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The MacKenzie Golf Bag Company, in it for the love of the game

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At the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show, GolfWRX took note of some impressive gear seemingly appropriate for its gear heads, which will be featured over the next few weeks. For this second feature, we are highlighting the MacKenzie Golf Bag Company based in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

The story of the MacKenzie Golf Bag Company is, to date, 30 years in the making and certainly worth a little bit of your time. That remains true, even if you never find yourself considering the purchase of a MacKenzie golf bag, because in your heart you’re a golfer playing for the love of the game. Originally, a product of a trip to St. Andrews, Scotland and the Old Course in 1985 by Peter Jacobsen, the Original MacKenzie Walker is timeless in its style and singular in its craftsmanship.

MacKenzie - 1

MacKenzie’s booth at the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show.

Designed to keep things simple and honor the journey of playing golf, rather than the destination, the Original MacKenzie Walker has changed very little since 1985, i.e., two pockets and a single strap. What else would you use to carry your old Acushnet Bullseye Flange or even better Spalding Chicopee?

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This Miura bag is an Original MacKenzie Walker (mahogany, trimmed in bittersweet). It has an 8-inch diameter at the top and two pockets. It can be ordered from Miura, any of their affiliated custom fitters, or MacKenzie.

On the other hand, the company has experienced its ups-and-downs, changes in ownership, and struggles that all small business endure in trying to keep the doors open. In 2006, the MacKenzie Golf Company was merely hanging on, however, when Todd Lohrer (who favors both the Bullseye and Chicopee in his golf bag) stepped in and took over day-to-day operations. Over the past 10 years, Todd and his employees have not only saved MacKenzie, but also turned its golf bags into one of the most recognizable symbols in the game of golf today.

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The University of Oregon is the first NCAA school with which Mackenzie has developed a licensed relationship.

That success is the result of a combination of factors, but none more important than the valuable employees (10-15 these days) that build MacKenzie golf bags in Portland, Oregon by hand from scratch. The company mantra being, again, simple enough: do everything humanly possible to craft the best all-leather golf bags in the known world. As part of that process, MacKenzie sources high-quality leather (typically, Austrian or Swiss in origin) and takes to heart every detail that goes into every bag. It’s not a marketing tagline, as these bags are made by hand with that basic purpose driving every decision, both big and small.

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A Sunday MacKenzie Walker (7-inch diameter opening, single pocket) made of sage waxed canvas and trimmed in mahogany leather. The material is waterproof, durable, and its finish is said to “get better with age.”

In discussing MacKenzie with Todd, it became apparent that the love of the game is also what drives the company at its very core. The enthusiasm for MacKenzie and the products it produces is evident, and with addition of a new managing partner last year, there is only more good stuff to come from MacKenzie. Many of those golfers (not necessarily just the so-called “golf purists”) that feel an intensely personal connection to the game tend find their way to MacKenzie in order to purchase their dream bag. With custom options and unparalleled quality, whether it be leather or waxed canvas, a MacKenzie golf bag tends to become a statement about the golfer and his or her love of a simple game meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. Quality over quantity has been and will continue to be the norm for MacKenzie. To boot, MacKenzie is a strong supporter of the Evans Scholars Foundation, and caddies in general.

In some cases, these golf bags are purchased as a symbol of an important accomplishment, memorable experience, or special occasion and are treated as an heirloom to be passed onto new a new generation of golfers. MacKenzie golf bags, in that respect, are more than a symbolic golf bag, but rather woven into the fabric of family and golf for some. With that comes a certain amount of responsibility that MacKenzie wholeheartedly accepts as well as desires creating, in part, the deep sense of pride with which every golf bag is made.

MacKenzie - 2

While the future is always an unknown, it’s a good bet for the MacKenzie Golf Company that continued growth and exposure are on the horizon. On a practical level, MacKenzie is steadily moving toward reduced turnaround times for golf bags with a goal of approximately two weeks in its crosshairs and an updated website that is likely to do justice to the products made by the company.

Presently, you can keep an eye on MacKenzie by checking out its website or signing up for its newsletter. For additional pictures of MacKenzie golf bags, I recommend the MacKenzie Walker Galleries.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Hugh Leonard

    Feb 25, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I have used a ballistic Walker for 3 or 4 years. It can carry a full set, balls, tees, and a jacket. I put on a cart and walk with it (when I walk I usually carry 12 clubs). Great bag but sometimes I wish it had a double strap.

