How many clubs do you have in your golf bag? How often do you change them? Do you ever consider the course you are playing that day to determine the ones that get to come out and play? What about weather or turf conditions?
The maximum number of clubs you are allowed to use during a round is 14 and you cannot have more than that in your bag. Of course, you are welcome to have less than 14. The typical golfer will have the following: Driver, 3-wood, 5-wood, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron, Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge, and Putter. Maybe you take out the 4-iron and replace it with a hybrid or a Lob Wedge. The options are almost endless.
Why Change the Configuration of Your 14?
Are you currently playing with the best 14 for your game? Do you ever tinker with the club choices in your bag?
Do a quick assessment – are there certain clubs you don’t hit very often, but maybe you struggle around the greens and adding an extra wedge could help you with your short game? Do you hit your 5-wood and 4-iron the same distance? If so, maybe replace one of them with a driving iron to give you a different option from the tee box.
You can get creative. A few years back, Phil Mickelson won a PGA Tour event while carrying two drivers! Why did he carry two drivers? He used one when he wanted to hit long drives, on more forgiving holes and the other driver when he needed to make sure he hit it straight with a soft cut.
Maybe the course or weather suggests a different configuration. If it is windy, you might want a 3-iron you hit low instead of a 5-wood that gets up in the air. On slow greens, maybe you want to pull out your mallet-style putter, instead of a blade.
Does it ever make sense to have less than 14?
Definitely. If you are just getting started with the game of golf, you may use a reduced set. Your set of irons may only include a 5-iron, 7-iron, 9-iron, and a couple wedges. Does a player just learning to play, really need 14 options – probably not.
What if you are just heading out to walk a quick 9 or 18 in the evening? You can find a very light carry-bag that holds 8-9 clubs. Enjoy the evening with less stress on your back. If you are really looking to simply enjoy the stroll, forget the bag and just bring your 3-wood, 7-iron, and putter. You might be surprised what you can shoot with 3 clubs – just try to avoid the bunkers. The 7-iron out of a fried-egg lie can be a bit tricky!
Finding the Right Configuration of Golf Clubs
How many clubs should be in your golf bag? The rules say you can only have 14, but they don’t dictate which 14. Most golfers tend to collect clubs over the years and end up with a garage or attic full of dusty sticks. Maybe it is time to give one or two of them a second chance for glory?
One way to improve your golf game is to find a configuration of clubs that help you cover up your weaknesses. Give the weather and/or course conditions some thought before your next trip to the course. If you have lost confidence in a certain club, maybe it needs a break – swap it out for a different option.
And finally, if you only need 10 clubs to enjoy the game, have fun carrying a lighter bag down the fairway.