How to Organize a Golf Bag – 4, 5, 6, 8, 14 Way

how to organize a golf bag

Playing golf with a disorganized character can plummet your levels on a par with the altitude of Furnace Creek. A player scratching in their bag in the middle of your backswing, and taking an age to find the right club can make you see red instead of green… I am going to teach you how to organize a golf bag, to ensure that you are never that person.

I have presented a step-by-step guide for optimizing the storage space in your golf bag. Plus, you will learn how to layout your golf clubs in bags with different divider designs. By the end of this post, you will have an organized golf bag and aid in speeding up play at your local golf course.

What you will need to follow this tutorial

  • Golf bag
  • Golf clubs
  • Golf balls
  • Tees
  • Rain Gear
  • Essential Accessories

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1 – Plan The Layout Of Your Golf Bag

When you know how to organize a golf bag correctly, it saves you time on the links. The most effective way to achieve this is by planning your layout and what works best for you. 

Obviously, if you use a 14-way golf bag, it is easier to determine where to position the golf clubs. However, 4, 5, 6, and 8 slot bags require better structure. Think about the layout that will help you keep your golf bag organized, making it easy to extract clubs, a golf ball, or apparel.

I will address the subject later on how to organize a golf bag relative to balls, apparel, valuables, and tees. For now, let me stick with the structure of your golf clubs. I have followed a simple left-to-right formation over the years. 

My Setup

how to organize 6 way golf bag

For example, I place my driver in the back left slot, followed by my two fairway woods. My 3-iron is in the left corner, preceding my 4 to 6-irons. This trend runs until my putter which is positioned in the front right corner slot.

Alternatively, you can start each alternate row on the opposite side. What I mean is that you insert your woods from left to right. Next, you plant your hybrids and long irons from right to left. 

If a 3-iron is your next longest club, it sits in the right corner of the second row, with a 4, 5, and 6-iron. The following row starts from the left, with your 7-iron moving right until I reach the 9-iron. In addition, a pitching, sand, and lob wedge take up the front row along with my putter. I have a putter well in the front right corner of my bag.

Personally, I prefer the consistent left to right sequence. However, that does not make it the perfect setup. I make it work for me. The point is that you need a system that helps you keep your clubs organized. This makes playing golf a seamless process, which your playing partners will appreciate.

Step 2 – Ensure That Your Golf Clubs Are Clean

If you are making an effort to organize a golf bag, you might as well clean your clubs first. Give them a scrub, and take some pride in your golf bag. Readers who are unsure how to remove dirt from their clubs need not stress. I have compiled a guide to help you clean your golf clubs. 

Step 3 – Place Your Woods And Putter In The Back Slots

Once the planning process is complete, you are ready to start feeding your golf bag with equipment. Look at your golf bag like a class photo, where the tallest kids stand at the back. The same applies here, as Rick Shiels demonstrates in this video.

Your longest clubs go into the back slots. These include your driver and fairway woods. Deposit your driver into the left corner of the back slot with your 3 and 5-wood beside it. Your grips should lie inside the bag while your club heads peak out.

If your golf bag does not contain a dedicated putter well, Shiels suggests storing it in the same slot as your woods.

Step 4 – Deposit Hybrids and Long Irons Into The Second Slot

The next row houses your hybrids or long irons. If you carry hybrids those go in first, starting from left to right. 

If a 4-hybrid is the lowest lofted club after your 5-wood, sit it down in the left-hand corner of the second row and move left, under your 6-iron has settled in the corner of the row. Below Par seems to agree with this approach, as he displays in the below video.

Step 5 – Plant Mid And Short Irons Into The Third Slot

Continuing with the sequence of the first two rows, we move to your mid and short irons. These include your 7, 8, and 9-iron. Those players who carry four wedges may opt to feature their pitching wedge in this row.

Step 6 – Add Your Wedges In The Fourth Slot

The final slot of your golf bag is reserved for your wedges and putter. This row in a casual player’s golf bag consists of a pitching wedge, sand wedge, and putter. Conversely, lower handicaps may carry a gap and lob wedge. 

Depending on the design of your bag, there may be a separate compartment to house your putter. This is especially useful when you operate with a jumbo grip that may take up extra space among your wedges.

Step 7 – Insert Your Putter Into The Dedicated Well

Certain bags are equipped with a specific compartment to store your putter. This allows you to easily insert and remove your putter without it getting caught on another golf club.  However, if your golf bag is without this slot, you can store it in the back with your lower lofted clubs.

READ MORE: Best Putting Drills to Eradicate 3-Putts from Your Game

How To Arrange Golf Clubs According To Dividers

4-way golf bags

The instructions that I provided above are in-line with a 4-slot golf bag. Your woods and putter fit into one slot, followed by your hybrid and long irons. In addition, your short and middle irons partner up into a compartment, as do your wedges. 

Following steps 1 to 7 will help you organize a golf bag with 4 dividers. This construction is typically found in an entry-level stand bag. If you prefer to observe a visual demonstration of a 4 slot golf bag, you can watch the video by Below Par.

5-way golf bags

how to organize 5 way golf bag

The woods and putter setup remains the same for 5-slot golf bags as the standard 4-way top. You place your low lofted golf clubs in the most spacious compartment. Next, the middle left slot keeps your long irons or hybrids, while the right side caters to your mid and short irons. 

