GOLF RULES!: How Many Golf Clubs in a Bag?


One of the first questions a new golfer may have as they begin to explore the game of golf is how many bags are you permitted in your golf bag, and follow-up to that, what clubs should I carry? 

How many clubs in a golf bag…up to 14 clubs can be in your bag, without penalty, during a round of golf. A golfer carrying more than 14 clubs in their bag violates rule 4.1b. This means club selection. How many and which type of clubs are in your bag is one of the first strategic decisions you will need to make when playing golf.  

What is included in a full set of golf clubs?  

It is generally recommended that most golfers utilize a full set of golf clubs, when possible. While there are options to purchase a 7 club set, a 10 club set, or even a 12 club set, utilizing a full 14 club set of golf clubs allows for the most enjoyment and most potential improvement in the game of golf. A full set of golf clubs include a combination of driver, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putter. A golfer may utilize any combination of these clubs to formulate their golf bag.  

What is a standard golf club set?  

While there may have been a standard set of clubs 30 years ago, the modern golfer can customize almost every inch of their golf bag, which means there is no longer a recommended standard set of clubs. Some of the most common 14 club combinations in a golf bag are as follows:  

Most Common: 1 Driver, 2 Woods (3 & 5 wood), 7 Irons (3-9 irons), 3 Wedges, 1 Putter  

Next Most Common: 1 Driver, 2 Woods (3 & 5 wood), 1 Hybrid (replacing 3 iron), 6 Irons (4-9 irons), 3 Wedges, 1 Putter  

Also Common, 1 Driver, 2 Woods (3 & 5 wood), 2 Hybrids (replacing 3 & 4 irons), 5 Irons (5-9 irons), 3 Wedges, 1 Putter 

While these are suggestions to get started, the number of clubs and type are always dependent on a golfer’s preference. As Lee Trevino said ‘If you’re caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.’ Trevino was then later struck by lightning on a golf course, no it was not the 1-iron.  

Golf Rules! is a column written by Jillian Pavlick with the assistance of her amateur golfer husband Jonathan. Join Jillian as she learns the rules of the game and shares some tips and tricks along the way.  

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