Technology is barreling forward in every aspect of our lives, including on the golf course. No longer is it just you, your clubs, a little white ball and nature to enjoy the game of golf. Instead, it’s you, your clubs, a little white ball, a GPS, a rangefinder, a Bluetooth speaker, a cell phone with a satellite image of the course, a portable launch monitor, shot tracking sensors, an alignment tool…
Were you over reading that list? Because I was over it as I was writing it. MacKenzie Golf Bags was founded on the idea of getting back to the basics of golf, even at a time when technology hadn’t infiltrated every bit of our existence. Instead of trying to rewrite it, here’s what their site has to say about how the company was started:
The year was 1985. Peter Jacobsen, a professional golfer and beloved Oregonian, found himself in St Andrews with his brother David. The two fine golfers had a week to themselves, and the Old Course beckoned. Sensibly, they elected to take a caddie in order to navigate their way around the revered ground. The caddie master assigned one Rick MacKenzie to them and instructed that he would be carrying double for the round. Rick took one look at the Jacobsen brothers’ over-sized golf bags and shook his head. He proceeded to remove only the essentials from each bag and loaded this into a single leather pencil bag.
The two Americans had an incredibly memorable week in the Old Grey Town, and enjoyed playing their way around the Old Course with bags carrying only the things they truly needed. They found that playing this way seemed to bring them closer to the essence of the game.
Upon returning to Oregon, they commissioned a local leather craftsman to make a beautiful, uncomplicated leather golf bag inspired by the simple bags Rick MacKenzie was carrying. And so, the MacKenzie Walker was born. Its classic nature was the whole point; nothing unnecessary and only a couple of models – either one pocket or two.
Simple, light and easy to carry, the MacKenzie bag hasn’t changed from the basic shape since its inception in 1985. Over the years, various materials have been updated, such as the interior rods that give it structural integrity. Now made out of carbon fiber, the bag can be bent and twisted, but those rods return to their original shape without having to be repaired or replaced.
While all of the MacKenzie bags are made with an eye for detail and handcrafted with quality materials, they wanted to take the extra step for a unique line of golf bags. The Shop Special is a line of one-off or very limited runs of bags using specifically curated materials that you won’t see in their regular line. Sequentially numbered to register each as an original, editions 001 through 012 have been made and sold. Number 013 was on display at the show and is above and below.
This bag, along with its twin 014, was made out of Horween Chromexcel leather. What Chromexcel, you ask? It’s a very specific and lengthy process for tanning leather, which you can read about on Horween’s website. Needless to say, the leather is expensive, but it’s a product that ages uniquely, giving it a patina that other types of leather don’t have.
Launch: February 6th, 2020 at 5 pm PST
MSRP: Pricing has not been announced
Fore Ewe Headcovers
Though the merger isn’t new information, MacKenzie acquired Fore Ewe knit headcovers in 2018. The companies are a natural fit of vintage simplicity combined with quality, handcrafted products. You can choose from their wide selection of color combinations, or work with them to create a personalized design.
Launch: Available now
MSRP: Hybrid headcover: $50, fairway wood headcover: $55, driver headcover: $60
Owner Nic Mulflur gave us a quick rundown of the company and its offerings.
MacKenzie is clearly a specialty niche company serving a very specific customer base. If yesteryear nostalgia and fine craftsmanship pluck at your heartstrings like they do ours, MacKenzie may be just the boutique shop you’ve been looking for. You can find the full line of their products on their site, mackenziegolfbags.com.
My full-time job has always been in the IT world, but I’ve also spent the better part of a decade writing product reviews and helping cover large industry-only trade shows. It was only in the latter part of 2019 that I put two and two together and realized I should be doing the same thing for something I’ve loved my whole life — golf. This is the culmination of a hobby that started as a child, a hobby that turned into a passion as an adult, and finally a passion that turned into The Golden Ferret.