Why having 14 golf clubs in your bag is too…


In golf, the maximum number of clubs you are allowed in your golf bag is 14. There are a number of reasons why this rule was introduced in the 1920s, the main one being that caddies were overloaded and simply exhausted from carrying up to 20 clubs. + clubs in one turn.

Not only were the caddies exhausted, but since golf is also considered a game of skill, the governing bodies did not want some players to appear better than others just because they had a greater choice of clubs. The goal was to keep the game as challenging as possible and not leave all the answers to technology and equipment. This is why the 14 club limit was introduced.

Lydia Ko's bag

A player is allowed a maximum of 14 clubs in his bag.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

However, I personally think that even 14 clubs is too much! With technology and club manufacturing far superior to nearly 100 years ago. Arguably, the sport is easier to play than it has ever been.

Now, I’m not saying golf is easy, far from it actually. What I’m saying is that eliminating half a set of golf clubs makes the game more enjoyable and actually has less impact on your performance than you might think. If anything, it improves your game even more.

Recently I played with a half game around my home course and ended up producing a round of 72 over par, my best joint round of the year and one of the best rounds I’ve ever played. have drawn in the last 12 months.


Unsurprisingly, my set up let me down…

(Image credit: Matt Cradock)

What I learned from the round is that your decision making actually becomes easier and it forces you to be a bit more creative with your shot, something that has sort of disappeared from the sport since that “power play” took over at the turn of the millennium.

I mean, think about it, how many times have you played a round and used each club? It is very rare that all clubs come out of the bag throughout the 18 holes. So why do we need 14? Fewer clubs will save you time on the golf course, as well as money in your pocket, because you don’t feel the need to buy a full set for your bag.

The pros have also said so previously, with 21-time European Tour winner Miguel Angel Jimenez saying: “Why don’t we think about playing with 10 clubs rather than 14? People have lost the ability to work the ball.

When we watch golf on TV, we see maybe one or two events a year where players are forced to work the ball and hit shots they wouldn’t usually go for. These tournaments include the Open Championship and perhaps an event where the wind is up or course conditions play unfavorably.

Most of the time, golf is a target game, with the player only focusing on carry distance and rarely on how much of a shot is going to unfold, unless he’s coming off a big tough, obviously.

Introducing fewer options it forces the player to create and feel the shot, whether it’s stepping on an 8 iron or maybe hitting a slight fade with a 6, it shows just how great these players are skilled.

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Another factor is that fewer clubs can also reduce actual playing time on the golf course. In a recent article, data from Arccos showed that slow play has a negative impact on your score. The data revealed that rounds that last 4.5 to 5 hours cost golfers the most strokes and that for every additional half hour on the course, golfers were hit by approximately 0.4 to 0.7 strokes. .

During a game, there are many possible reasons for slow play – maybe a party member has lost a golf ball, or maybe there is a rule violation that also needs to be played. be considered… Another reason for slow play, which may not be considered, is indecision when selecting your club.

Too many options can scramble your brain! Imagine you have a shot from 150 yards with a bit of wind in your face. You know that usually your 8 iron will go to 150; however, because the ball can be affected by the wind, you must smash it. Now, how strong is this wind? Is it a one club wind or maybe two? Suddenly, you’re between a 7 iron and a 6 iron.

Solution? Don’t have the 7 iron in the bag! All of a sudden you know a 6 iron is the only option, so you commit to it. There is no need to hit an untapped 7 iron as this option is in the trunk of your car.

Canter hits a shot

Always evaluate the shot before deciding on the club…

(Image credit: Getty Images)

I understand that this topic will cause some arguments and that many people will completely disagree with my point of view. For that, I say, try at least to use a half set on the course. Whether it’s a knockabout with your friends or perhaps a roll-up on Saturday, you may find that a half set is beneficial to your game. If not, then you still have learned a thing or two.


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