Lastly, the front slot is built for wedges. Stand bags are commonly associated with 5 slots and are built for golfers who walk the course. Mr. ShortGame Golf offers a detailed explanation of how you fit all the clubs you own into a 5 slot stand bag.

6-way golf bags

A golf bag with a 6-way top typically offers a separate compartment for your putter. You feed your longest clubs into the back slots. Some bags feature 2 slots for your woods, allowing you to retain your driver in its own slot. 

Your longer irons fit into the left middle compartment, and your short and mid clubs hog the right side. The front left slot is reserved for your wedges, while the front right can hold your putter.

An organized golfer who carries more than 2 wedges can always place their pitching wedge in the same compartment as their mid and short irons. Like 4 and 5 divider designs, this layout is traditionally found on stand bags.

8-way golf bags

At this stage, you know the drill, long clubs at the back, short ones at the front. 8 way top dividers give each golf club more privacy, thanks to the additional compartments. Your woods fill the back row, while hybrids and longer irons fill the middle slots. 

In addition, short and mid-irons, along with your wedges and putter, guard the front sections of the bag. 

14-way golf bags

Arrangement how to organize 14 divider golf bag

The last type of golf bag I want to showcase is a 14-way top divider. This is the easiest bag to organize. Plus, if it has full-length dividers, your shafts never tangle. There is a slot for every club in your bag, ideas perfect for an organized golfer.

You follow the same layout as the other bags, long golf clubs behind, shorties to the front. It is common to find cart bags with this design. However, some manufacturers craft stand bags with 14 dividers.

How to organize your golf bag?

Now that your golf club setup is complete, it is time to focus on storing your golf balls, tees, range finder, car keys, and other essential gear. Below is your roadmap to organize your golf bag relative to your accessories and apparel.

Step 8 – Stow Balls And Tees In The Bottom Back Pocket

At the bottom of your bag, you should notice a semi-circle-shaped, deep compartment. This is designed to keep your golf balls in order. This pocket provides ample space for round dimples. Whether they are in a brand new sleeve or extra golf balls.

Based on the size of your tees, I suggest packing them into a pouch. This ensures that they are organized and easy to access. You can see what I mean in Mr. ShortGame Golf’s video I shared above.

Step 9 – Store Rain Gear In The Large Apparel Pocket

Most bags contain a minimum of one apparel pocket, which is protected by a long zip down the side of the golf bag. This section allows you to store your rainwear and other garments you need during your round. If you acquire a cart bag with optimal space, it may contain two apparel pockets. 

I have left out a tip for gloves, as some players prefer to strap them to the outside of the bag while others store them inside. Most bags have a compartment at the bottom, made to house your golf gloves. 

Furthermore, most bags have an outside slot for an umbrella. However, if yours does not, you will need to fit it among your clubs. I urge you not to follow this route where possible.

Step 10 – Protect Your Possessions In The Valuables Pocket

Side pockets on your bag with water-resistant zippers provide a safe space to store your phone, wallet, keys, and other personal items. These pockets are either found on the side at the top or at the base of the bag.

Step 11 – Keep Your Water Bottle In The Insulated Pocket

These days, it is common to see most golf bags with an insulated pocket to keep your water or beer bottles cold for 18-holes. This pocket is typically found on the side towards the base of the bag. But, it depends on the manufacturer. 

How to Organize a Golf Bag – Frequently Asked Questions

What are all the compartments in a golf bag for?

The top slots of a golf bag are reserved for your clubs. The additional side compartments store your golf balls, tees, rangefinder, and apparel. In addition, it houses your water bottle and umbrella.

How should I arrange my golf bag?

Place the long clubs at the back of the back and the shorter constructions in the front. Therefore, woods in the back and wedges sit upfront. Plus, your balls are stored in the bottom pouch with your tees.

Furthermore, apparel fits into the side pockets, while your beverage resides in a specialized pocket. Finally, your valuables and electronics slot into the remaining compartments.

Where do you put umbrellas in a golf bag?

I have always preferred bags with an outer sleeve to store my umbrella. This keeps it away from clubs and prevents damage to both. 

However, bags without this feature require you to store your umbrella in one of the top dividers. I suggest placing it in the bottom left slot if that is the case.

Do you keep your golf shoes in your bag?

I once attempted to keep golf shoes in my bag, and it was a terrible idea. The shoes barely squeezed in, and after hours of pressure, it popped the zip off my apparel compartment. We all make mistakes. Therefore, you can keep golf shoes in your bag, but it is not worth the effort.

Larger bags such as staff or cart constructions may offer the added room for shoes. However, I still warn against it because you may damage the bag.


That brings to a close my guide on keeping your bag organized. It is not rocket science, but it goes a long way to helping you maintain the speed of play and the appearance of a structured golfer.

Remember the rules, short clubs in the front and longer ones at the back. Your balls go into the bottom pocket while your apparel lives in the side compartment. In addition, your beverage bottle stays in the carefully designed section. Any remaining pockets are ready to welcome your valuables.

Let me know if you take a different approach on how to arrange your golf clubs? The way you organize a golf bag may differ, which is fine. There is more than one way to get this job done.

You May Also Like

Share This!

Matt Callcott-Stevens
Matt Callcott-Stevens
Matt is a seasoned golf writer and sports fanatic. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf since he was four years old. Having experienced every high and low golf has to offer, his writing helps the average golfer avoid the mistakes he has made in 28-years on the course.