How to Organize a Golf Bag

Ever watched one of your partners fighting to get a 9-iron out of the bag after dumping his approach shot into the water? Chances are he will put the second ball way over the green or back into the water. An organized golf bag setup could have prevented this!

After playing golf for more than 50 years, one surprising way to have more fun out on the course is knowing how to organize a golf bag.

The simplest way to organize a golf bag is to:

  1. Put the longest clubs (woods and long irons) in the rear section of the bag.
  2. Medium irons in the center.
  3. Wedges, short irons, and putters in the front.
Golf clubs in a bag on course

Depending on the bag you have and your preferences, there are several ways you could organize your bag, though. For instance: Do you have a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 14-way bag? The number of divisions you have could change how you arrange your golf clubs in your bag, which is why we’ll go into detail on each of these types in this post.

We’ll also cover how to organize your pockets with various essential accessories. To start, here’s a more detailed step-by-step approach on how to put clubs in your golf bag.

How To Organize a Golf Bag

Golf clubs on stand on green

Step 1: Consider your golf bag

The first thing to consider when learning how to set up your golf bag is the type of golf bag you have. Golf bags come with various internal dividers, from 14-way down to 4-way. Some golf bags are created for carrying and others for carts. But whether you have a cart bag or a carry bag, or a 4-way bag or a 14-way bag — similar principles should be applied when arranging your clubs.

Organizing the clubs in the bag from the longest to the shortest is a simple start.

If you’re looking for a new bag, we reviewed the best golf bags for your money.

Step 2: Put the drivers and long irons in the rear

You should place the longest clubs (the driver, 3 wood, and long irons) in the back dividers of the golf bag. If using a cart bag, these clubs are closest to the spine of the cart. You can easily extract them without causing any damage.

Keeping the clubs in numerical order from left to right is also advisable.

Step 3: Put the medium irons in the middle

You should place medium irons (5 to 7 iron) in the middle sections of the bag. Depending on your bag size, the clubs will fit nice and loose for easy retrieval and replacement.

Again, putting them in numerical order will help.

Step 4: Put short irons, wedges, and putter in front

The short irons, wedges, and putter should be placed in the forward section. These are the shortest clubs, so you can easily grab a medium or long club above them.

These clubs should also be in numerical order.

Some bags have a special putter sleeve which is helpful in the golf bag setup, as the putter is the most used club in the bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

With the wide variety of golf clubs bags, there is a number of ways you can answer the question, where to put golf clubs in your bag? In this section, we’ll go into more detail on the different bag types and answer reader questions.

top of 14 way golf club bag

How do you organize a 14-way bag?

The 14-way divider bag accommodates each club in a sleeve or tube. This is useful and makes pulling or replacing a club fast and easy. If your bag has the plastic tubes as dividers, I suggest removing them from the bag. The plastic damages the clubs’ shafts and they will show unnecessary wear after a time.

You would also organize your bag with the longest clubs in the rear and the shortest in the front.

How do you organize an 8-way bag?

Pairing up similar clubs and placing them in the same slots works best with the 8-way bag.

Place the driver and woods together, then the hybrids, long and medium irons, and finally the wedges.

Keep a single slot open for the putter.

Place the longest clubs in the back slots, moving in descending order to the wedges and putter in the front slots.

How do you organize a 7-way bag?

Place the driver, 3 wood, and hybrids in the single large rear slot. The center two rows will accommodate the long and medium irons. The front two slots are for the short irons, wedges, and the putter. Keep the clubs in numerical order.

How do you organize a 6-way bag?

Keeping the same principle as the 8-way bag, place the driver, fairway woods, and hybrids in the rear two slots. The long and medium irons in the middle two, and short irons, wedges, and putter in the front slots.

How do I avoid damaging clubs when retrieving or replacing them in the bag?

The clubs often slide to one side of the bag during play and become difficult to retrieve or replace after use. Lift the club heads gently from their resting position, easily releasing the grips and shafts. Now replace or pull the club required for the shot.

How To Organize The Pockets Of Your Golf Bag

golf bag on driving range with balls

Now that we have established a routine for club placement within the bag, the next step is to organize the various pockets with the accessories we carry onto the course.

Which pockets should be used for tees and markers?

Use one of the front pockets for tees, markers, and pitch repairers. They are the most used items and need to be easily accessible. No scratching around on the first tee!

Where should you put gloves and golf balls?

A deep front pocket is ideal for carrying spare gloves and balls during the round. Depending on the skill level, keep balls close at hand!

If you’re looking for winter golf gloves, we did a full review on our favorite models!

What should you put in the large side pockets?

Organizing the larger side pockets before play is another area players seem to neglect.

Make sure the rain gear is placed in one, with a spare rain glove, jacket, and hat or cap.

How often do you see players get caught in a cloudburst and are saturated before getting to their gear? Not only does this disrupt the rhythm of the round, but it adds frustration.

In the other large side pocket, place a jersey or short sleeve top if the weather changes while out on the course. If the bag does not have a “cooler” pocket, ensure you have a filled drinks bottle in this pocket.

Dehydration is the cause of many problems when playing golf but is not on the priority list when packing the bag. Have a small hand towel available in the bag.

What should be put in the smaller side pockets?

Evenly distribute wallets, watches, cell phones, car keys, sweets, and sunscreen in these pockets. You should switch off your phone before play begins

Where should the towel and umbrella be placed on the bag?

Clips are provided on most golf bags for a towel to clean clubs after each shot. Wet the towel before playing. Dirty grooves on the club’s face will affect spin and flight on a golf ball.

An umbrella sleeve or small velcro strap on the side of the bag will secure an umbrella if required on the day. The positioning allows water to run off without wetting the contents of the side pockets.

How to organize your pockets?

It is great to have the golf bag organized when arriving at the first tee, but what about the player himself? How often do you see them fidgeting and pulling out the contents of their pockets, looking for a golf peg, ball, or glove?

An organized player has a ball, a few pegs, and a glove ready when they arrive on the tee. The first tee is not the place to start applying sunscreen just before you tee off.

Anytime you rush before play sets the rhythm for that day. Make sure you arrive fully prepared to hit the ball 10 mins before your allotted time.


An organized golfer is a better golfer, so knowing how to organize your golf bag allows you to concentrate on your game, knowing you’re prepared.

It will also protect the longevity of your golf clubs and create a good first impression on strangers or other playing partners.

For more tips on taking care of your golf clubs, check out our article about cleaning your irons!

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Matt has played golf since he was 4 years old and has written over 150 articles at GolfSpan since 2021. Matt specializes in product reviews using his postgraduate degree in Sports Marketing from Johan Cruyff Institute. Matt has a handicap index of 10.8 and currently plays weekly at Pilar Golf Course near his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also loves his Callaway Odyssey Exo Rossie putter and likes a pepper steak pie with curry gravy at the turn. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

  • Best score: 70
  • Favorite club: Callaway Odyssey Exo Rossie
  • Favorite ball: Srixon Q-Star Tour
  • Favorite food at the turn: Pepper steak pie with curry gravy

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