When it comes to golf, there are a lot of rules. Some of them are well-known, like "don't hit the ball into the water hazard." But other rules aren't quite so clear. For example, how many clubs are you allowed to have in your golf bag? If you're new to the game, you might not even know that there is a limit!
The answer, as set forth by the United States Golf Association (the USGA), is 14. That's right, 14 clubs are the maximum number of clubs that you are allowed to carry with you while playing a round of golf. Now, that doesn't mean that you have to have 14 clubs in your bag. In fact, if you're just beginning we would recommend that you carry fewer than 14 clubs in your bag.
So why is there a limit? And why 14 clubs? Let's take a closer look.
Why 14 Clubs?
The Rule of 14 Clubs was first put into place by the USGA back in 1938, and it's been pretty much set in stone ever since. The USGA set the limit at 14 clubs for a few reasons - the biggest being technology.
Golf shafts were originally made of hickory. However, with the introduction of steel shafts in the late 1920s golf bags became loaded with both hickory and steel shafted clubs. As usual, golfers were experimenting. They were playing with both types of shafts, looking for an edge.
But the poor caddies were not too happy carrying all that extra weight. It wasn't uncommon in the mid '30s to find up to 30 clubs in a golf bag. So, the USGA stepped in to level the playing field. They were concerned that too many clubs would take some of the skill out of the game. Thus the 14 golf club limit was introduced.
Carrying fewer clubs makes it more likely that all golfers will have similar equipment and that skill reigns supreme over technology. Again, this level of fairness is important to keep the game fair for everyone involved.
So why did the USGA choose 14 as the number of golf clubs allowed in a golf bag? We're still searching for that answer. Some people believe it's based on 3 woods, 9 irons, and 1 putter. But there is no definitive answer.
In conclusion, the USGA set a limit of 14 clubs per golfer to curb technology and make sure the skill required to play wasn't being compromised. Plus they wanted a level playing field for golfers from all walks of life. Most serious golfers take advantage of the rule and carry all 14, but you are free to carry as few as you like.
So now that you know that you can only have 14 golf clubs, how about a new bag to keep them perfectly organized? If you're in the market for a new bag, see below.
And, if you're looking for a lightweight golf bag for a quick 9, a par 3 round or your range sessions, see below.