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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

Best utility iron of 2021 – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing 2021 utility irons. WRXer ‘Krod10359’ kicks off the thread, saying:

“Just want to know your opinion on what new utility iron you have hit this year. Looks like a lot of solid offerings out right now from Ping, Srixon and Callaway. Let me hear what you have to say about these clubs.”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • hypergolf: “This…(photo above)”
  • TigerInTheWoods: “Sim Udi is a beauty. Launches a bit higher and is a bit more forgiving than the P790 UDI which was really the benchmark for this kind of club.”
  • craz-e: “Hard to go past the Srixon for performance and value. The current offerings from Titleist (u500 & u501) and Mizuno (HMB) are also great options and worth trying.”
  • Golfingfanatic: “The new Callaway one is pretty good.”

Entire Thread: “Best utility iron of 2021”

Not yet a GolfWRX member? Sign up for FREE here.

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2021 Callaway Epic driver: Epic Speed, Epic Max & Epic LS drivers

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Callaway Golf introduces new Epic driver lineup for 2021—Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers—giving us the best of everything.

When it comes to a hot face, Callaway Golf has been at the top of the heap since its introduction of Jailbreak Technology back in 2017. In simplest terms, Jailbreak allowed Callaway to vertically stiffen the face, which allows the face to absorb a ton of energy and release it right back into the golf ball.

When Epic hit the market, it was instantly the driver of that year due to its ball speeds and forgiveness across the face, but most importantly for Callaway, it gave the company a strong foundation to build from for models to come.

In 2020, with the help of artificial intelligence, Callaway engineers were able push that idea a bit further with the successful Mavrik line. This time, artificial intelligence took Jailbreak and found ways to make it even more efficient with the addition of the Flash Face.

Now, in 2021, using every piece of tech at its disposal, Callaway officially launches the new 2021 Epic Speed, Epic Max, and Epic Max LS drivers.

The new AI-designed, carbon-loaded, MOI machines are the culmination of now four iterations of Jailbreak technology, and in my opinion, Callaway has its fastest but more importantly—most golf-course friendly—driver ever.

Let’s dive in…

The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver

The Epic Speed is the fastest swinging driver Callaway has ever made. The elevated Cyclone Aero Design gives players a clubhead that gets through the air and down into impact faster creating even more ball speed opportunities.

New 2021 Callaway Epic Speed Driver, Cyclone Aero Shaping

In addition, the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and the new look Jailbreak Speed Frame create stiffness not only vertically across the face but east and west as well. The result? Speed, stability, and a ton of forgiveness.

The new 2021 Callaway driver, face on

“Spin robustness” is another key term in the 2021 Callaway campaign. What this means for us is giving players spin where we need it (i.e. off the heel spin stays down, off the toe spin stays up, out of the middle the ball goes forever).

Another key aspect to notice across the line is the enhanced composite crown. The new 2021 Callaway Epic Speed driver has a triaxial carbon crown that covers even more real estate allowing Callaway to redistribute 16 grams of discretionary weight. The larger carbon surface area also innately created a way for Callaway R&D to make the Epic Speed a bit more draw friendly without having to add external weight to the heel.

Callaway Epic Speed driver, address

2021 Callaway Epic Max driver

Sole view of the new Callaway Epic Max driver

Yes, the new 2021 Callaway Epic Max driver is a heater, but more than anything, it’s forgiving. Using all the tech bells and whistles from Epic Speed (AI-designed Jailbreak and Flash Face), Callaway made the Epic Max crown with even more triaxial carbon, saving 19 grams of discretionary weight, which allows them to create an even deeper CG and higher MOI. A rear sliding 17-gram weight in the trunk to tune in launch and shape and the OptiFit hosel provides up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Sliding weight

The New 2021 Callaway Epic Max Driver, Address

2021 Callaway Epic Max LS

Incorporating the AI-designed Flash Face SS21 and Jailbreak technology, Callaway has created a new more forgiving profile in a players driver.

Out with the Sub Zero and in with the most playable players driver Callaway has created. With a neutral shape and weight configuration that is the more fade bias of the Callaway family, the new LS has a very high MOI (8,400+) for a tour-inspired driver. The idea was to give high speed players something fast all while mitigating the big miss better players fear. Yes, we all fear a big miss, but at high speeds, the foul ball is, well, a bit more foul. The new triaxial carbon crown saves 13 grams of weight, which was redistributed to increase MOI and lower CG.
Like Epic Max, LS also has a sliding weight to tune in adjustability.
Inspired by the Triple Diamond tour heads of the past, Callaway decided to go away from cranking spin down to oblivion and offer a driver that was actually closer to what the tour leans towards. Yes, they love a low spin head, but not too low spin. The Triple Diamond heads were basically a Sub Zero shape in a higher MOI profile. If you go through our tour photos, you will see more Triple Diamonds than anything. Obliterating launch and spin sounds good for Trackman, but it’s hard to play that way on the golf course all the time.

