This common golf-bag organizing mistake could be damaging your clubs

proper push cart organization

An organized golf bag makes accessing your clubs easy while preventing possible damage.

Ryan Barath

Golf is full of unwritten rules, and with so many of them dedicated to dress code and etiquette, those that revolve around equipment often get overlooked. 

How to properly organize your golf clubs in your golf bag might seem like a simple concept, but with so many bags on the market today (check out the best bags at every price point here), it’s not always clear which clubs should go where. Whether you carry, use a push cart or ride, there is a proper way to organize your clubs for ease of access and also to prevent damage. Let’s dive in!

Carry bags

organized carry bag
The ideal way to organize a carry bag Ryan Barath / Darren Riehl

This rule is straightforward, if not always followed: If you carry your clubs, they should be organized from longest to shortest, top to bottom. The exception is your putter, which should live at the top among the other head-covered clubs. 

This orientation prevents the shorter clubs from hitting the graphite shafts of your longer clubs. This is a recurring theme for golf-club organization: easy access while preventing potential damage to your graphite shafts.

If you want to shake things up, check out the Ogio Woodé, which is designed to keep all of your head-covered clubs to the far side of the bag. 

Ogio Woodé divider system Ogio Golf

Ping Hoofer Craz E-Lite 2021

Ping’s lightest Hoofer bag to date, the Hoofer Craz-E-Lite tips the scales at a mere 3 pounds, allowing you to hoof it around the course with no shoulder fatigue, owing to the innovative fabric offering greater tensile strength.
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Pushcart bags

proper push cart organization
How to properly organize a push cart bag Ryan Barath / Darren Riehl

The carry-bag philosophy also applies to pushcarts, because the main goal of organizing your clubs should be for easy access and to prevent possible damage.

Whether you are using a bag with 14 dividers or four, having everything sit top to bottom — longest to shortest — will make access way easier.

Riding cart bags

riding cart bag organization
How to properly organize a riding cart bag Ryan Barath / Darren Riehl

This is where things get confusing, because if you typically walk, there is no reason to reconfigure your bag for the occasional riding round. But if you use a cart bag, then everything I just told you is going to be in reverse — kind of.

Because cart bags are intentionally designed to offer access to all the pockets and your clubs when strapped to a “buggy,” you want to place your longest to shortest clubs from back to front. In most cases, cart bags are sloped to help keep clubs facing in the same direction and to keep shorter clubs away from the graphite shafts of woods and hybrids to avoid damage and wear over time, especially in a cart where your babies can be tossed about.

You have enough things to worry about on the course. Protecting your clubs — and knowing where each one is — shouldn’t be one of them!

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.