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How Many Clubs in a Golf Bag? Rules, Regulations, and Recommendations

How Many Clubs in a Golf Bag? Rules, Regulations, and Recommendations

Building out your set of clubs is the first big investment in your golf journey, and knowing exactly what you need to fill your golf bag is important. While there are rules regarding how many clubs can be in your bag based on USGA regulations, most golfers don’t think to research these regs unless they want to play in a tournament. For many, the question about how many golf clubs are in a golf bag is more about what will give them the easiest time on the course.

To answer the needs of all golfers, we will cover:

  • USGA club count regulations
  • General club count recommendations
  • Beginner recommendations

Let’s dive into each and figure out how many clubs you need.

USGA Club Count Regulations

The USGA lays out the regulations for tournament play in the United States, and most golfers abide by their regulations when buying equipment, even if they don’t plan to play competitively. Based on USGA regulations, a golfer’s maximum number of clubs in their bag is 14.  

The reason that even casual golfers tend to align with these regulations is that USGA regulations are designed to create a framework for the fairest and most competitive golf round possible, and so abiding by the regulations in your regular practice is the only way to get a legitimate idea of what your handicap is to help track your improvement.

General Club Count Recommendations

While 14 is the maximum number of clubs a golfer can have, and most tour players bring every club they can to be as competitive as possible, a full 14 isn’t necessary for everyone. Typically, anything over 11 is considered a full bag of clubs in terms of having enough to make just about every shot you need to make during a round of golf. 

This includes:

Driver 1
Fairway Woods 1-3
Hybrids 0-2 (depending on preference of wood/hybrid/long iron)
Irons 6-8 (including PW)
Wedges 2-3
Putter 1

While some of these numbers are up to preference, you’ll typically need 11 to have the right club for every distance from which you’ll need to shoot. You’ll notice that if you had the maximum of each club, you’d be far over 14. This is because the top-end clubs are somewhat interchangeable depending on what you like to swing between your driver and your 5-iron.

Many golfers like the forgiveness and light weight of fairway woods, while others prefer to shoot with higher irons if they tend to shoot more accurately with their irons than their driver. For those that want some benefits of both, hybrid clubs marry the larger clubhead size of a fairway wood with the stability and solid feel of an iron. So, you’ll usually only get one of the three for each loft.

Beginner Club Count Recommendations

Filling your bag is expensive, and many beginners are looking for ways to get onto the course without breaking the bank. In most cases, getting a full set of 14 clubs is not the best value strategy for a beginner golfer.

Realistically, all you need to start golfing and meet all your needs to start is:

  • A driver
  • A single fairway wood or hybrid
  • An irons set (at least 5 iron-PW)
  • A wedge between 52 and 60 degrees
  • A putter

While this won’t give you a club that is perfect for every possible distance on the golf course, it will give you the right type of club for every shot you take. Since your distances likely won’t be consistent yet, and neither will the accuracy at first, it isn’t necessary to completely fill your bag right away when you will likely upgrade your clubs as you improve.

How Many Clubs in a Golf Bag? Find Out at Worldwide Golf Shops

Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to beginners and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele, making us one of the best places to get clubs after you’ve learned how many golf clubs are in a golf bag.

Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of all of the following:

At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!

Trevor Cigich

Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing |  Worldwide Golf Shops

I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.

For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to