Golf is a classic sport that has been around for many years, often seen as a way to wind down in the evenings or on a weekend afternoon. While casual games do not have many restrictions, competitive golf has a set of rules to ensure the game's fairness.
For instance, crucial aspects of the game are all in the clubs. There are multiple rules surrounding how many clubs in a golf bag you can place or whether or not you can share golf clubs.
If you’re thinking about stepping up your game and competing, you’ll need to check the officially allowed amount in tournaments, and this blog post is for you!
This post will cover the rules about clubs, how many clubs in a golf bag you can have, and what is allowed and what isn’t.
How Many Clubs Can You Carry in a Golf Bag?
The maximum number you can have in a golf match is 14 golf clubs.
While this may not be an issue for persons playing a recreational game, exceeding this number can be a problem for those competing in a tournament as they can be penalized.
Typically, the standard number of golf clubs a player can carry around is 12, usually a combination of three woods, eight irons and a putter, with an allowance of two extra clubs of your choosing.
However, this combination is not set in stone, as you can take whatever combination of clubs you like.
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Why 14 Clubs Is The Maximum Allowed?
There are a couple of reasons why 14 clubs is the maximum number allowed, the most significant being that fairness has to be maintained and the playing field has to be even. Allowing players to carry around 20 or 30 clubs in their golf bags can make it seem like they rely heavily on the equipment instead of their playing skills.
However, everyone gets a fair shot with a standard number of clubs. In addition, think of the poor caddie that has to lug around a massive set of clubs!
What’s The Penalty For Carrying More Than 14 Golf Clubs?
Different penalties are highlighted below, depending on the type of match that one is playing. The first action case, however, will be to declare the extra club as out of play.
What Happens If A Player Has More Than 14 Golf Clubs In His Or Her Bag During A Match?
Sometimes a player may have made a packing mistake and realize, during the game, that they have more than 14 golf clubs. For that, there is a penalty depending on the type of game. While you may be tempted to quietly dispose of the club or pray that no one else notices, it may be easier to come clean.
For a stroke play match, the penalty is two strokes for every hole played with the extra set of clubs. The maximum penalty is four strokes, so you do not have to panic too much about this.
For a matchplay game, you will be penalized one hole for each play, with a maximum of two holes.
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What Is Allowed And What’s Not Concerning The Clubs You Carry
So you may adhere to the rule of carrying a maximum of 14 clubs, but it does not end there, as there are more guidelines on how to use your clubs during a match and what to do in case of damage.
What Is The Minimum Number Of Clubs You Can Have In Your Bag?
While the maximum number of clubs you can carry in your bag is 14, there is no limit to the minimum number you can have. You can go for it without penalty if you feel confident enough to play with fewer irons or two drivers the whole match.
Is there any rule concerning the type of Golf Clubs I carry in a match?
No, you are at liberty to carry any type of golf clubs you want, provided they do not exceed the maximum allowed number of 14.
Can you share Golf Clubs with other players during a match?
The answer is no. Players cannot swap or share golf clubs when playing golf in competitions. Doing this would also be flouting the same rules prohibiting a player from having 14 clubs in their bag.
In this case, it is assumed that you have used up all 14 clubs and proceeded to use your competitor’s clubs, which breaches the rule. However, two players can share a bag and carry their clubs together, provided each can easily identify which clubs belong to whom.
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Is it allowed to replace damaged golf clubs during a match?
Under normal circumstances, a player is not allowed to replace a damaged golf club during a match. Sometimes a player may have an emotional outburst during the game and thus damage their golf club. Such instances are categorized as abuse of equipment, for which a player can’t also replace the golf club.
It can also get damaged perhaps when taking a swing or accidentally thrown. In such instances, a player can be allowed to repair their golf club or keep playing with the damaged club. Only when the club is damaged by unforeseen issues such as an animal attack or a storm, is a player allowed to replace their golf club.
More Frequent Questions
What 14 Clubs Do Pros Carry?
Pros often shake up the combination of clubs carried for maximum versatility. However, a relatively common setup uses two woods, a driver, three wedges, five irons and a putter.
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Do You Need 14 Clubs in a Golf Game?
You do not need a full set of 14 clubs for a golf game. There are benefits to this, as it makes decision-making more effortless for you and you can get a clear picture of your shot without running through all the golf clubs in your mind.
Read more about how to put golf clubs in a golf bag!
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How many golf clubs should you have in a set?
A typical golf set will have 12 or 13 clubs, consisting of at least 3 woods, six irons, a single wedge, a putter, and a hybrid.
Do 14 clubs include a putter?
A 14-club set will include a putter, which is essential for making shots at a shorter distance. This is typically the club that helps to make the last light strokes in the final yards of the game.
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