Does the Putter Count in the 14 Clubs? (Answered)

Golf is an enthralling game that demands a plethora of equipment to enjoy its delights fully. Golfers of all levels require a set of essential tools: golf clubs, a bag, golf balls, and tees. Among these essentials, the putter holds a special place, being the most crucial equipment for lowering scores.

In official tournament or competition play, golfers are permitted to carry fourteen golf clubs in their bag. A golf bag typically includes Woods, Hybrids, Irons, Wedges, and, of course, the indispensable putter. While every club serves its purpose on the course, the putter stands out as the most important club, capable of guiding the ball into the hole with finesse and precision.

As you step onto the greens, cherish the significance of each piece of equipment, but remember that the putter can be your trusted ally in golf improvement. With its skilled touch, it has the power to transform an ordinary round into an extraordinary one, leaving you with a satisfying sense of accomplishment as you watch that ball gracefully sink into the elusive hole and help you enjoy your golf game.

Does the Putter Count in the 14 Clubs?

Does the Putter Count in the 14 Clubs?

The putter does count as one of the maximum number of clubs in a golf bag for both competition and golf tournament play. If you are just playing a game of golf with friends and are out there to have fun, it doesn’t really matter how many golf clubs are in the bag. However, as a general rule and to adhere to golf etiquette, it is a good idea to keep up with the rules of the game an make sure you check your golf equipment.

The 14 golf clubs in a golf bag serve the purpose for a range of different golf shots and distances. It is important to recognize that each golf club will cover a certain distance when struck in the optimum way, and the putter serves the most crucial purpose in the game – getting the golf ball in the hole.

Why is there a 14 Club Limit in Golf?

The 14 golf clubs provided are more than sufficient for a golf round, and golfers will discover that they can handle most shots within this limit. This rule is not arbitrary but rather designed to foster fairness and uphold the essential elements of skill and strategy in the game. When struck correctly, each golf club covers a specific distance, while wedges and putters cater to the finesse and precision required for the short game.

By imposing a limit on the number of clubs, golfers are compelled to make strategic choices about which ones to carry in their bag. They must carefully consider the varying distances and shot types they might encounter during a round and opt for clubs that complement their playing style.

The 14 total number of clubs limit has deep roots in the history and traditions of golf. It has stood as a standard rule for countless years, firmly ingrained as one of the game’s core principles. Golf is a sport steeped in tradition, and certain rules and aspects have endured the test of time, contributing to the rich heritage that makes golf so special.

Is there a penalty for carrying more than 14 Clubs in a Golf Bag?

There is indeed a penalty for carrying additional clubs in a bag, but this rule strictly applies to golf tournaments and competition play. Golfers enjoying a casual round with friends have the freedom to load up their bag as they please. However, it’s worth noting that carrying extra clubs adds weight and clutter to the cart bag, so it’s generally advisable to keep it within the limit.

Learning and abiding by golf rules, especially when new to the game, is always commendable. The penalty for carrying excess clubs is a two-stroke penalty per hole for each hole where the excess club was used, with a maximum cumulative penalty of four strokes for the entire round.

This implies that a golfer could potentially play a full round of golf with 15 clubs in the bag and receive a maximum penalty of four strokes at the conclusion of a tournament or professional event. If you frequently participate in club competitions or tournaments, it’s wise to be cautious and ensure you never start a round with more than 14 clubs to avoid incurring a breach of the rule. Staying within the rules fosters fair play and maintains the integrity of the game.

The Penalty for a match play competition is the loss of the hole and as carrying an extra club can be an unfair advantage in the match.

Are the Rules the same for Professional Golfers on the PGA Tour?

Golf is a game steeped in tradition, and one such enduring rule is the 14-club limit in the bag, which applies not only to amateur golfers but also to professional golfers on the PGA Tour in stroke play events.

The regulations set forth by the governing bodies the United States Golf Association (USGA Rules) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) are universally followed in most golf tournaments worldwide, including those on the prestigious PGA Tour. Irrespective of their professional status, golfers at this level must adhere to the same rules and restrictions concerning the number of clubs they can carry during a round of golf – a maximum of 14 clubs or it can be up to a four-stroke penalty.

