Don’t Make a Mess: How to Organize your Golf Bag

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Look good, feel good, play good – that’s my golf motto.

I’m not just talking about your golf clothes either, how you organize a golf bag is just as important. Plus, don’t you feel better when you have a clean environment in your home or office?

It is possible to shoot lower scores by organizing your golf bag in the right way, believe it or not. According to the Cleaning Collective“In their 2011 study, researchers at Princeton University concluded that a cluttered environment makes it more difficult to focus on a specific task due to a person’s visual cortex being overwhelmed by all the task-irrelevant objects in the room.” 

It can help you save money by cleaning your clubs after each round. How do you organize your golf bag? 

Continue reading to find out how to organize your golf bag and what accessories you should have in your bag. 

How to Arrange Your Golf Clubs

At some point, I’m sure you’ve asked, how should I arrange my golf clubs in my bag? 

It all depends on what type of bag you have. Some bags have more compartments than others. For example, a hybrid bag or carry bag has only four to five pockets, while a carry bag has 14 for each club. 

Cart bags are more spacious and easier to store. This is great if you have expensive aftermarket shafts and want to make sure they don’t get damaged in your bag. 

No matter what type of bag it is, The general rule is that the longest clubs are at the top, and the shortest clubs at bottom. Let’s break down what that means below.

Woods and Putter at Top

An organized golf bag begins with the top, which should include your driver, fairway woodens, and putter. You might be wondering why? 

To protect your shafts. 

Since woods, hybrids, and drivers are made with graphite shafts, it’s essential that your heavy steel shafts don’t scratch them. These shafts are also the most expensive and difficult to replace. You will want to protect it as much as possible because some aftermarket driver shafts can be $300 or more. 

Organizing your clubs is even more important if you have a smaller stand bag with 4–5 compartments. Since these bags require you to have 3–4 clubs in each compartment, it’s easy for them to get tangled and rub against each other.

Even if you have a cart bag it’s still the best way to organize your clubs so you can easily pull each club out of the bag. Plus, if your woods and headcovers are in the bottom, it’ll block your view of each club. 

There’s nothing worse than thinking you left a club at the driving range or on a previous hole. If you don’t organize your clubs like this, it’s easy to do and I want to help you avoid that stress and panic on the golf course. 

The Middle has both short and mid irons

Your irons and/or hybrids will be found in the middle of your bag. The middle section of your bag is where you will find hybrids and long irons for amateur golfers. 

These clubs should be organized from the top down. Let’s say you have a 4-PW with a sand and lob wedge. The 4-iron goes on your bags middle left side. Next comes the 5-iron, 6-iron, and so forth. 


The Bottom: Short Clubs 

The bottom of your bag is for the shortest clubs.

These are your wedges and short irons. Like the irons, it’s a good idea to organize them from left to right so you have a system and don’t accidentally leave a wedge by the green on the last hole. 

Check out this video to see how to arrange your bag in the best way. Video from Below Par on YouTube. With over 750,000 views it’ll make it easy to understand the best practices for golf club organization. 

Don’t Forget Headcovers

While this club organization system will help you stay organized and protect your clubs, don’t forget about headcovers. If your woods and irons are rattling around all day it’ll eventually damage your clubs. This will make it hard to sell your clubs for a good price in the future. It can also make it difficult to focus if you have a severe scratch on your head. 

Plus, it’s pretty annoying to hear them bouncing and hitting each in the golf cart for your playing partners. To protect your most expensive clubs, make sure you keep your headcovers on during the round. 

Other pockets to organize a golf bag

Depending on the golf bag you choose, there will be a variety of pockets. Many golf bags have an insulated pocket for keeping drinks cold, an apparel pocket, a range finder pocket, ball pocket, and a specific valuables pocket. There are also many pockets to store keys, tees and other items.

Golf Accessories for Your Bag

Accessories are the last thing you should add to your bag (which is a rarity in the world of golf). Here are some of the most essential items you need:

  • Towel(s)
  • Rain gear
  • Umbrella
  • Tees for golf
  • Divot tool 
  • Rain hood
  • Ball markers 
  • Golf club brush 
  • There are many golf gloves 
  • Additional batteries or chargers 
  • Launch monitor (for practicing) 
  • Rangefinder, golf watch or golf GPS

To avoid clutter and lighten your bag, clean your pockets of your golf bag a few times per year. Also, don’t forget to clean the outside of your bag regularly so it lasts longer too. 

