When I showed interest in playing golf, my mentor made me go through every practice range while teaching me the basics of swings, chipping and putting. I learned the importance of the clubs, including hybrids and the likes. But one thing that kept me on my toes was when I tried to go into a real golf course was how many clubs I could carry at once. I did not want to destroy the handicap I have not even shot at. You must know how many clubs you can carry in a match play. If you carry too much, you would face a penalty. When you finish reading this, you would know how to select the required number of clubs to carry to a match or an open tournament.
So how many clubs are in a golf bag? According to the new rules of golf set out by USGA, you’re allowed to carry a maximum of 14 selected golf clubs in your bag. The standard is 12 but you can take two extras. Expert golfers know how to select the right clubs and hybrids to make up the required count.
What Clubs Do You Need?
This is not about learning the types of golf clubs there are. You must have known those. If you haven’t, you should see our post here on the types of golf clubs.
The rules of golf affect how golf clubs are designed, but one thing about golf clubs, is that golf club maker maximize the physics behind a golfer’s swing so that the designs allows for some range of swing error for the golfer to deliver an accurate, long, and forgiving shot. If you are a beginner, you will choose clubs that feel more forgiving.
Now, here is perfect advice on how to build your golf bag. You may well have seen traditional sets of clubs online, where they just pitch drivers, fairway woods, irons wedges, and a putter. What you need to assemble is a set of clubs that is suited for your game.
If you’re out on the golf course, and you’re left with a shot for which you don’t have the right club, you won’t score as well as you should. Therefore, forget all the traditional set of clubs you see online everywhere. Choose the right clubs that will give you the highest percentage of hitting successful shots and bring enjoyment on the golf course.
Some players carry two drivers, some, two porters, while others have specialist clubs like jiggers or chipping wedges.And yet others have full sets of funny-looking hybrid clubs instead of irons. Everyone is different, and that is one of the great things about golf.
Let’s build a theoretical bag of 14 clubs and look at the easy and harder choices you’ll face when deciding what to include in your bag.
So, drivers and putters are essential. The driver for use off the tee, par 4s, and par 5s, and the putter for getting the ball into the hole.
That leaves twelve more spaces to fill. Most players will also carry a set of irons in some form.Probably running from four round to pitching wedge, seven clubs in total. These clubs are used for the second shot on most holes and they’ll usually be from the same set or have similar construction and look. They’re designed to hit the ball to specific distances from long shots to short ones, and would consist in distance gaps. The 4-iron goes the farthest, the 5-iron goes ten yards or so less the 6-iron, 10 yards less than that and so on.
What most golfers know?
Now most golfers will know their 7-iron distance as a base yardage and work up and down from there to pick a club based on the distance they’ve left to the hole. Now if we pop those several irons into our sample bag, it means we’ve nine clubs. And that leaves five slots. This is where it can get a bit tricky. You need to know a little bit about your options and what they do there.
Looking at our bag, we’ve got a driver for the longest shots, irons for the middle shots, and a putter for the shortest shots. But there are big distance gaps between these, so to fix this at the top of the bag, you might want to choose a fairway wood that’s slightly shorter length in your driver with five or more degrees loft, but this club can be used for long shots after fairway from the roof, and can be used as another safe option off the tee when you don’t fancy hitting driver. It’ll also cover a yardage that is longer than your four earned but is shorter than your driver. That is why most golfers carry at least one fairway wood more often than not a 3-wood.So we’ll pop one in. Ten out of the 14 clubs are allowed to be used.
What did we get after the other end of the bag?
At the other end of the bag, we’ve got a pitching wedge and a putter though depending on the golfer. A pitching wedge will go somewhere between 80 and 130 yards, but what about when you’ve got less than this into the green. We’re all comfortable taking a full swing more than a fiddly half swing.So let’s add a club that will cover a shorter yardage than our pitching wedge. A sand wedge will cover this gap absolutely perfectly, and gives us a great option out of the bunkers.The additional loft will get the ball up in the air quickly and landing softly perfect. That’s 11 of 14 now.
Believe it or not, the question of what to do with the remaining three slots is the same dilemma that both beginners and the best Tour professionals face. Your options might be to put in another fairway wood to bridge the gap between your 3-wood and the longest iron hybrid, or a rescue club that is easier to hit than a long iron.It bridges the distance gap between your fairway wood and the longest urns.
You can add a driving iron, which is similar in performance to a rescue club but looks like an iron, a set of wedges to allow you to hit consistent short shots into and around the greens as well as to hit bunker shots, or any other specialist clubs that helps many senior players. For instance, especially those with slower speeds will carry extra fairway woods or hybrids instead of long urns which they hit with much more consistency due to their forgiving design.
The final combination of clubs will depend on your skill level on the course, your personal playing style. The types of courses that you play, and the conditions. You should know your skill level and personal preferences. It’s pointless carrying a club that you can’t hit or never use.
Can You Borrow Clubs in A Match?
No, you can’t. You can only be allowed to borrow a club from your team members if you are playing in a tournament. If you take a club from an opponent, there may be a penalty, and that will affect your scores.
What are Penalties?
The penalty for carrying more than the set 14 clubs is not the same across various golf formats. If you use an extra club, you will incur a two-stroke penalty for every hole you play with it. With a maximum penalty of four strokes per round. Match play penalties deem the player to deduct a hole. That he had won for each penalty up to a maximum of two holes per round.