This unvarying rule ensures a level playing field and fairness in the game, regardless of the players’ skill level or expertise. It stands as just one of the many rules of golf and standards in place to uphold the integrity and challenge of golf at every level of competition, fostering a true sense of sportsmanship and maintaining the essence of this time-honored sport.

Can a Player Carry less than 14 Clubs in a Golf Bag?

Certainly, golfers have the option to carry fewer than 14 golf clubs in their bag and there is no minimum number of clubs required. This choice is particularly common among beginners or those who prefer a simpler approach to the game, as it lightens the bag and makes club selection more straightforward. For instance, some players might only carry a few irons, a couple of woods or hybrids, and a putter, while others might carry a full set but leave some clubs at home or in storage to reduce weight on the course.

Opting for fewer clubs can be advantageous for golfers who have a good understanding of their distances and feel comfortable using a limited set of options. However, it’s crucial to consider the specific demands of the golf course being played and ensure that the selected clubs adequately cover a wide range of distances and shot types.

For beginner golfers, carrying fewer clubs can be an excellent way to start, as it reduces confusion and simplifies the game. Beginners may not yet hit the ball consistently enough for the distance gaps between clubs to significantly impact their game.

Half golf sets, which include a reduced number of clubs, are commonly available as rentals at public golf courses and are a popular choice for those starting out in the game. Ultimately, the number of clubs in the bag is a personal preference, and golfers can tailor their equipment selection to match their comfort and skill level as they embark on their golfing journey.

Which Golf Club is normally one of the last to consider in the Golf Bag?

Most golf sets typically consist of 8 irons, ranging from a 4 iron to a Sand Wedge setup in the bag. In addition to the irons, other common type of clubs clubs include the Driver,  fairway woods, and putter.

Golfers often experiment with two particular clubs: the 3 Iron or 3 Hybrid and the 2 Iron or long irons. They also consider adding specialized clubs like the Gap Wedge and the Lob Wedge to fine-tune their game for specific shots and short distances.

As golfers gain more experience and their handicap improves, they develop a better understanding of the distances they can achieve all the combination of clubs. This knowledge enables more experienced golfers to make more informed decisions when selecting  the right clubs based on their yardages and overall skill level.

Having a well-rounded and tailored set of golf clubs is crucial as players progress in the game. It allows them to adapt to various course conditions and challenges while maximizing their performance on the course. Ultimately, the right club selection plays a significant role in enhancing a golfer’s overall ability and enjoyment of the game.

What is the best type of Putter to use in Golf? 

Absolutely, selecting the best putter for an individual golfer is a highly personal decision that depends on various factors, including their putting stroke, preferences, and feel. The market offers a range of putter types, each with distinct design features and characteristics.

These include, mallet putters, blade putters, face balanced putters, toe hang putter and counterbalanced putters.

The length of the putter also plays a significant role, and it’s essential to get fitted for a putter and try out various models to find the one that complements your putting stroke and aligns with your personal preferences. Trying different putters will help you assess the feel and performance of each one, allowing you to make an informed decision on the perfect putter for your game. Ultimately, the right putter choice can greatly impact your confidence and success on the greens.


Golfers are permitted to carry a maximum of 14 golf clubs in their bag during a round of golf. This essential rule, established by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A), serves multiple purposes, including ensuring fair play, encouraging strategic decision-making, and upholding the integrity of the game. The 14-club limit challenges players to thoughtfully curate their bag, selecting clubs that best align with their playing style and the unique demands of the golf course.

Though there is no minimum requirement for the number different clubs, it is vital for golfers to adhere to the maximum limit to avoid penalties. Whether one opts for a simpler set with fewer clubs or a more comprehensive selection, compliance with the 14-club rule remains a cornerstone of the game, promoting a level playing field and preserving the time-honoured traditions of golf for players of all skill levels.

If you want to learn a little bit more about the game of golf, check out some of the posts below.

Basic Putting Lessons

34 or 35 Inch Putter, Which length to Choose?

Why is the Golf Setup Important?

Best Golf Balls for Beginners

Callaway Sure Out Wedge Review

Callaway Kickback Putting Return Review

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