Can a golfer add, remove or swap out their golf clubs during a round?
Golf Culture

Can a golfer add, remove or swap out their golf clubs during a round?


In golf, a golfer can carry up to a maximum of 14 golf clubs during a stipulated round. Golfers don't have to carry the maximum number of golf clubs allowed, but they aren't to exceed that number lest they get a steep penalty for carrying too many clubs.

However, just because a golfer has a maximum number of golf clubs that they can have in their bag, does that mean they can't add, remove or otherwise swap out golf clubs during a round?

Can a golfer add golf clubs during a round?

If a golfer does not already have 14 golf clubs in their bag at any point during a round, a golfer can add golf clubs to their bag up to the 14-club limit. The only restrictions on adding golf clubs to a bag are that it doesn't cause undue to delay to a round, that the clubs aren't already in use by someone else in the competition and that the club isn't assembled from parts being carried around during the round.

Can a golfer remove golf clubs during a round?

A golfer can remove golf clubs during a round. However, in most circumstances, the golfer is not allowed to replace or swap one golf club for another. A golf club can be removed out of play and not used again, although that wouldn't be prudent since a golfer cannot exchange one club for another.

Can a golfer replace a damaged golf club during a round?

In most circumstances, a golfer cannot replace a golf club during a round. The only circumstance in which a golf club can be replaced is if the golf club is damaged.

A damaged golf club can be replaced during a round is if the damage was caused by outside forces or natural forces -- basically, if someone else did it or the damage occurred as part of a storm. If a player is able to replace a damaged club during a round, then must replace the club with a new one and take the damaged club immediately out of play.

All of the rules around golf clubs in a bag apply specifically to the round in which they're being used. After a round concludes, a player is able to modify which clubs are in their bag until the start of the next round. This includes going to a playoff in a stroke-play event, which is considered a new round under the Rules of Golf.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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