According to rule number four (the player’s equipment rule) set out by the USGA, a golfer can carry up to 14 golf clubs in their bag. This is likely to be made up of a combination of woods (drivers and fairway woods), hybrids, irons and a putter.
Which Golf Clubs Should Be Used?
The beauty of the rule is that although you’re limited to a maximum number of clubs, there are no specific guidelines detailing the exact clubs you should use. This gives you plenty of freedom in your club selection and allows you to carry the clubs that bring out the best in your game.
Beginners Golf Set
Let’s take a look at what a beginner set might look like:
- 3 wood
- 3 hybrid
- 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 irons
- Pitching wedge, sand wedge
You’ll notice the list above only contains 12 out of a possible 14 clubs. You don’t need to carry the full amount of clubs, unless you feel like you don’t have all the right tools at your disposal.
PGA Tour Professionals Set
Let’s take a look at what might be in the bag for a tour pro. Tiger Woods used the set below when he won the Masters for the fifth time in 2019.
- 3 wood, 5 wood
- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 irons
- Pitching wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge
As you can see above, a tour pro will fully utilize the 14 club allowance. A pro golfer has a skill set that allows them to gain a benefit from each and every club in their golf bag.
Do More Clubs Mean Better Performance?
The most simple answer to that question is no. As I’ve shown you above, a highly-skilled golfer will rightly make use of all 14 clubs. Does this mean you should too? That entirely depends on whether you feel adding extra clubs to your bag adds value to your game. In fact, giving beginners too much choice of clubs can overcomplicate things, not to mention make their bag a bit heavier.
For new players, your decision making is just as important as the number of clubs you have in your bag. A full bag of clubs might be fuelling the fire for your poor decision making. It’s advisable for beginners to establish their “go-to” clubs, this will help them to understand and adapt to their expected result when using this club. With too much choice, it’s easy to unnecessarily club up or down and end up making a bad shot.
The maximum amount of clubs a golfer can carry in their bag is 14.
Whether you should use the full amount or not depends on whether each club actually adds value to your game.
Carrying too many clubs at a beginner level can overcomplicate your golf, and make your bag more heavy to carry. For highly-skilled golfers, carrying the full amount of clubs makes more sense due to the fact you’re able to fully utilize them.