. 

Adding Extra Clubs During a Round

According to the new rules of USGA, if a golfer brings less than 14 clubs in a round, then he can add more clubs in his bag during the round.

For example, if you start playing with 12 clubs during your round, you can pick up two more clubs at any one time in that round.

And you won’t get any penalty for this. But remember, you can never take more than 14 clubs by violating the rules.

Penalty for Carrying Extra Clubs in a Golf Bag

How Many Clubs Allowed in a Golf Bag?

If you bring more than 14 clubs in a golf bag while playing, you have broken the rules. And for this, you have to pay a penalty. So, don’t forget to take the clubs in your golf bag when preparing for any tournament.

If you have 15 clubs, you will still have to pay a fine. Basically, the punishment for taking the club out of the rules depends on how you are playing the game. Let’s find out what they are : 

Match play: In the case of match play, the penalty is basically a hole. If you carry more than 14 clubs, the penalty is that if you use the 15th club in this hole, a hole or two will be dedicated from your score. 

Stroke play: In stroke play, if you break the rules, you will get two strokes for each hole as punishment.

More precisely, if you have 15 clubs in your bag and you start playing the second hole without noticing it, you will get a four-stroke as a penalty.

Many players have broken this rule before. For example, In 2001 Ian Woosnam wanted to win the Open Championship.

When he was walking in the 2nd Tee-, he realized that he had an extra club in his bag which caused him to be punished and his position came down.

Again in 2013, a player named Woody Austin received a four-shot penalty during the PGA Championship.

Reduce Extra Clubs

Removing extra clubs from your golf bag while you play is not a very difficult task. When you go to play and understand that you have extra clubs that are fixed, take steps to remove the extra clubs as soon as possible. You can remove extra clubs in two ways. 

  • A way is to remove the club by notifying another player who is playing with you that you have broken the rules during break time. Then you will not have to pay a penalty.
  • Another way is to keep your extra club upside down in the bag.

Regulation on Using Partner’s Club

A golfer will not be able to use his partner’s golf club during his round. According to the rules of golf, a golfer is not allowed to do so during his round to create strokes. 

You can use your partner’s club just before or after the golf course. You can also carry 28 clubs for both you and your partner in the same bag. But you need to identify which clubs are yours and which ones are your partner’s. 

Keep in mind that your caddy or anyone else is not allowed to carry your extra club because there is no such rule. So you have to carry only 14 clubs.

Does It Matter What Kind of Club a Golfer Carry in his Golf Bag?

No, if a golfer keeps a golf club in his bag during his round according to the rules of golf equipment, then what kind of club he kept is not important. You can carry the club as per your choice.

Like you can carry one putter, five drivers, and 4 lob wedges if you want. This will not violate the rules made by the golf board.


Both golf bags and clubs are equally crucial for golf tournaments or competitions. But don’t take it as less important than knowing the rules of golf.

If you know precisely the rules of golf and golf equipment, then it will be clear to you how many clubs you can take in your golf bag.

Follow the rules and you won’t have to pay a penalty for the club. If you have any comments after reading this article, drop them here.