Don’t forget to clean your golf clubs during the round a deep clean of your grooves every few weeks too. 


FAQs about Golf Bag Organization 

Are you looking for information on how to organize your golf bag and what you should be carrying in your bag? Continue reading if you have more questions about how to organize a golf bag or what you should carry in your golf bag.

How do you organize your clubs in a 14-compartment golf bag?

Whether you have 3–4 compartments or 14 individual full length dividers, it’s best to organize longest to shortest, top to bottom. By keeping your longest clubs at the top it will protect your shafts and make it easy to pull each club out of the bag (whether you’re walking, riding, or carrying).

After recently investing in a 14-compartment bag I can say it’s well worth it. It is lighter than a smaller, more portable bag, but it provides so much protection for the clubs. Not to mention, it’s nice for each club to have a specific spot in the bag (which makes it less likely to lose one). 

How do I decide which clubs I want to carry? 

This is an excellent question that can make all the difference in your average score. Whether you’re a 20-handicap or a scratch golfer, it’s essential to play clubs that match your game. 

High handicap golfers will find fairway woods and long irons more beneficial than hybrids. They may not need as many wedges (2-3), vs. having four. Here’s what a typical setup might look like for 20+ handicaps:

  • Driver, 3-wood, 5-wood
  • 2 hybrids, 5-9 Iron
  • 2–3 wedges 
  • Putter

Mid-handicap players will have a good mix hybrids, utility clubs, and wedges. Here’s what a typical setup might look like:

  • Driver, 3-wood and 5-wood or hybrid
  • 1 hybrid, 4-9 iron 
  • 2–3 wedges 
  • Putter 

Low handicap golfers are more likely to use driving or long irons, and to add a fourth wedge. Here’s a typical set-up for a single digit handicap or scratch golfer:

  • Driver, 3-wood or 2-iron, or 2H
  • 4-9 iron 
  • 4 wedges
  • Putter

To make the game more enjoyable, ensure that all clubs have a purpose. 

How many clubs can one use in a round?

If you’ve played golf in competition (or plan too) you need the right amount of clubs. The USGA limit for golfers is 14 clubs. Any more than that, and youll be disqualified or subject to penalty strokes.

Here’s a little more information on the USGA’s website“You are allowed to carry up to 14 clubs for play (but you can have fewer). There is no restriction on the type of clubs you carry so long as they conform to the Rules – for instance you can carry multiple putters, multiple drivers, or some left-handed clubs and some right-handed clubs.”

They also pointed out that if a club is lost during a round of golf, it cannot be replaced. If your club breaks during a round, you can either replace it or the shaft. Plus, if you start with less than 14, you are allowed to add more during the round as long as you don’t cause a delay. 

Are you allowed to use 14 clubs and a putter in your game?

Your putter is not counted as one of your 14 putters. Alignment sticksCertain training aids and retrievers are not included in your 14 club. 

Is a golf ball retriever considered a club?

A golf ball retriever is not considered one of your 14 clubs. So if you need to carry a retriever to fish out some golf balls during the round, don’t worry, you won’t get penalized.

Click here to see the best golf ball retrievers.

Should you play the exact same brand of club?

No, unless you’re a sponsored athlete it doesn’t make sense to play the same brand for all 14 clubs. In fact, even sponsored golfers typically only need to play 10–11 clubs of one brand to meet their requirements. 

It’s important to play golf clubs that match your game. Some brands are better suited to certain golfers than others. Callaway woods and irons, Titleist wedges and a PXG stick are all my favorites. I’ve done custom fitting sessions for all parts of my game and listen to the data, not forcing clubs from one brand. Don’t make golf harder on yourself by playing clubs with specifications that don’t match your unique swing. 

Final Thoughts about Golf Bag Organization 

These best practices will help to organize your bag efficiently. No matter what bag you use, the bag should have longer clubs at its top and shorter clubs at its bottom. The best club setup will make you play better golf. 

This will ensure that you:

  • Optimize storage space
  • You can easily access clubs while playing golf
  • Keep track of all 14 clubs during a round 
  • Protect your longer clubs by using graphite shafts that are more expensive 

Are you an avid golfer with a system or are you an organized player?

Comment below to let me know your thoughts. 

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