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Maximizing Your Golf Set: How Many Clubs Do You Really Need?

Updated: Mar 11

When you are looking at purchasing a set of golf clubs, typically the number included in the set is 12 Clubs. This is not to say that this is what you must stick with.

There is a maximum number of clubs you are allowed to use on the golf course.

Depending on the skill level of the golfer and the ability, this would determine what types of golf clubs they would have in their complete set of golf clubs. A lot of people have different preferences when it comes to golf clubs.

Some people would favour Fairway Woods over a Driver or maybe carry a few different types of wedges for their approach shot.

It all depends on what the individual golfer prefers, striking the golf ball correctly ultimately comes down to how you and your golf clubs work together. So, getting the right clubs for your style of play is key to a good round of golf.

What Is The Maximum Number Of Golf Clubs You Can Carry In Your Golf Bag?

So, the maximum number of clubs you are allowed to use on a round of golf is 14. If you have more than this, you need to take a few out because the penalties for this can lose you a golf tournament.

This rule was introduced in the late 1920's. The main reason for this believe it or not is because of the Caddies. The caddies were getting overloaded with a full set of golf clubs and getting exhausted.

So, this rule was bought in to help the Caddies from carrying up to almost 20 clubs per round and fainting due to carrying these heavy loads.

So, you've seen there is a maximum number of golf clubs but what about a minimum?

Simple answer there is no minimum, if a player really wanted too, they could go around the golf course with one club, but as golfers we know that could cause a lot of issues. With fewer clubs it leaves less options for different types of shots on the course. Ideally you would need many different types of clubs to have a better chance and using each club for a specific purpose to shoot as little as possible.

What’s The Penalty For Carrying Too Many Clubs?

So, there are penalties for having to many golf clubs in your bag. This USGA rules and the different golfing governing bodies set these out so that people cannot gain an advantage over competing players during a tournament.

These penalties depend on the type of game you are playing.

  • Match Play - In match play you would get a hole deduction on your score for every hole you play exceeding the club limit. This is limited to a maximum penalty of a two-hole deduction.

  • Stroke Play - In stroke play you would be deducted two strokes for every hole where you exceed the club limit. This is limited up to four strokes.

What Different Types Of Golf Clubs Are In A Full Set?

Driver - The Driver is the longest club in the golf bag and the most difficult club to master. It has the largest club head which means the biggest, sweet spots, The club face is almost flat which makes the driver the club with the lowest loft available. It is typically used for tee shots. The driver is used for long shots, to get as far down the fairway as you can leaving you with as little yardage between you and the hole as possible. Advanced golfers can use this club and shape their shots to suit the fairway. Tiger Woods is a king at this so check it out.

Fairway Woods - So the fairway woods are used as a sort of halfway house between your driver and you longer irons. It is primarily used off the tee but it can be used off the floor as well. The fairway wood is a great club to be used for taking out hazards and sand traps. If you know your driver would reach a bunker or a different obstacle, then you could switch for a fairway wood that does not quite reach the distance to ensure you get the maximum distance without putting yourself in trouble. They usually consist of a 3 Wood or a 5 Wood. But you can use a 7 wood or even a 9-wood. Usually, a golfer would only carry a couple of fairway woods.

Hybrid Clubs - A hybrid golf club is a mix between a Wood and an iron. It can also be referred to as a Rescue Club. The reason for the hybrid club is because the long irons are quite difficult to get airborne. Even the most experienced golfers can struggle to hit a 3, 2 or even a 1 iron. Hybrid golf clubs offers golfers a way to hit the distance of a long iron but in an easier to hit club. Hybrid clubs can also be great for golfers with slower swing speeds.

Set Of Irons - The Iron Set consists of Long Irons, short irons a Sand Wedge and a pitching wedge. The 1-4 irons are seen as long irons while the 5-9 irons are seen as short irons. The wedges can be seen as a sand wedge, pitching wedge, lob wedge and a gap wedge. These are all great for different reasons. The sand wedge is great for a sand bunker whilst the other wedges have different purposes which differ from hitting a flop shot to a straight up pitching on to the green.

Putter - The putter is the odd one out in the bag. The flat face is used for knocking the ball into the hole. Sounds simple right? Well putting is almost an art form, golfers spend years trying to perfect the putter. A great putting game can be the difference between a good golfer and a great golfer. Some people would suggest the putter is the most important club in the bag, we believe that every club has its own purpose but putting is very important.

What Clubs Do Pro Golfers Have In Their Set?

Professional golfers are the most skilled golfers around and sometimes looking in their bag is a great way to see what they are using at any current competition. A pro golfer could have some hidden gems hidden in their bags. We are going to show you a few professional golfers club list here:

Scottie Scheffler:

(Info From GolfWRX) Total Number Of Clubs: 14

  • Driver -TaylorMade Stealth Plus (Driver)

  • 3 Wood - TaylorMade Stealth Plus (3 Wood)

  • Hybrid Iron - Srixon Z U85 (3)

  • Irons 4-PW - Srixon ZU85 (4), TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW)

  • 3 Different Types of Wedges - Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-12F, 56-14F, 60-06K)

  • Putter - Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS Prototype


Jon Rahm:

(Info From GolfWRX) Total Number Of Clubs: 14

  • Driver - Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (Driver)

  • 3 Wood - Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T (3 Wood)

  • 5 Wood - Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond T (5 Wood)

  • Irons 4-PW - Callaway X Forged UT (22 degrees), Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)

  • 3 Different Types of Wedges - Callaway Jaws Forged (52-10, 56-12 @55.25, 60-10)

  • Putter - Odyssey White Hot OG Rossie S


What Type Of Clubs Do Beginner Golfers Use?

A first set of golf clubs is important to a beginner and could make the difference between having a good start in the game of golf and a great start as a high handicapper. Obviously, you can have up to 14 golf clubs in your golf bag as per the rules.

We would recommend not using that many as a beginner golfer. The reason for this is because you can easily get caught up in what extra clubs you should have in your bag like, a lob wedge, a 9 wood. In our eyes when starting a smaller selection of clubs is more beneficial as you can start to work with the clubs that you will use the most and get comfortable with hitting them.

Get good at hitting the core golf clubs before you branch out into more specialist clubs.

Our recommended set for a beginner would be:

  • Driver

  • Max of two Fairway Woods

  • Hybrid

  • Irons 5-SW

  • Putter

We believe sticking with these core clubs at the beginning will stop you getting distracted with what specialist clubs will do and give you a great platform to move forward in your golf game. If you are struggling to find a good beginner golf set then check out this The Best Beginner Golf Club Sets

Advanced Players would usually fill up all 14 spots to create a complete golf club set. Through years of trialling and testing different clubs using their playing partner as a club renter and testing anything they can. They would have chosen the perfect arsenal of clubs that suit their own style of golf.