As a high school golfer growing up in the late 1970s, there were some basic equipment and gear staples: balata golf balls, persimmon woods, metal spikes and single strap Jones Golf bags.
Over the years, these time-tested classic clubs and accessories went the way of the rotary phone. But one item has made a welcome and long overdue comeback, the Jones bag.
Jones Golf Bags was founded in 1971 by George Jones, a part-time golfer and cab driver and
full time tinkerer from Portland, Ore. After years of refining the style and look that he wanted, the Jones brand quickly rose to become the most heavily carried golf bag in the game. It was the face of amateur, high school and collegiate golf for generations.
Distinguished by its sleek, simple looks, trademark single strap and sturdy nylon base, Jones Golf Bags were designed for walkers.
As bag technology and design evolved in the mid 1990’s (Ping Hoofer bag), the Jones brand faded and sales dwindled. New competition from the OEM’s entering the bag market put increasing pressure on the brand.
In 2001 George sold the brand to The Yoshida Group who quickly changed everything about the bags but their name.
Gone were the iconic details that made the Jones brand unique. It was hard to recognize the dependable Jones bag and over the next several years sales continued its downward trend. In 2007, the brand had finally stalled out and sat idle for several years.
Wanting to revitalize the great brand he grew up with, Matt and Tim Lemman bought The Jones Bags Company from Yoshida in January 2012 with the goals of restoring the brand back to its original glory days and beloved state within the golf community.
Putting together a strong management team, Jones Golf bags were officially re-launched in January 2012 with the Original Jones Golf bag and now, the Players Series with the emphasis on golfers enjoying their walk.
In 2013, the release of a single-strap Jones stand bag hit the marketplace.
The Original Jones Golf Bag features everything you loved from the bag of generations ago
but with the latest in modern-day materials and technology.
Comprised of ballistic nylon and vinyl, it weighs in at a very light and comfortable 3.5 pounds. Other Jones signature features have been restored including: a wide, comfortable Jones single strap, the Jones sturdy twisted handle, two zippered ball pouch, full length outerwear pocket, exterior umbrella sleeve and, of course, the Original Jones bottom
The Original comes in five different color options, all with white trim: black, red, gray, green and blue.
The bag I tested was navy blue and white, similar to my old high school bag. The unmistakable look and feel of the Original Jones bag is still intact. I found the bag to be extremely durable and the nylon and vinyl construction, along with the classic molded bottom, does a great job of repelling water and debris.
I purposely used the bag in damp, wet conditions and am pleased to say my clubs and gripsstayed dry throughout my entire round.
The simplicity and thoughtfulness of the design makes taking the bag in and out of a car a breeze. Actually it was quite refreshing. No more worries of broken bag legs jammed against the trunk of the car. When done playing, a simple wipe with a standard golf towel and the bag looks as good as new.
With a traditional stand bag, I usually carry my bag with the clubs facing forward but when I picked up the Jones Bag I instinctively threw it over my shoulder with the clubs facing backwards. It was like riding a bicycle -- you never forget how to carry a Jones Bag.
Carrying the bag, club backwards, brought back memories when as a golfer, all you carried were your clubs (no putter covers or hybrids), a couple of sleeves of balls, some tees and a glove. Range finders, cell phones and training aides like alignment sticks weren’t part of the equation.
The Original Jones bag comes with a three-way divider on its well proportioned 7.75” diameter top. Carrying a full bag of 14 clubs, including bulky head covers, was easy and stress-free.
Pulling a club out of the bag and replacing it after your shot was simple and hassle free, something that should be a basic requirement of any dependable carry bag.
The two front zippered pockets offer plenty of room for balls, tees, gloves etc. as well as a GPS. The outer full body pocket was roomy enough for a full rain suit without being bulky or cumbersome. The bags ingenious design is reflected in the fact that every pocket is available to be at your finger tips while walking down the fairway. The full length umbrella holder is a nice touch, keeping the umbrella tight and secure during the whole round. Not once did it fall out of or become dislodged from its sleeve -- something that I have frequently experienced with other bags.
One of the basic principles of modern design is that “form follows function.” Jones Golf bags delivers on this and more. Its elegant and timeless design combined with modern day technologies recalls a bygone era when golfers enjoyed a leisurely round of golf by walking.
Welcome back Jones Golf Bags.
Jones Golf Bags, starting at $139.95, are available at www.jonesgolfbags.com.