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How Many Clubs Are Allowed In Your Golf Bag

How Many Golf Clubs are Allowed in Your Bag?

If you’re new to golf, or even if you’ve been playing the game for a few years, you might be busy building your golf bag. Perhaps you’re purchasing new clubs or maybe you’re plumping for a second-hand set of sticks. Either way, we are bound by the same rules of the game and can only have a limited number of clubs in the bag.

Stop wasting time and tell me how many clubs are allowed in a bag, I hear you cry. 

The answer is 14. 14 clubs are allowed in your golf bag at any one time when playing. You can of course have less, in fact there is no minimum so by all means feel free to tear apart your local course in your club championship with that trusty 7 iron, but never more than 14.

What is the penalty for carrying too many clubs?

The penalty is two strokes per hole. If you play a full 18 holes with 15 clubs in the bag, then you’re going to get penalised 36 shots! That’s a pretty hefty price to pay!!! If, however, you discover the problem on the first hole, you will only be penalised 2 shots.

Has this ever happened in the professional game?

While it is uncommon, it definitely does happen. The most high-profile time it happened was to the greatest Welsh golfer of all time, Ian Woosnam, at the 2001 Open Championship at Lytham and St Annes.

Woosnam was joint leader heading into the final day.  The first hole of the Sunday was a par 3 and Woosy knocked the tee shot to about 4 inches for a tap-in birdie. A few moments later before teeing off on the second, his caddy realised they had an extra driver in the bag. Woosnam was penalised two shots and threw the extra driver across the tee box. He ended up finishing in a tie for third.

What is the usual composition of clubs in a bag?

Typically, you will see 12 of the same clubs almost universal to everyone’s bag. Putter, sand wedge and pitching wedge, irons running from 9-4, a 5 wood, 3 wood and a driver. The extra two clubs players use to fill their bags allows them to get creative. Some players go with a lob wedge and gap wedge, others choose a lob wedge and hybrid. Some might even have all three and take out their longest iron or their lowest wood.

The reason for this? The course they are playing, the conditions they are playing in. If you’re playing links golf where you need to keep the wind low you might take a long iron over a hybrid which would be better for parkland golf where the rough would be lusher.

And, of course, a lot of it is down to personal preference. 


That’s it folks. We wanted to keep this post short and sweet and if you didn’t know before about the number of golf clubs allowed in a golf bag, you do now! If you liked what you read, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay abreast of all our content!


Happy golfing,

Halpenny Golf

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