Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MacKenzie vs. McKennon vs. Jones


Walking is the best way to enjoy the game.  That's the original and best way to experience a golf course.  Carrying your bag is even better, if you're able.  Purists may even eschew the modern harnessed stand bag for a classic legless single-strap number.  While researching the makers of these gorgeous retro leather golf bags, I found three makers, all in the Portland area.  I knew there must be a story, and there is:

Mackenzie golf bag




The MacKenzie Golf Bag Company was started by Portland's own Peter Jacobson about twenty years ago and was later sold to Todd Rohrer.  They have been selling these custom leather beauties for quite a while.




The McKennon Golf Bag Company was started by Mike McKennon, an ex-Nike employee, a couple of years ago.  They offer a nearly-identical line of custom leather bags, headcovers, and drawstring pouches.








The Jones Sports Company was recently purchased by the Lemman family, giving them the rights to the original, iconic Jones golf bag designed and built in Portland starting in 1971 by founder George Jones.  They exhibited at the 2012 PGA merchandise show and will begin production this spring.

Jones golf bags

Needless to say, MacKenzie is not too happy about the situation with McKennon.  There is even a website devoted to it (here).  That being said, McKennon has been very successful marketing their bags to PGA players, fashion labels like Travis Matthews, and even President Obama (facebook link).  Jones, on the other hand, legitimately purchased the rights to its heritage after some uneasy past relationship with McKennon.  Interesting to note that McKennon's early facebook posts propose "bringing back the classic Jones golf bag".

Look, me and the McDonald's people got this little mis-
understanding.  See, they're McDonalds, I'm McDowell's.
They got the golden arches, mine is the golden arcs...      .
Reminds me of the classic McScoundrel: Remember the Eddie Murphy movie "Coming To America", wherein John Amos plays Cleo McDowell, a motivated businessman who owns a chain of fast food restaurants modeled very closely after McDonalds? (clip)

All's fair in love and capitalism, I suppose.  We'll see how this saga turns out in the long run.  In the meantime, have a look at these devastatingly cool bags that are also tough as nails.  They'll run you over $600, but you'll end up passing them down thru generations like an heirloom, rather than tossing them in the garbage like the ubiquitous disposable nylon-and-plastic standbags that dominate the market.

McKennon for Travis Matthews

7 comments:

  1. I have seen the new Jones Bag and it is pretty cool. Would make a great 9 hole bag or an easy walk with your kid.

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  2. I own a bag that predates the Jacobsen bags, I have had it since the early 80s. I remember someone offering me $100 back in the day because the company that made them had gone out of business. In the early 90s the strap finally broke, when I went looking for a replacement I was quickly directed to Pete's company, it worked great. And true these are timeless classics, but the design of the Jacobsen is actually taken from a previous mfr., however I have no idea what their name was.

    On a side note, I have owned Jones bags as well, they blow. They were clunky and not real convenient. Hopefully the new offering has reimagined their functionality.

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  3. i paid for a mckennon golf bag 3 months ago and have still not recieved it. also all communication has stopped from Mike. 1069 dollars has been paid and i am now very angry. it feels like he has stolen the money!

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  4. Do not buy a McKennon Golf Bag or order any products from him unless you do COD! He is either closed or near going out of business. He is well known in the area and at Lake Oswego country club for all his on going legal and personal issues. It is all public record and it's time someone stepped up to educate people outside the area the to the facts.
    He spent January in rehab for alcoholism and has been spiraling down since. His drivers license has been permanently revoked because of 3 drunk driving convictions. The last one while an employee at Nike. No one was killed in that accident but he was just lucky. My understanding is the lawsuit is still ongoing.
    He owes business partners money, his ex-wife back child support and numerous others money including business insurance premiums.
    He is giving our community a bad name and tarnishing our clubs reputation.
    This is a good community and if you want a McKennon Golf Bag, simply do some homework before entering a business relationship with him.
    He does not have the assets to keep the front up for long so the natural evolution of poor business practices will soon force him to close his doors.

    ReplyDelete

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  6. Just for the record George didn't invent the nylon and cordura carry bag. It is thought that a upholstery guy in Madras Oregon got the idea and started selling the bag calling it The Tote Bag, George got the idea and created his own version while working as a cab driver. He then got a contract to manufacture the Hogan Bag and allowed him to get in position to sell his own Jones Bag. He certainly did not control 70% of the market. However he may have had that much of the embroider and screen printed school bags, college and high school.

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