Rule 4:  Clubs


The number of clubs allowed in the bag is 14, which does include the putter.  You can use any combination of clubs and they do not have to be the same fourteen clubs every time you play.  An example is that you may want to add another wedge and take out a long iron if playing a short course or a course with small greens.  Conversely you may want to take out a wedge and add a hybrid or fairway wood when playing a longer course or a course with long par 3’s.  Adjusting your bag is part of knowing your game and preparing for you round.  If you play the same course over and over you are not going to change your bag too often.  However, if you play different courses, it is a good practice to investigate the course online and adjust your bag accordingly.  You do not want to continually say to yourself, “I wish I had that wedge” or “I could use that hybrid right now, if I only had not left it in the car.”

If you find yourself with more than fourteen clubs you can declare the club(s) “out of play” without penalty, if the round has not started.  If you discover this on the second or third hole then, in match play it is loss of the hole for every hole played, with the excess clubs, with a maximum of a two hole penalty.  In stroke play, there is a two stroke penalty for each hole, with a maximum of a four stroke penalty.

If you have fewer than 14 clubs then, in match play partners may share clubs, provided that the total number of clubs carried by the partners so sharing does not exceed 14.

Count your clubs before every round and after every round, you do not want to start with 14 clubs and return to the club house with 13.  You surely do not want to start any round with more than 14.

The characteristics of a club can not be altered during the course of a round, this means play the club the way you brought it to the course.

Foreign material can not me added to the clubface, at anytime, to influence the ball.  Now, as far as this goes, I have not heard of any material that can be added to the clubface that can cause the ball to go straight or stop quick.  Just wanted to let you know so you do not waste any time trying to find a magic substance for the club face.

Breaking a club during a round is a common occurrence.  Your choices are to use the club in the damaged state; without unduly delaying play, repair it or have it repaired; or replace the club with any club without unduly delaying play.  We are talking about a club that is damaged during a swing.

Now let us talk about a club that is damaged in other ways, most notably after a bad shot when the club goes flying or is slammed into the ground and the shaft breaks or is bent.  When this happens the club cannot be repaired or replaced and may not be used.  Do not let this happen to you.  Stay calm!

We will address calmness in the mental game area of this site and etiquette here in the near future.

Good Golfing,


Enjoyed this post. Share It:

3 Responses to “Rule 4: Clubs”

  1. Shymae says:

    Great website you have here but I was cioruus if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

  2. JB says:

    What kind of deal did you come to cut?

  3. Randolph Dunnivan says:

    I’d come to cut a deal with you on this. Which is not something I usually do! I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

Follow Us 


Golf Rules of the Month

Rules: Clubs

Rule 4 addresses the clubs, the form and make of clubs, playing characteristics, damaged clubs and the number of clubs allowed during play. The number of clubs allowed in the bag is 14, which does include the putter. You can use any combination of clubs and they do not have to be the same fourteen clubs every time you play. An example is that you may want to add another wedge and take [...]

Playing Without Expectations

First Round Surprises

Remember Your First Round this year? Now the season is underway. There have been a couple of tournaments at the club and I am sure an outing or too as well. So tell me how your first round of the season went. Better than expected I am sure. This is usually the case for most because there are no expectations! You have not played for awhile and do not expect to play well so you are relaxed and just trying to [...]

“Find Your Minds Eye”

Full Moon Golfer

Do you fix every mediocre shot you hit on the range? Do you say, “I know why I hit that shot,” after every mediocre shot on the course? Do you start to wonder why you hit a good shot? I’ll bet you say, “Now, why can’t I do that every time?” Often when playing or teaching on the range, I hear after a bad shot, or ‘miss’, “What did I do then?” This tells me that that person’s mental game is WAY [...]

PageLines Themes