Initial Tour Reaction

I had a chance to chat with  Callaway’s PGA Tour Manager Jacob Davidson on the early response and this is what he had to say.

JW: In early testing, what is the first thing players are seeing with Speed and LS?

JD: Early feedback from the tour guys has been a noticeable difference in an increase in ball speed across the face but more importantly the dispersion has tightened down range. Many guys have also quickly fallen in love with the sound of the new metal woods.

JW: What most excited you with the new line?

JD: We knew early on with this product launch that we had an exceptional driver. To start- the look of the heads and the shaping allows the clubs to sit beautifully at the address position. From there the overall feel and sound matches exactly what tour guys prefer. The guys we have worked with have converted into the new woods extremely quickly with very positive feedback. For us, we are excited to have some great starting lines, a competitive ball speed advantage, and an increase in forgiveness.

We are constantly studying what makes world class drivers of the golf ball world class. After much research, we determined the ideal spin/ degree of launch and worked closely with our R&D team to reach these numbers. We were absolutely amazed to see what they came back to us with. Using AI they were able to figure out how to increase the MOI in this line of drivers while also focusing on more ball speed. It truly is remarkable the new frontier of technology we are using in our drivers to help our players play their best golf.

Overall Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Epic Flash (acoustics), and Mavrik was solid but didn’t blow me away. This new 2021 Callaway Epic line of drivers is exactly what players want: a golf club that is playable all while providing the distance and performance we have gotten used to over the past few years. It’s a new trend in the market that I’m loving. Drivers are becoming golf course friendly again. We tried to kill spin—when ultimately it was our best friend in the long run.

Specs

At Retail: 2/18

Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 degrees (Epic Speed) 9, 10.5 degrees(Epic Max & Epic Max LS)

Price: $529.99

Stock Shaft Offerings

  • Epic Speed Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g – S)
  • Epic MAX Driver: Project X Cypher 40g (WMS, L). Smoke IM 10 (50g – R,S. 60g -S)
  • Epic MAX LS: Mitsubishi MMT (60g – S,X. 70g – S,X)
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Callaway unveils new 2021 Epic Speed and Epic Max fairway woods

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Callaway Golf has introduced its all-new Epic Speed and Epic Max fairway woods that contain the brand’s Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades.

2021 Callaway Epic Speed Fairway Woods

The 2021 Epic Speed fairway woods feature the brand’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades. Callaway engineers used A.I. to design a completely new Jailbreak system which spreads and angles the Jailbreak blades. The result? Along with stiffening the body, the new design allows the forged face cup to flex more in design to provide exceptional ball speeds all across the face.

The A.I. Designed Flash Face SS21 across the brand’s Epic Speed fairway woods are uniquely designed using advanced A.I and are designed to put an even greater emphasis on center and off-center ball speeds. 

The Epic Speed fairway woods contain a forward center of gravity (CG) combined with a new leading-edge. This pairing aims to provide a strong ball flight, spin robustness, and consistent shot shape dispersion.

In addition, the new fairway woods from Callaway feature a forged C300 maraging steel face cup. The C300 maraging steel is engineered to offer maximum strength and flexibility, while the steel face cup is designed to provide speed and spin consistency across the clubface.

Specs, Pricing & Availability

Lofts: 3+, 3, 4, 5, 7

Price: $299.99

Availability: February 18

2021 Callaway Epic Max Fairway Woods

Just like the brand’s new Epic Speed woods, the Epic Max line also features the company’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades in design to provide increased ball speeds as well as a club that is easy to launch.

As well as containing an A.I. Designed flash face SS21, the Epic Max fairway woods are engineered with a forged face cup to give golfers increased speed and spin consistency across the face.

The oversized head on the new Epic Max woods combines with a shallow face to make the clubs extremely easy to launch from the fairway while also offering added forgiveness.

The Epic Max line also offers adjustable weighting allowing golfers to adjust launch and spin using two and 14-gram weights. The added weight in the rear provides more forgiveness while more weight in the front offers lower launch and spin.

Specs, Pricing & Availability

Lofts: 3+, 3, 5, Heavenwood, 7, 9, 11

Price: $299.99

Availability: February 18

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