Does The Putter Count In The 14 Clubs? [Do You Need One]

It’s one of the most important clubs in golf, but does the putter actually count as one of your 14 clubs? Let’s take a look.

Does The Putter Count In The 14 Clubs?

Does The Putter Count In The 14 Clubs?

Does The Putter Count In The 14 Clubs?

Yes, the putter does count as one of the 14 clubs in a golf bag, according to the limit which is set by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and R&A.

Golfers are legally allowed to carry up to a maximum of 14 golf clubs and most of the time this will mean that they include a putter in their choice.

The number of clubs allowed counts for all types of golf clubs, including drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters. This rule helps to keep the game fair and prevents any player from having an unfair advantage over the field.

Most of the time, golfers will have just one putter in their golf bag. It’s needed when playing on the putting green but also can be used from off the green where the grass isn’t too long.

Although uncommon, some golfers may carry more than one putter. There’s no limit on how many putter’s you can use, though it’s not likely to benefit your game.

Having said that, I once played with someone who carried two putters, one was left-handed and the other was right-handed. On the long putts, he would use the normal right-handed putter. But on the short putts, where he’d clearly struggled to get the golf ball in the hole in the past, he used the left-handed putter. An interesting play for sure, but it worked!

On the other hand, you can also carry fewer clubs if you so wish and none of them have to be a putter. If you prefer to belly a pitching wedge or chip a hybrid, that’s absolutely fine, just try to avoid taking a divot out of the green.

However many putters you choose to put in the bag, just make sure that the total number of clubs is less than 14 when you’re playing a golf tournament. Having an extra club too many will mean you’re fined up to four shots if playing stroke play and a loss of up to two holes when playing match play.

Do You Have To Have A Putter In Golf?

No, there’s no rules in golf which say you have to have a putter in your golf bag.

Of course, you’re usually better off having a putter in your bag as the flatter face makes putting far easier than if you were to use a lofted club such as a sand wedge.

Other clubs can be used for putting, but for most golfers, they’re far more difficult to control and use accurately compared to a putter.

Sometimes you might see professional golfers on the PGA Tour putting with a club which isn’t a putter. This isn’t because they decided to leave out the putter from the bag. It’s most likely that they snapped it on the previous hole and need something else to use.

While it’s technically allowed and very much possible to play golf without a putter, it’s never really a good idea for most levels of golfers. Golf bags are full of different clubs, all of which can produce different shots. A putter is one of those, which offers maximum feel and control on the greens and is very important.

Final Thoughts

Although it’s not required, a putter is one of the most vital pieces of golf equipment a golfer can carry in their bag and counts towards the total number of clubs.

A putter helps give the club head shape for rolling the ball along the putting surface and will give golfers the best chance of holing putts.


How many golf clubs can you have in your bag including putter?

The maximum number of clubs in a golf bag is 14 which includes a putter and all types of golf club. Though it’s not a requirement, most golfers will carry a putter in their golf set.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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