  2. Joe

    Feb 25, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    A taste of old world quality, fantastic bag. But, it is a niche product. For the greatest number of golfers it does not hold enough, and the greatest number of golfer use push cart or ride. Made for the in shape person who walks, and does not carry a lot of equipment.

  3. Fahgdat

    Feb 25, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Why? Cumbersome, not enough pockets, too small, uncomfortable to carry and gets really heavy when wet in the rain and starts to get crusty in the dry weather if you don’t keep it oiled. Totally worthless. Waste of money for usefulness, only good for decoration on the wall. But I guess if it’s used for that and people can afford to buy it, more power to them.

  4. Michael

    Feb 24, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Quality in these bags is Un matched. Makes other “high quality” bags like sun mountain and ping seem like junk.

    They will last forever, and are truly unique and can be one of a kind.

    The Ballistic walkers can be had for $300 and will easily last twice as long as the $150 stand bag.

  5. Milo

    Feb 24, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Definitely a niche product, I wonder what the profit margins are on these bags, I’m assuming it’s expensive to get leather from Austria and Switzerland.

  6. Nick Green

    Feb 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    You’ll have this bag in 30 years and be able to pass it on to the next golfer in the family. Where will your nylon bag be then?! The best made, hand crafted bag in golf.

  7. joro

    Feb 24, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Hey come on now, it is just the thing to put you overpriced PXG Woods and Irons in, along with you overpriced Forged Vokey Wedges and your vastly 500 Dollar Cameron Sucker 4 Putter. Good God, you will be the talk of the course. Now all you need is a few 5,000 Dollar an hour lessons from Paul Azinger and off you go. Wonderful

    • ROB HARRIS

      Apr 15, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      IT HAS BEEN PROVEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER.
      YOU CAN NOT BUY A GOLF GAME!!!

  8. Chris

    Feb 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    They used to offer a ballistic nylon option called the Ballistic Walker. It has leather trim and retains a very high end feel but was much more affordable. I have one and it’s a great bag! I use it and a half set of clubs and have never been happier walking a golf course. Love my Mackenzie.

  9. JMytro

    Feb 24, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    These bags start at $695 and go up to $2000 per bag…More expensive than most full sets of clubs…No thanks, ill stick with my stand bag that was $129…

  10. Matthew Bacon

    Feb 23, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Just buy a Jones bag for a fraction of the cost.

  11. Kevin

    Feb 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    These are nice looking bags, was interested in maybe picking one up later, then I saw they cost the same, if not more than a full set of irons. Ill pass, but they sure do look nice.

  12. golfraven

    Feb 23, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Mice idea and certainly great craftmanship, however prices are very steep. good luck to them.

  13. Joey5Picks

    Feb 23, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    That green and yellow bag has a toilet seat on it!

  14. Chopper

    Feb 23, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Next time I am in the market for a thousand dollar golf bag, I will know where to go.

  15. MP-4

    Feb 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Such a nice bag. 🙂

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Equipment

The most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now (Fall 2020 edition)

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What are the most popular golf shoes on Amazon right now? From time to time, we like to get out of our little bubble of OEM releases and what’s being played on tour to look at what golf consumers are buying on one of the largest online retail marketplaces: Amazon.

Here are some of the best-selling golf shoes on Amazon as of October 2020.

1. Adidas Men’s Tech Response Golf Shoes

From the listing:Mesh/synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Thintech, adituff, thintech cleat, traxion, adiwear. Lightweight mesh and synthetic upper for enhanced breathability and comfort. Soft eva insole for lightweight comfort and cushioning. 6-spike configuration with thintech low-profile technology for improved traction and stability.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

2. Skechers Go Golf Men’s Torque Waterproof Golf Shoe

From the listing:Synthetic. Imported. lace-up. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Replaceable soft spikes. Waterproof.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

3. FootJoy Men’s Fj Flex Golf Shoes

 

From the listing:100% Textile. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Performance Mesh – lightweight performance mesh delivers incredible comfort, breathability and all-day comfort. Complete support – a soft EVA midsole provides increased underfoot cushioning, enhanced comfort and exceptional stability.”

Price: $89.99

Buy here.

4. PUMA Men’s Ignite Nxt Lace Golf Shoe

From the listing:100% Textile and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Sole shield. Performance Mesh +TPU. Ignite Foam.”

Price: $99.99

Buy here.

