When it comes to golf equipment I am a bit of a sucker. There was the brush tee which guaranteed the perfect angle of flight with my drives, the Short Game Wizard which ensured I would turn into Seve around the greens and when it comes to golf bags I got through many over the years. Big ones, little ones, dark ones, light ones. You name it, I’d carried it.
But then I saw a tweet a few years ago with a picture of a carry bag, I’m pretty sure it belonged to Adam Scott. It was a Mackenzie Walker and I simply fell in love. It looked pure class – soft leather and an elegant design which is evocative of a bygone age where golf was so much simpler. I really, really wanted one..
The catch was the price. It would be the single most expensive piece of golf gear I own. As fortune had it I had my 40th birthday coming up and a bunch of very generous friends wondering what to get me. While the $1,000+ bill would be a stretch I kept inviting more people to my party until the price per head became acceptable! Game on.
The bags are all hand made in Oregon, and a lot of love and attention clearly goes into each one. There is a great Q&A from Golf Club Atlas here if you want to find out more, well worth reading.
I spent months lovingly looking at different images on the web and trying to get as much information as I could about the bag. When it arrived it was even better than I imagined it would be. Apart from my very closest family I think I can safely say that this bag is my favourite thing in the world! It is everything that I could have wanted and more.
It is a real headturner and never fails to get an admiring comment. I simply can’t imagine playing golf without it. Having spent a long time looking for as much information as I could get and seen some of the questions out there I thought I would do a little Q&A. If you have anything else you would like to know though please don’t hesitate to ask and I will do my best to answer!
How easy is the bag to carry?
The bag has a great balance to it. It is designed to be slung across the shoulders and there is a little tag at the bottom to put your thumb through which means that it just sits perfectly. So from an ease of carrying point of view it just kills it, as our American cousins may say.
How much does the bag weigh?
Clearly it depends how much stuff you put in it. The leather bag itself doesn’t feel like in any way heavier than a normal bag. It’s a very soft leather which jumps into your hand!
How many clubs fit in the bag?
You can fit 14 no problem and it’s still easy to get clubs in and out. I normally carry 12 without any concern at all.
What can you fit in the pockets?
There are 2 good sized pockets – one on the front and one on the back. They are both the same size. If necessary I can put in a waterproof top in one, trousers in the other and still have room for plenty of balls, a rangefinder etc. Normally I go without the waterproofs and there is tons of room there – I haven’t had to compromise once although it is a good time to rationalise some of the rubbish we carry around!
What’s it like in the rain?
One of the key things to remember is that the bag will dry! For the first couple of rounds the leather strap did bleed a little but it wasn’t an issue. In a normal shower or drizzle there are no problems. I did once play 27 holes in torrential rain and the bag took on a lot of water, after the round I emptied it and stuffed it with newspaper and within 36 hours it was back to normal.
How does the bag wear?
Beautifully. The leather becomes a lot softer over time and the colours evolve. After 2 years it looks like it’s a 20 year old bag – in a very good way. It develops even more character and more. Mackenzie say that if any repairs are required they will take care of them – it has a lifetime guarantee. I will be testing this at the end of this golf season as the rim has worn through a little and will report back on how they deal with it.
What was the ordering process like?
Choosing the bag is great fun. The site has many wonderful images to peruse and then you can customise to your heart’s content – although at a cost. Now, if there was one criticism I could level at Mackenzie it would be around the management of expectations around delivery of the bag. It took a little longer to get the bag than expected which was a bit frustrating at times. It’s addressed in the great interview with GCA here and sounds like they are sorting it. This is a thing of beauty which will last a lifetime and all good things come to those who wait I guess!
Any advice for transporting the bag
I'd never bothered before but since getting my Mackenzie I now always use a Stiff Arm protector which means the risk of a snapped driver is lessened.
Is it worth the money?
Let’s be clear, this bag is expensive. And yet…… This is a bag for life; while I have the strength to carry a bag this will be the one. I just love it and feel so lucky to have one. If you get the chance, and if you’re the kind of person who likes walking with your clubs on your back and a spring in your step then I would encourage you to get one. You won’t regret it!