Anyone playing by the letter of the law should know that 14 clubs is the maximum number of clubs allowable in any one players bag during a USGA sanctioned event. So how do you chose your weapons? Play to your strengths!
- If you find yourself saying, "I hate that club", then get rid of it! No clubs are mandatory. Replace it with something that is more worthy of the starting lineup. If you can't get a fairway wood off the ground, don't carry one, it's that simple. Hybrids work wonders, check them out!
- When you look into your bag after a round and there is always one club without a spec of dirt on it, it's probably time to ask yourself if it's time to pull it. Unless you want some extra weight in your bag for the exercise, clubs that aren't used shouldn't be kept in the rotation.
- Versatility- If you hit nearly every shot around the green with 1 wedge, why carry others? Hit the same hybrid 2 or 3 times per hole because it's "your favorite"? Scratch the others! Replace their spot in your bag with another club that has more usefulness.
- What club cost you strokes today? Hooking the driver? Missing short putts? Chipping problems? Certainly, practice is probably the correct remedy to these problems, but I encourage you all to try new equipment often. Finding a new wedge that gives you confidence might fix those chipping problems. A driver that won't go left? Sounds like a perfect fix to that hook that had you too nervous to pull the trigger on that reachable par 5. The perfect clubs for you are out there, you just have to find them.
For the more competitive players out there, when you play a practice round, bring any and all additional clubs that may have usefulness, even if they are currently on the sidelines. Each course plays a unique yardage and requires a different style of play, demanding different clubs to be used, thinking you'll use the same exact 14 clubs for every course isn't always the correct answer. After a practice round with 16-20 clubs in your bag, you'll easily be able to decide which 15 make the starting roster, it's always that last club that's hard to decide on. With that being said, if you were coming up 18 tied for the lead at a major championship and you had to hit club A, or club B in front of a million fans, which would you select? Answer that and you've got the best set of wrenches for job.