5. Skechers GO GOLF Men’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Skechers Goga Max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning for all day comfort. Durable grip tpu outsole with a spikeless bottom. Lightweight. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $74.97

Buy here.

6. Adidas Men’s Tour360 Xt Spikeless Golf Shoe

From the listing: Leather and Synthetic. Imported. Synthetic sole. Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Leather and microfiber synthetic upper. Spikeless Puremotion outsole for enhanced flexibility and grip with X-Traxion primary lugs for grip and balance.”

Price: $135.59

Buy here.

7. FootJoy Men’s Fj Originals Golf Shoes

From the listing: Built on the Austin Last, this last offers the fullest rounded toe character, fullest fit across forefoot, standard instep and heel. EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) Fit-Beds provide lightweight cushioning underfoot. EVA does not take a set, so the cushioning will remain the same for the life of the shoe. This easy care synthetic upper offers outstanding 1 year waterproof comfort, breathability, and durability.”

Price: $89.95

Buy here.

8. Skechers Women’s Max Golf Shoe

From the listing:Imported. Rubber sole. Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch. Spikeless, durable grip tpu outsole. Ultra-lightweight, responsive ULTRA Flight cushioning. Goga max insole delivers enhanced high-rebound cushioning. Water resistant. Synthetic upper.”

Price: $57.55

Buy here.

9. FootJoy Women’s Sport Retro-Previous Season Style Golf Shoes

From the listing: ” Lightweight – the linen-textured synthetic uppers offer lightweight comfort and durability. Cushioned rubber – the gum rubber outsole is a soft rubber compound which provides flexibility and comfort. Enhanced traction – This molded rubber outsole provides turf gripping performance and durability.”

Price: $59.95

Buy here.

10. New Balance Men’s Sweeper Waterproof Spiked Comfort Golf Shoe

From the listing: Synthetic. Imported.Rubber sole.Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch. Waterproof microfiber leather upper. REVlite 10mm drop* midsole provides lightweight cushioning & premium responsiveness. NDurance rubber outsole with removable FTS 3.0 Pulsar spikes.”

Price: $59.99

Buy here.

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Justin Thomas: What makes him an elite wedge player

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It might be easy to say that a player like Justin Thomas is near the top of the leaderboard because

  1. He hits it the best
  2. He drives it long and relatively straight
  3. He is having a good putting week

I would agree and disagree with all three. Yes, they are definitely factors, but in my opinion, it’s his wedge play that has been the most notable part of his game—especially in 2020.

If you look at the stats, you will find a player who is not only damn-near deadly from 150 yards and in, but also a player who gets out of trouble about as well as anyone in the top 10 in the world.

We are talking about 2020 as a whole FYI.

(Stats via PGATour.com)

Now strokes gained wedge stats have multiple variables affecting the ultimate stat, fairways hit, where a player misses it, out of the rough vs out of the fairway, putting, yada, yada, yada….

At this point, if I had to pick a player to get it done around the greens it would JT or Jon Rahm. True artists. Go back and watch some of the shots from the FedEx at TPC Southwind or even Kapalua this year, it was the reliance on his wedges that became the secret sauce. Like the putter, good wedge play can be an equalizer when anything else is falling short. And when the rest of the bag is decent, for a player like JT, good wedge play equals wins.

I wanted to dig in a little deeper, so I asked my old friend, Vokey’s Aaron Dill a few questions on what makes JT unique with a wedge in his hands…

JW: As far as technique, what in his action makes JT so good? And if you could compare him to someone who would it be?

AD: Justin’s technique is really something to watch. His ability to stay loose, calm, and maintain effortless speed while delivering the wedge accurately really shows his comfort with a wedge in his hands. Justin keeps the club out in front of him and he has mastered the ability to control his golf ball’s flight and spin.  I could compare him to many, but I sometimes feel he is in a league of his own.  

JW: Beyond the great shots we see on highlight reels, where does JT really get it done from an SG perspective? What do you see that the average person wouldn’t? 

AD: Justin does it all very well. You know this because he is 9th in SG around the green and this is partly due to his spotless technique but his ability to scramble in difficult situations. Something he does that amazes me is his creative vision of shots. There are times when he is in a situation where he hits a shot we don’t expect or think of. His comfort with a wedge is fun to watch, he makes all short game shots seem like they are no big deal and you can see this by his free-flowing, loose and speedy wedge action. You can tell he feels at peace with his wedge technique.

