Is it legal to carry 13 right-handed clubs and 1 left-handed club? Rules Guy

What do the rules say about carrying both righty and lefty clubs in your bag?

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The Rules of Golf are tricky! Thankfully, we’ve got the guru. Our Rules Guy knows the book front to back. Got a question? He’s got all the answers.

Is it OK to carry 13 right-handed clubs and one left-handed club? This would work for me rather than flipping over a club to get out of tough situations. – Paul Dziengelewski, Westfield, Mass.

Knock yourself out, Paul.

There is no rule regarding the makeup of a set, only that you have 14 clubs or fewer. Seven lefties, seven righties? Sure. Fourteen putters? Have to it. As the kids like to say, you do you.

golfer carrying clubs

Rules Guy: Can you carry more than 14 clubs if the extras aren’t stored in your bag?

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Rules Guy



For more club-related guidance from our guru, read on…

I know it’s against the rules to adjust my adjustable driver during a round, but is it illegal to carry an extra shaft as my 14th “club” and change shafts mid-round? —Frank Ballatore, Naples, Fla.

I suspect you are either a lawyer or a mechanic, Frank. This is a clever concept worthy of a clever answer.

Here goes: The act of changing out the shaft wouldn’t get you in trouble … until you make a stroke with the club, at which point you’d be penalized (the exact penalty depending upon what exactly you did, ranging from the general penalty per hole with a maximum of four strokes in stroke play or adjustment to the match in match play with a maximum of two holes to disqualification).

Under Rule 4.1b(4), even in situations where you’re allowed to add or replace a club, you can’t do so using parts carried by or for the player.

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Got a question about the Rules? Ask the Rules Guy! Send your queries, confusions and comments to rulesguy@golf.com. We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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