With MacKenzie golf bags, smaller is better

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There are golf bags that are little more than simple carriers of our irons and woods. Then, there are those totes that are as stylish as they are functional ' and that afford golfers the chance to play the game with a bit of panache. Such as the handcrafted, all-leather offerings from MacKenzie Golf Bag of Portland, Ore.

Simplicity is a key characteristic of the companys two basic bags ' the Original MacKenzie Walker and the Sunday MacKenzie Walker. So is Old World elegance. The bags are eight inches in diameter, have single straps and single dividers for clubs and can be customized in terms of colors, patterns, lettering and embroidery. Neither has stand legs, and the only difference between the two is that the Original boasts two pockets, while the Sunday only one.

Longtime touring professional Peter Jacobsen started MacKenzie Golf Bag in 1985 after a golf trip to St. Andrews. To placate his Old Course caddie, Jacobsen gave up his regular golf bag for one of those smaller, pencil-style versions favored by Scottish players, carrying only seven or eight clubs at a time during a weeklong stay.

Jacobsen liked the bag and the experience of playing out of it so much that he started a business to make them in the U.S., giving them the MacKenzie appellation in part because that was the last name of his St. Andrews caddie and also because of the history of the great golf course architect Alistair Mackenzie in the Auld Grey Toon.

We produce less than 1,000 bags a year, and each one is made by hand in Portland, says Todd Rohrer of MacKenzie Golf Bag. We work with each customer to create exactly the sort of bag he or she wants. Our goal is not only to make a great golf bag but also to honor the soul of the game in the process and enhance for our customers what is already a sensory experience.