JW: He has an interesting set up for his wedges that has been well covered, but since you first met him, how has his understanding and approach to his wedges and wedge play evolved?

AD: Justin’s wedge set is unique, however, a lot of thought and intelligence has gone into crafting this matrix. Since the first time I met him, he has worked hard and he has always had the desire to want to improve and push himself. You can see it in his strength training, his increase in ball speed, and his general approach to competitive golf. His knowledge of his short game has improved over the years and it shows in his success. You can see how comfortable he feels when a wedge is pulled from the bag, you can bet he will be landing the ball close to the hole setting himself up for a makable putt.

Justin Thomas’ wedge specs 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Raw SM7 (46-10F @47.5, 52-12F @52.5), Vokey SM8 (56-14F @57), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks (60T @ 60.5)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (46), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (52-60)

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How to pick the right putter

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In the game of golf, putting is the great equalizer. It doesn’t take speed or strength and simply requires you to select a line and hit a ball at the right speed—easier said than done. But regardless of your skill level, it is the one club in your set you really never have to upgrade once you find the right one, which is why knowing how to pick the right putter is so important.

This is the GolfWRX guide to selecting the right putter for you.

How to pick the right putter: The right look

This one seems simple, but you have to like the look of your putter and feel comfortable lining it up. For some golfers, that means finding a more traditional heel and toe weighted blade with a basic metal finish, for others that could also mean a larger mallet style that inspires confidence thanks to its larger footprint and contrasting colors.

Between the two aforementioned styles, there are still varying hosel/neck (where the shaft meet the head) configurations that can change how a putter wants to naturally rest when being held which can, in turn, change the natural toe hang of the putter and how it will fit.

How to pick the right putter: Understanding putter toe hang types

  • Face Balanced – Depending on the hosel configuration, this style can be found on both mallet and blade-style putters, and when being balanced by the shaft, the face will sit perpendicular to 12 o’clock. These are intended to fit golfers with a straight back-straight through stroke/minimal face rotation.

  • 1/2 Toe Hang – This is the most neutral type of toe hang and sits between the face balanced and full toe down. It is found on most heel-toe blade putters with full-shaft offset (Scotty Cameron Newport 2 shown) and is for slightly arcing strokes with medium face rotation.

  • Toe Down/Full Toe Hang  – This type is only going to be found on the most heel-shafted blade-style putters, and when being balanced by the shaft, the toe will face “6 0’clock”—directly down to the ground. These are intended to fit golfers with the most extremely arcing stroke and high level of face rotation.

NOTE: There are multiple variations of 1/2 toe hang that sit both closer to full toe down and face-balanced all designed to fit various stroked depending on the amount of arc and face rotation.

Whatever reason you have for picking the putter you ultimately use, make sure you like the looks of it because you’re going to be seeing a lot of each other.

How to pick the right putter: Understanding your stroke style

Your putting stroke will inevitably play a big role in the putter you select because certain styles are going to work better for certain golfers depending on their putting stroke style, which is referenced above. To make it easy to understand—putting strokes can be put into three categories, and for visual reference, check out the handy guide below with pictures supplied by our friends at Ping.

Slight Arc

Fitter and golfer reviewing PING Color Code Chart

This is where most golfers fit in since it is the most natural stroke to make. A slight arc is also what I like to call a neutral stroke, meaning that when it comes to picking a putter it gives the golfers the most options for finding one that is going to fit best.

Straight back and straight through

Fitter applying impact tape to bottom of iron

A straight back and straight through stroke can help a lot of golfers eliminate variables, and when paired with the right putter can really help those that struggle to get putts started on line. Golfers in this category usually perform best with a face-balanced putter.

Strong Arc

Fitter watching golfer hit shots

A strongly arced stroke is the exact opposite of straight back-straight through and requires the most amount of practice and technique to maintain consistency. Players with a strong arc generally also use a lot more wrist in their stroke and because of the inconsistency, this stroke creates, there are fewer putters on the market that fit this type.

Putting it all together

Once you have selected your putter, the last step is getting it dialed into your final spec for length, lie, and loft. For length, the goal is to be able to stand in a comfortable putting position with your eyes over the ball or, just inside of your eye line.

For lie and loft, it is best to see a fitter, since it requires specialized tools to properly adjust, but if you are trying to get an idea for the direction your putter will need to be bent use the reference guide below.

To see how a professional putting fitting is conducted, check out the video below from TXG

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