How Many Clubs Can You Have in a Golf Bag? Tips to Choose

By Steve Silverman

golf club set in a cart

The Rules of Golf state that a golfer must not start a round with more than 14 clubs or have more than 14 clubs during the round. There is no minimum number of clubs, and golfers who begin a round with fewer than 14 clubs may add clubs during the round up to the 14-club limit.

For most high- and medium-handicap golfers, 14 clubs is more than enough. However, for top pros and low-handicap golfers, it may be tough to choose which clubs to carry.

Woods (2-3)

For most golfers, three woods are sufficient to get through a round of golf. Most golfers have a driver, a 3-wood and a 5-wood. Some golfers will choose to play without a 5-wood because they find it difficult to swing a wood from the fairway and choose a hybrid club instead. The driver is used on most tee shots on par 4 and par 5 holes. The 3-wood can be used to tee off or hit from the fairway, while the 5-wood can also be used from the tee, fairway or the very short rough.

Hybrids and Irons (6-7)

Many golfers will carry a 4-, 5- and 6-iron. Very few golfers carry a 2- or 3-iron today, often opting to use hybrid clubs in place of long irons or fairway woods. A hybrid club has the hitting power of a fairway wood but is easy to swing, like an iron. Most golfers will have four long irons or three long irons and a hybrid club. In addition to the long irons, most golfers will carry 7-, 8- and 9-irons to round out their irons.

Wedges (3-4)

Three or four wedges are used to round out the set. Most modern iron sets include a pitching wedge, and some even include a gap wedge. From there, players may also choose to add a sand wedge and lob wedge, depending on their preference.


The final piece to the golf club puzzle is the putter. Every player needs one as it will be used on around 50 percent of your shots.


There are a variety of ways to piece together a set of golf clubs. Some players might prefer more options in their longer clubs, opting for three woods in addition to one or two hybrids. Other players may prefer more options in the short game, employing four wedges but fewer woods.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.


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