How to Organize a Golf Bag – 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 14 Way Setup Explained

A guy about to organize his golf bag

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Aug 10, 2023

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An organized golf bag goes a long way to speeding up play and reducing anxiety on the golf course. There are a few things worse than disorganized playing partners who take an age to find their golf club and slow down your entire round. In this post, I teach you how to organize a golf bag to avoid annoying your buddies.

Key Takeaways – Golf Bag Setup

  1. There is no EXACT right or wrong way to organize a golf bag
  2. BUT, the general guidelines I’ve laid will prevent damage to your shafts
  3. The amount of slots will determine the specifics on how to arrange your golf bag
  4. If you’re looking for bag storage ideas, use a golf bag storage organizer rack for your garage

Since there are multiple golf bag designs with differing layouts, I’ll explain how to organize a golf bag with each top structure – from a basic 4-hole to a complex 14-slot cart bag.

Besides keeping your golf bag organized, you’ll find that this tutorial improves your ability to protect your golf clubs from damage by positioning them in the correct compartment.

How To Arrange and Put Clubs in a Golf Bag?

Golf bags contain different top structures, which see your clubs laid out differently, but the premise is similar. For example, you’ll notice that most bags feature the woods at the back, followed by long irons in the second row. Next, you will store your mid and short irons together while your wedges and putter stand as one.

The setup is simple to remember because your longest golf clubs live at the back, and the shortest shafts sit in the front.

How To Organize a 14 Divider Golf Bag?

Cart bags are the only cases that feature 14-slots, giving every golf club a private compartment. You’ll find that the greatest benefit of a 14 slot golf bag is that your shafts remain separated to reduce the risk of scratching and entangling. However, I find that some slots are narrow and make it challenging to get your golf clubs in or out.

Most golf bags with 14 slots contain a compartment at the back center of the bag, designed for your putter. The slot to the right of the putter compartment (your left) is reserved for your driver. Conversely, the opposite flank fits your longest fairway wood.

Once the back three slots are filled, you move on to the second row, where you place your next strongest, lofted club heads. For example, you sit your 5-wood in the far left compartment, followed by your 4- and 5-iron. Next, your 6-iron rounds out the row.

Now we reach the front middle row, and the first available slot is on the far left. Add your 7-iron into this slot, then place your 8-iron, 9-iron, and pitching wedge in the remaining three slots.

You’ll notice that this leaves you with three front holes reserved for your wedges. Place your gap wedge into the far left hole, and round out the slots with your sand wedge and lob wedge.


Slot Number1234
Back Middle5-wood4-iron5-iron6-iron
Front Middle7-iron8-iron9-ironPitching Wedge
FrontGap WedgeSand WedgeLob Wedge

How To Organize an 8 Way Golf Bag?

8 way tops are the most compartments you’ll find on a standard carry golf bag, but they are also a popular layout on golf cart bags. To arrange an 8-slot bag, follow the same structure as the 14 way top. Therefore, you place your long golf clubs at the back and short ones in the front.

However, since you have more clubs than slots, some of your sticks will need to be shared, which can cause shafts to collide and scratch.

You’ll notice that 8 way top golf bags feature a solo compartment at the back, which is reserved for your strongest lofted clubs. This is where you store your driver and 3-wood.

Then we move to the middle row, equipped with three sections built to house your long and mid irons. Place your remaining fairway woods or hybrids in the far left middle compartment, then add your 4-iron and 5-iron to the middle slot. Finally, on the far right middle section, place your 6-iron and 7-iron.

Moving to the front of the bag, you’ll see that there are four sections waiting to keep your clubs organized. The slot on your left is built for your 8 and 9-iron, and you’ll notice that your pitching and gap wedge are next.

That leaves you with two final slots, which will hold your remaining wedges and putter. The second last hole fits your sand wedge and lob wedge, while the far right slot is reserved for your flat stick.


Slot Number1234
BackDriver/3 wood

How To Organize a 7 Way Golf Bag?

When you choose a 7 slot golf bag, you must know that every golf club needs to pair with another stick for all 14 clubs to fit. Once again, the setup follows the structure of placing your longest shafted golf clubs at the back, shortening as your move forwards.

Like the 8-slot golf bag, the 7-slot features a solo compartment in the aft reserved for your driver and 3-wood.

The remaining rows in the bag feature two compartments each, and the back middle slots are reserved for your 5-wood, hybrid, 4-iron, and 5-iron. Your 5-wood and hybrid sit in the left, back middle slot, while your 4 and 5-iron take the right side.

Next, you’ll notice the front middle row is also fitted with two slots. The left side is reserved for 6 and 7-iron, and your 8 and 9-iron sit on the right side. That leaves you with two remaining holes. Depending on how many wedges you carry, yours may differ from mine.

Nonetheless, I suggest placing your pitching and gap wedge in the left compartment, leaving your sand wedge and putter for the right slot.


Slot Number12
BackDriver/3 wood
Back Middle5-wood/Hybrid4-iron/5-iron
Front Middle6-iron/7-iron8-iron/9-iron

How To Organize a 6 Way Golf Bag?

A 6-way top golf bag consists of a 1-2-2-1 formation which means there is one compartment at the back and front of the bag while the remaining rows carry two each. You’ll notice that the aft slot is wide enough to hold your driver and the longest fairway wood.

The second row of a 6-way structure is reserved for your remaining fairway woods, hybrids, and long irons. Like the 14, 8, and 7-slot golf bags, the 6-way top houses your fairway wood and hybrid in the left slot. In addition, you’ll find that your 4 and 5-iron sit best in the right back middle hole.

