MACMONNIES GOLF BAG - Handmade in Portland, Oregon
Posted on Friday, June 22 2012 08:21:58 AM in News by Akbar Chisti
Many of the photographs we have included in our website and other online spaces since our casual beginnings have included the placement of an iconic and old beat-up leather golf bag. While it was only found in the workplace about two years ago, there were a few key items to note about this clearly historic antique from which we have drawn many of our inspirations for SEAMUS GOLF. Check out the photos below and discussion after the break:
After fondling the bag and becoming very mesmerized by the simple tag that read 'MACMONIES - HAND MADE PORTLAND, OREGON', we inquired with our friends as to any knowledge they might have on the bag. Nothing on the internet had been documented on this bag, and the following is an accumulation of what we learned about this truly stunning piece of history ~ (References: Nyk Pike, Jeff Brinegar, Todd Rohrer, Jim Urbina, 'The Great Patina', David Glennie - owner of the bag, and the wonderful Antique Roadshow):
MacMonies is not the name of the leather bag company that made the above at all. The company McMonies ordered thousands of hand stamped metal labels and the maker of those misspelled the labels with an extra A. At that point, there was little the company could do and the misspelled metal tags were used on all of their product. McMonies as a company, however, did in fact exist in Portland Oregon during the early 1900's (so far as we could surmise). It's headquarters and primary manufacturing facility was located on 2nd street in downtown, not far off from where our favorite Irish pub Kells is now located. The company did not ever make it's name for golf bags, but actually in making leather buck-skin, hand stitched, fishing creels. A company originally making it's name for horse collars became world-renown from Portland making these very fine creels. In good condition a nice creel in today's day markets at about $600 and can fetch upwards of $3,000. See here.
The bag is all leather and in good condition. During some research with our friends at the Mackenzie Golf Bag Company, we learned that the hard surface on the bottom actually has a piece of molded wood in it, not unlike the techniques applied by the finest saddle-makers. The craftsmanship is second to none, and the design suggests it might have been made for a Portlander in that it had an integrated rain hood that disappeared when not in use. The design has a patented golf club separator that was patented in 1931 (see below), and likely now exists in many of the bags we use today.
Jim Urbina, designer of the 4th course at Bandon Dunes, is the only person we have successfully located that also has posession of this particular bag. We had the chance to walk with Mr. Urbina during the US Mid-Amateur held at his fantastic Old MacDonald and found we shared a love of this particular bag.
The McMonies golf bag. A fun occasion to connect with friends, and delve deep into the history books to learn about the essence and beginnings of the game here on the stateside. Perhaps it is bags like these that drew the inspiration for the great Mackenzie Golf Bag Company
, or the soon to return Jones Sports
During 2010, we went on to the Golf Antique Show at Riverside to discuss and learn more about the bag, wherein we learned the insurable value of our bag. While it seemed this bag was a special discovery, we learned there were many such bags available on the market and it's market value was no more than $50.
Either way, we know the story inspired us, and the sheer intrinsic value of the bag was far greater as it was previously owned by the late and great friend of its current owner.
We will be holding onto this one!