9 Tips For Organizing Your Golf Bag: An Ultimate Guide

golf bags lined up with pockets showing

One of the things I really can’t stand is when my favorite golf ball marker or my rangefinder cleaning rag goes missing in my golf bag. With all the pockets and room for gear and accessories, why do I spend so much time searching for what I need? 

The answer is that most people (myself included until recently) don’t understand how to organize a golf bag. Let’s take a look at these nine tips for organizing your golf bag. They will help you save time and keep your head focused on the task at hand, playing a great round of golf. 

9 Tips For Organizing Your Golf Bag 

Organizing your golf bag should be a chore the first time you do it. However, once you have the golf bag organized and ready, you should never have to do this again. These tips to help you organize your golf bag are simple, yet you will understand its importance as soon as you start moving through them. 

1) Order Your Golf Clubs with Consistency 

Golf amateurs have trouble deciding the order of the golf clubs in their bag. Of course, there is some personal preference involved in this one, but there is also a way to organize clubs to make things easier on you and better for the golf clubs. 

The first reason to keep your golf clubs organized is so that you can easily find them. If you have all of your golf clubs in the appropriate sections of your bag, you will be able to quickly look down and grab the one you need. 

In addition, if you are missing a club from the hole prior, it is pretty easy to see. Here is the typical order of golf clubs that you should follow. As long as you have a golf bag with at least three dividers, this order will work. For golf bags with 14 or 15 club slots, you can get even more precise with the location of the clubs in the bag. 

RowClubs from Left To Right
Top Row Driver and Fairway Woods
Middle RowHybrids, Long Irons, Down to Short Irons
Bottom RowWedges (including PW) and Putter 

Always keep your wedges on the bottom of the golf bag and your woods at the top. This is the best way to grab a wedge out and have it fit right under the driver as you take it out.

In addition, when the clubs are sitting in the bag, they will not damage the shaft of the woods and hybrids. However, if you have your clubs backward, there is a chance that the head of the golf wedge will damage the driver shaft. 

2) 14 Divider Bag vs. 15 Divider Bag 

Golfers with a 14 divider or 15 divider bag have taken a significant step in protecting the longevity of their golf clubs. However, many players wonder what they are supposed to do with this 15th club slot. 

There are a few things to consider in this situation. Most golfers will have a ball retriever or golf alignment sticks in their golf bag. The 15th slot can be used to carry your extra gear, or you can use the 15th slot for the putter and keep the extra gear in the 14th slot. 

It’s nice to have the 15 divider bag but don’t take this as an invitation to carry more clubs around the course; you can’t have more than 14 clubs. Keep the same order with the long clubs at the top and the short clubs at the bottom of your bag, even with all these dividers. 

3) Declutter

The first step in any organization project should be to declutter. When you set out to organize your golf bag, you must first take everything out of the bag and see what is truly necessary to keep in your golf bag. 

A golfer that has not cleared out their golf bag in quite some time will find that there is quite a bit of unnecessary gear in the bag. For instance, many players will find energy bars, old sweaters, 42 golf balls, 78 ball markers, and more. 

It’s not uncommon to end up with quite a bit of gear in your bag; however, this gear is not necessary. It’s a good idea to have a container in your garage or storage area at your home that will allow you to keep extra golf accessories. Not everything should be stored in your golf bag. 

The biggest culprit tends to be golf balls. Most of the time, having about 9 or 10 golf balls in the bag is more than enough; if you have 20 or more, there is just no reason for that. 

4) Organize Golf Accessories 

Golf accessories can be minimal, and because of that, they often need to be organized differently. For instance, if you take a bag of tees and dump them into your golf bag, you may struggle to find them when you are on the course. 

Instead of dumping the tees, keeping them in a bag in a dedicated pocket may make sense. In addition, it is a good idea to separate ball markers from tees. The idea is that when you reach for a ball marker, you will want to find it without searching through the tees. 

Although there are many different golf gadgets out on the market, if you have never used your golf ball marker tool or have seven towel rings in your golf bag, start getting these out and making room for the equipment you really need. 

5) Dedicate Pockets 

It is crucial to dedicate some of the pockets in your bag so that you will always know where to look and find something. Golf bag manufacturers have been making this process much easier by creating pockets specifically for valuables or rangefinders. 