Moving forward to the front middle row, where you store your mid and short irons, starting with your 6 and 7-iron on the left. You now know that you follow this up with the 8 and 9-iron in the right slot, leaving you with one final compartment.

The single slot in the front of the bag is wider than the others as it houses up to three golf clubs. You’ll find that this is the ideal spot to lay down all your wedges and your putter.


Slot Number12
BackDriver/3 wood
Back Middle5-wood/Hybrid4-iron/5-iron
Front Middle6-iron/7-iron8-iron/9-iron

How To Organize a 5 Way Golf Bag?

A 5-way top is found on lightweight carry golf bags and follows a 2-2-1 layout. You’ll notice two slots in the back of the bag for your woods and hybrids and two more in the middle. In addition, you’ll find a single large hole in the front of your bag, which caters to your wedges and putter.

Your big stick and 3-wood are allocated to the back-left compartment, while additional fairway woods or hybrids go in the right slot. You’ll see that the middle slots are wider than other layouts to handle three irons each. Your 4, 5, and 6-iron slide seamlessly into the left middle compartment, and your 7 to 9-iron live on the right.

The final available hole is a widened setup designed to hold every club in your short game. You’ll notice that it offers sufficient space to hold your pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and putter.


Slot Number1234
BackDriver/3 wood5 wood/Hybrid

How To Organize a 4 Way Golf Bag?

A 4-slot golf bag follows a simple layout and is generally featured on entry-level carry bags used by beginners and high handicappers. You’ll see that it follows a 1-2-1 structure, meaning that it has 1 compartment at the back of the bag, two in the middle, and one in the front.

The expanded back slot is set up to house all your lowest lofted clubs, including your driver, fairway woods, and hybrid. Typically you can fit three clubs in this slot, but some players push the boundaries and carry four.

Next, you are faced with two middle slots, which need to hold your long, mid, and short irons. The left-leaning hole fits your 4-iron, 5-iron, and 6-iron, while the right side handles your 7-iron, 8-iron, and 9-iron. That leaves you with the single front slot, where you place your pitching wedge, sand wedge, and putter.


Slot Number12
BackDriver/Fairway Woods

How To Organize Golf Bag Pockets

Besides keeping your clubs in your order, your golf bag contains multiple pockets to store your golf balls, tees, apparel, valuables, refreshments, and technology. Let me show you where everything fits in.


You’ll see that golf bags feature a sizable pocket at the bottom back zone, which is your extra golf balls pocket. It can hold ample loose balls to get you through 18 holes, but I suggest emptying any sleeves before hitting the links for optimal storage space.


If you are facing your ball compartment head-on, you’ll notice a pocket specifically designed for your golf gloves lies to the left. They typically offer sufficient space for you to house a new glove in its packaging. I always suggest carrying multiple gloves to ensure maximum traction and control over your golf clubs.


You’ll find that many modern golf bags contain exterior tee slots to place your individual pegs. However, you can store your packs of tees in their own shallow pocket or with your golf ball. My bag has a small pocket built for this purpose, situated directly above my ball pocket.


Every golf bag is equipped with at least one apparel pocket to store your rain gear and other apparel items. You’ll notice that cart and staff bags afford the luxury of a second apparel pocket to ensure superior golfers can store all the clothing they need for a round of golf.


You’ll notice that your golf bag features an insulated pocket to store your beverages while out on the links. The pocket material regulates the temperature to keep your drink cold in blistering heat. My golf bag has an insulated sleeve situated next to my glove pocket. Conversely, some bags place them above the ball compartment.


On top of your golf equipment for the course, you need a place to store your car keys, wallet, smartphone, and jewelry. A valuables pocket provides a sheltered place to protect your personal items during a round. You will notice that this pocket is often positioned next to the apparel compartment.


Golf CART bags offer extra pockets for the super organized golfer looking for maximum storage space. These bags generally feature an additional pocket for your rangefinder or golf GPS device. I have found that these pockets typically sit at the top of the bag, but that varies from design.

FAQ – How to Set Up a Golf Bag

What are all the compartments in a golf bag for?

The compartments on a golf bag store your golf balls, tees, gloves, apparel, refreshments, and valuables. You’ll find that the accessible pocket structure makes it easy to find what you need without interrupting your playing partners.

What is the proper way to set up a golf bag?

The proper way to set up a golf bag is to arrange golf clubs by length – position your long clubs at the bag, mid to short irons in the middle, and wedges and putter in the front. Although there are multiple top designs, you’ll notice that they follow the same basic sequence when you organize a golf bag.

What is the best way to store my golf bag?

If you’re wondering how to store golf clubs, a couple of good choices are in the closet, garage, or storage rack.

About the Author

Erik Schjolberg

By Coach Erik Schjolberg – Last Updated Aug 10, 2023



Coach Erik actively coaches several PGA Tour Professionals. He’s the head golf instructor and writer here at Swing Yard, was voted the “#1 Golf Coach in Scottsdale, Arizona”, and has been coaching for over 20+ years. Erik also owns and operates his own online golf school, EJS Golf Academy. His other credentials include: Active PGA Coaches Membership, Titleist TPI Level 1 and 2, Trackman Certified Level 1, Dr. Kwon’s Biomechanics Level I and II, Scott Cowx Certified Level I Advanced, BodiTrack and V1 Sports Pressure Mat Certified, Titleist Club Fitting and Ball Fitting Certified, PGA Hope, and Sportsbox AI. Check out Erik’s full bio and certifications for more info.