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

bag with golf clubs

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 lefty, seven righty? Sure. Fourteen putters? Have at it. As the kids like to say, you do you.

Rules Guy: Can you carry more than 14 clubs if the extras aren’t stored in your bag?
By: 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 conceit 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 We promise he won’t throw the book at you.

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