How Many Covers Do You Need for Golf Clubs?

United States Golf Association rules allow for as many as 14 clubs in your golf bag. Fewer clubs are permitted. Head covers are not required, and most avid golfers use covers only for their driver, fairway woods, hybrid clubs and putter. However, there are also special covers for irons and a large variety of styles for all golf clubs.

Driver Head Covers

Usually the most expensive club in your bag is the driver. This club can cost a golfer as much as $500. To protect that investment, driver head covers are recommended to keep the club head from damage such as nicks, scrapes and dents. Most driver covers are made of neoprene or cloth and some have a rubber or latex inner lining.

According to a number of golf club retailers, a driver head cover is included in the purchase of a new driver. But there are many styles that are available off-the-shelf.

Fairway and Hybrid Club Covers

Fairway wood head covers, like driver covers, are usually made of neoprene or cloth, but they are smaller to fit snugly on club heads that are generally smaller than a driver.

Many times fairway and hybrid club covers include an embroidered or stamped symbol indicating the club it covers. For example, a 5-wood might have the number 5 stamped on the head cover.

A hybrid cover might have a similar corresponding number or the degree of loft marked on it. The number of fairway or hybrid clubs in your bag is a personal preference, but most golfers use covers to protect these clubs.

Iron Covers

Plastic or neoprene iron covers are not as common. Each iron in the bag has its own plastic, form-fitting cover. If you have a standard iron set (3-iron through pitching wedge) that would be eight irons with a cover for each one.

Many golfers include a sand wedge, gap wedge or other kind of wedge in their bag that would need additional head covers. Retailers like Golfsmith say that nearly all iron head covers are sold in off-the-shelf sets.

Putter Covers

Putters are many times the second most expensive club in a golfer's bag. Some can cost several hundred dollars. When a new putter is purchased, a putter cover is most always included. These are generally made of plastic, neoprene or cloth and are usually heavily cushioned to protect the metal materials used to manufacture the putter. Like the head covers for other clubs, putter head covers can also be purchased separately, depending on the kind of cover a golfer prefers.

Novelty Covers

Most of the specialty or novelty golf club covers are made for the driver. The variety is wide and golf retailers say the market for these kinds of head covers has always been vibrant.

The styles of head covers range from puppet-style animal-head covers such as gorillas, bears, lions and frogs, to covers that sport the logo of a university or NFL team. Other popular head covers include those fashioned to look like a boxing glove, Popeye and even Darth Vader.