Ah, late July. It's finally summertime in Portland. Each time I sit down to write the intros to the Under the Bib, it gives me a little time to reflect on the past month. Since we’ve started this, it seems like each month something crazier has happened and I am continually shocked, awed, stoked, alarmed, and intrigued by what's going on around me. Portland has had a particularly rough go of it recently. Black Lives Matter gatherings and protest have been going strong for 60+ days, since the public murder of George Floyd. Protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets and been confronted with rubber bullets, pepper balls and tear gas by local, state and federal police forces. Portland’s Wall of Moms has garnered more national media attention than the issue of Police Brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Things are twisted in Portland right now—that’s for sure—but before you jump to any conclusions as to what's happening here, especially if you don’t live here, I invite you to come visit. Go downtown to these protests, see what is really happening in our streets and WEAR A MASK! With all that being said I want to take this time to spread some love to two of my favorite Portland golf companies, The Muni Kids and Jones Sports Co.
The Muni Kids are jacks of all trades. Drew and Max, the brothers behind the brand, along with the young gunna Eric, give lessons from the Neighborhood Golf Shop, organize Urban Golf meetups, design unique t-shirts you won't find anywhere else, curate a vintage golf clothing collection, create original works of art with other artist in the golf world and make fashionable headcovers that are affordable.
Inspired by the municipal golf culture, everything the Muni Kids do oozes with personality and flair that can only be found in the public golf sphere. These guys can play too. We took them on in a high/low match at the Neighborhood Golf Shop and got waxed. Still waiting for a rematch. I want to highlight one of their T-shirts I recently got and the newest addition to their headcover offerings.
Muni Kids, Get High Shoot Low Tee, $27.95
One of the Muni Kids’ recent drops was this Get High Tee. “Get High Shoot Low” is an apt motto for many Portland golfers. This shirt sure makes the statement “We like smoking weed and we don’t care who knows, from dab hits to smokin’ O’s”. But yo, it's sooooooooooo soooooffffttt. A golf shirt that's only welcome in the municipal golf world is a must have if you enjoy the greens while on the green. I’d be curious to know how this shirt would be received at Augusta National. I have a guess, for sure.
Muni Kids, Tiger Cord Golf Headcover, $39.95
The Muni Kids have loads of cool headcovers to choose from all under $40. Inspired by popular Nike, Jordan and Yeezy brand sneakers the Kids recently cooked up a Galaxy Golf headcover based off of Galaxy Foamposites, an Elephant Print headcover based off the elephant print pattern found on classic pairs of Jordan and the Turtle Dove headcover similar to the pattern found on the Yeezy 350 Boost. The headcover I’m jonesin’ on the most right now is inspired by the Twirl God himself Tiger Woods. Corduroy Tiger print fabric with a fleece lining will protect the clubs and keep the bag looking fresh while hunting birdies like the Bengal tiger hunts wild boar.
Jones Golf Company, Utility Rover, $180.00
Jones Golf Co. is a stalwart in the golf community that’s been in the game since 1971. Named after founder George Jones, a cab driver who sewed bags in his basement and sold them out of the trunk of his cab. Jones is all about the player and carrying your clubs, or whatever else you might want to bring with you for a weekend golf trip. They make backpacks, duffle bags and these amazing shag bags/coolers. What Jones is most known for is their single strap carry bags and the ability to customize nearly everything they make. I’ve been rocking the Utility Rover. I got this two years ago and they recently released another run with 3 color options. This one in Olive Green I’m really digging.
I absolutely love this bag! For me, the double strap was a necessity, with as much golf as I get in, carrying a bag on one shoulder the whole time was going to be rough. Two straps on the Utility Rover allows you to spread the weight out on your back but also gives you the option to one strap it on either shoulder. The slim profile of the bag looks great and surprisingly has lots of room for anything you’d want on the golf course. The large leather pocket on the bottom of the bag has room for extra layers and snacks, and the fleece-lined smaller pocket opposite the larger leather one is perfect for sliding your phone, keys and wallet into. The pocket above that and under the beverage holder can hold at least a dozen balls with rooms for tees and other accessories. Did I mention the beverage pocket?! This might be the best feature on the bag. It’s large, it’s deep and it's insulated. You can easily fit 3 brewskis in this thing and they’ll stay cooler with the insulation in there. You could even throw some ice in there for the extra hot days. The versatility of this bag is top notch, and it’ll have no problem holding 14 clubs and doesn't feel awkward or unbalanced if you’re looping with a half set or less.
It’s hard to talk about Portland golf brands without name-dropping Seamus Golf. These guys might be responsible for making the hand crafted headcovers a thing is golf. They produce tons of headcovers using recycled Pendelton wool, along with customizable ball markers and other accessories that you’ll find at top golf courses across the country.
Another Portland golf bag company that’s popular among the “craft golf” scene is
Mackenzie Bags. Started after a trip to St. Andrews by local Portland golf legend, Peter Jacobsen, Mackenzie is the king of customization and designs the ultimate walking bag. Each bag is handmade, using the finest leathers and materials, and crafted to the specifications of the buyer.
All these brands I’ve mentioned are just part of what make Portland, OR one of the best golf cities in the US. The golf culture is a little different here and we like to keep things weird. There’s a little something for every golfer here, and with companies like these you’re able to showcase your individual personality with what you wear or how you accessorize your bag.