Did you know the most iconic carry bag in golf came from the backseat of a driver’s car?
In the early 1970s, George Jones trundled his little yellow taxi down the streets of a still-sleepy Portland, Oregon. But rather than scouring the sidewalks in search of fares, Jones drove aimlessly, his mind feverishly toying with new invention concepts. The driving gig was just a means to an end, while he tinkered with fanny packs and other product designs.
The eureka moment for Jones came when he noticed a major gap in the golf bag industry. Everyone from professional golfers down to casual weekend players carried behemoth leather “staffies”: the kind of bag you’d see a caddie carrying today on tour. The reliance on caddies ensured that the pros didn’t even need to lift their hefty bags, but for the average player—and more so the high school and collegiate golfers—there was room for a slimmer, lighter silhouette.
Jones didn’t look any further than his taxi’s backseat to find the leather needed to build a sample: he stripped the cushions, shaped a lightweight bag, and Jones Sports Co. was in business. His taxicab doubled as the company’s first sales floor; starting in 1971, Jones notoriously peddled his leather wares from the trunk, in between rides.