How Many Golf Clubs Can You Carry in Your Bag?

How many golf clubs can you carry in your bag? This question comes up quite often, especially, among learners. We want to have as many golf clubs as we wish. However, there are rules regulating the number of golf clubs one can have in their bag.

How many golf clubs can you carry in your bag?
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Of course, these rules apply mainly to competitions and tournaments. According to the United States Golf Associations, one can only have 14 clubs in their golf bag in a match.

The governing body has also set several other rules which we shall address later on a different discussion (so, stick around).

What would happen if one has too many golf clubs in a bag? Well, this could result in one being penalized. Of course, you wouldn’t want that, would you?

How many golf clubs can you carry in your bag?

This is a broad topic. However, the number is 14 clubs, as stated above. But, is there leeway? Well, we shall look at that in detail below.

Like earlier stated, having too many clubs could lead to disqualification or penalization. However, getting facts straight helps one get everything in detail.

Let’s look at some of the concepts involved when it comes to the number of golf clubs permissible in a tournament!

Club Limits

As stated, the United States Golf Association allows just 14 clubs in a bag. The rule goes further to even state the types of clubs allowed and their numbers.

For instance, you can have three woods (driver, 3-wood, 5-wood), a putter, and eight irons (pitching wedge and 3-9 iron). These are 12 clubs in total. However, the player is free to add the clubs to 14.

Is there a problem if you have less than 14 clubs? Well, there isn’t any problem with the rules. However, having more clubs would be in the player’s best interest.

For that reason, club limits are set at 14 clubs per player. However, having fewer than 14 wouldn’t be wrong according to the rules. After all, one is free to add more to make a total of 14 clubs.

Can I borrow golf clubs?

Can one borrow clubs in a game? Well, in the year 1998, the United States Golf Association set a rule for a player to borrow clubs from other players. However, once the club is borrowed, it should be used throughout the remaining session.

However, this rule was short-lived. In 1992, the rules changed. With the new rules, one could only borrow more clubs from their partner.

The 1992 rules still hold to date. For that reason, you can’t borrow clubs from people who aren’t part of your team as of now.

But at least, you can get one from your teammate in a tournament!

What are the penalties for excess golf clubs?

Once a player violates the rule on the number of golf clubs permissible, they face disciplinary action. So, what happens?

Well, first, the penalty is assessed on various parameters. For instance, the officials look at the popular stroke and the match format.

According to the United States Golf Association, any player who is found guilty should be discontinued from the play.

At the same time, the club is also declared out of play for the opponents and the fellow competitors. With each hole where the extra club was used, the player gets a maximum penalty of four strokes.

What does this translate to? Well, the player deducts each hole he/she won for every penalty up to two holes per round in maximum.

In short, having extra clubs could have adverse effects on the player. Why would anyone want to take the risk, anyway?

Extra Clubs

In total, the usual club arrangement results in 12 clubs. However, one can add two more to make the number 14. In that case, which are these two extra clubs?

Well, you don’t just add any club you wish. There are rules for that. When adding extra clubs, there are various factors to consider.

However, one can add a hybrid driver. This one is perfect for use on fairways. You could also ass a wedge for short games.

Alternatively, you could also settle for two wedges as your extra clubs. The two wedges could include a sand wedge and a lob wedge.

What do the lob and the sand wedges do? Well, the lob wedge offers a better lift. On the other hand, the sand wedge works perfectly with tough bunker shots.

In short, you choose the two extra clubs depending on your interests but must be of benefit to you.

Are there hybrid golf clubs?

I also get this question quite often. The answer is a clear YES. Therefore, what is a hybrid golf club? These are clubs that combine iron and wood.

Hybrid clubs help in decreasing the number of clubs you carry in a bag. While some hybrids look like a 3-wood, others look like iron.

Although a hybrid golf club is counted as one in a bag, it serves various functions.

In that case, a hybrid eliminates the need for some clubs, offering more space for more beneficial options.

How to Carry a Golf Bag?

How do you carry a golf bag? Do you just throw it over your shoulders and walk away? Well, it isn’t that easy.

Although golf carts are available, most people prefer carrying their golf bags, for health benefits. A standard golf bag loaded with all the necessary gear and accessories would weigh between 15 to 25 pounds.

Carrying your golf bag is a real workout. However, sometimes people complain of some back pains. This is, perhaps, because of the poor carrying.

For that reason, how do you carry a golf bag? Well, I have a few tips for you on how you should carry your bag.

Before you even begin to think about carrying the bag, first adjust it while empty. How do you do that? Well, try putting it on and adjusting the frame to suit your body.

Pick it up, place it over your shoulders then adjust the straps to fit the shoulders perfectly. Of course, ensure you get a perfect fit.

After you have adjusted the straps, now load the clubs on the bag. How do you arrange the clubs? Well, start with the heavier and longer clubs. After arranging the clubs, also distribute accessories across the bag in the appropriate order.

Lower the dominant shoulder and the slip the strap up your arm. Ensure it rests perfectly and comfortably over your shoulder

While lifting the bag, use the handle for more support. Adjusts the straps for a second time to get a perfect fit.

Ensure the bag rests perfectly against your back. It shouldn’t be lower or higher. Of course, also ensure you walk upright.

How to carry a golf bag with one strap?

We previously addressed; How many golf clubs can you carry in your bag? However, it is also necessary to focus on how to carry a golf bag with one strap.

If possible, ensure you avoid carrying the bag with a single strap. A single strap could lead to muscular imbalances and injuries.

However, sometimes, a bag comes with a single strap. In that case, what do you do? Well. There’s a solution to that.

This might seem easy, but it doesn’t come with some challenges. First, ensure you make the necessary adjustments.

After making the necessary adjustments, you start loading the bag. This requires the utmost care. With correct loading, you get perfect weight balances.

Proper arrangement of the clubs also eliminates unnecessary bouncing as you walk. Having addressed

After making the right arrangement, you should also make the final adjustments. This happens as you place the bag over your shoulders.

How long should you carry a golf bag?

Professionally, I advise most players to carry the bag for 30 minutes to determine whether it’s comfortable or not. If not comfortable, re-arrange the clubs to suit your needs.

While carrying a golf bag with one strap, ensure you reduce strain on the neck. How do you do this? Well, you should carry it with your legs.

How do I carry a bag with my legs? Guys ask me this quite often. Well, not literally, don’t panic. What I mean is; when lifting or carrying the bag, you need to focus more weight on the legs. This is because they are stronger and more energetic.

Secondly, ensure you use your dominant shoulder when carrying the bag. The dominant shoulder is more powerful. Also, use the handles when lifting the bag.

With the handle, you exert less pressure on the shoulders while lifting the bag. This way, you are assured of safe and less strenuous lifting.

How to carry a golf bag with two straps?

Basically, the drill is just the same as the way you carry the one with a single strap.

First, you make the right loading. Add the clubs and all the accessories in the right order. After that, make the necessary adjustments then try testing the weight.

When lifting the bag, use the handle to reduce strain on the shoulders. Also, ensure you walk upright to reduce posture issues.


How many golf clubs can you carry in your bag? I believe I have addressed this topic exhaustively. You now have tips on how many clubs you need in your golf bag.

Of course, most beginners end up disqualified for failure to know the rules. Now that you know how many clubs you need in your golf bag, you are ready for any tournament.

Hybrids are perfect. They give room for more clubs without causing issues with the officials. For that reason, you could consider them as well.

For more tips on how to improve your playing skills, ensure you read through the other topics covered in our articles.

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