With golf bag pockets being primarily on the front of the bag (to help give golfers access), you can go through and decide where you will keep all of your accessories. The next time you find a ball in the woods and go to throw it into your bag, choose the ball pocket. 

If you can keep to a more organized routine, the overall results of your golf bag organizing will be much more consistent and effective. 

6) Cart Bag vs. Stand Bag Organization 

Many golfers ask me what the difference is between a cart bag and stand bag organization. The truth is that there really is no difference. However, there are two things that stand bag golfers need to consider that cart bag golfers do not. 

  1. The first is that the stand bag is typically carried, and this means that the weight of the bag is much more critical. Do not carry extra gear that will keep your bag weighed down. 
  2. Another issue that stand bag golfers need to deal with is the number of club slots available for the organization. Just because there are not 14 dividers does not mean that you can throw the clubs anywhere in the bag. Keep the order from top to bottom the same, regardless of how many club dividers you have. 

7) Prepare for Bad Weather

The weather on a golf course can change quickly, and having the proper tools to manage any kind of weather is essential. Players need to be prepared for the weather, and I like to dedicate one pocket to weather prep. I will keep rain gloves, winter gloves, an extra towel, and any kind of rain gear I like to carry in this pocket. 

Having a dedicated pocket makes it so easy when the storm rolls in to just grab what I need and be on my way. 

8) Use Extra Storage/Containers

Even though a golf bag typically has between 7 and 13 pockets, these pockets themselves don’t always offer what you need from an organizational standpoint. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box and grab some containers, pouches, or bags that keep the pockets themselves organized. 

For instance, I have small bags inside two of my pockets to separate my ball markers and golf tees. In addition, I have seen golfers that keep a small bag or plastic container with a Sharpie and a ball marking tool. This is the go-to spot when getting prepared for a round. 

The extra storage does not need to be complicated; simply ensure that you have access to everything without digging around in your golf bag. 

9) Now That it’s Organized, Keep it That Way

The hard part of organizing your golf bag is to put it together initially. Once you have the golf bag in place, you can simply follow the order you have put together and stick with it. Simply put things back in your golf bag in an organized manner, and you will not have to do this organizational project for a very long time. 

Players should always start a new golf season with a clean and organized golf bag. Doing this once per year helps you stay prepared and ready when on the golf course.


Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now feel ready to organize your golf bag and stay prepared for anything that could come your way on a golf course. Here are a few questions that I am often asked about organizing a golf bag. 

How Should I Arrange My Golf Clubs In My Bag?

When arranging golf clubs in a bag, always put the drivers and fairway woods at the top and the wedges at the bottom. The putter can go at the top or the bottom, depending on player preference. The middle of the bag should have the irons in position from left to right. 

What Are Some Essential Items That Every Golf Needs? 

Golfers need quite a few things in their golf bags to get through a round of golf. The problem is that the way golfers are marketed to, they have much more gear than they need.

Here are the essentials that you should always keep in your bag:

  • Around nine golf balls
  • Tees
  • Ball markers
  • Cold weather gear
  • Rainy weather gear 
  • Rangefinder
  • Bandaids 
  • Golf gloves (2 or 3 max)
  • An extra towel 
  • Divot repair tool 

Related: Golf Accessories Every Golfer Should Have

How To Arrange A 6 Slot Golf Bag? 

Many golf bags are made with only six slots to ensure that the golf bag is not too heavy, yet the golf clubs can remain separated from one another. If you have a six-slot golf bag, this is the best way to organize it. 

Top LeftDriver and 3 Wood (Putter)
Top Right5 Wood and Hybrid
Middle Left4, 5, 6 iron
Middle Right7, 8, 9 iron
Bottom LeftPW, AW
Bottom Right SW, LW (Putter) 

Note that the putter can move up or down in the bag depending on what position you think is best for your game. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, these nine tips for organizing your golf bag have helped you see the importance of this process. So many golfers play the game with an unorganized bag, and it creates confusion and takes away time on the golf course.

Searching through your bag for a tee or a divot repair tool is a waste of time. With all of these tips and the excellent golf bag technology on the market, you can stay much more prepared when looking for your gear out on the course. 

Joe Morelli

Joe's been playing golf for 25 years, starting as a junior golfer in his early teens. He loves getting out on the links with his dad and friends -- whether an early weekend foursome or his weekday, afternoon league.

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