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'The Big Bag Trail'

British Open 2022: Callaway puts a creative—and charitable—spin on its St. Andrews staff bags

For several years equipment companies have been making incredibly cool-looking limited-edition staff bags for their players to use for each of the four major championships. These bags are often themed in some way to the event and area where the tournament is being played.

Callaway, however, delivered an intriguing twist to its bag for the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews. Rather than having its design team create the bag, the final design was the work of 17-year-old Iona Turner, a student at St. Leonards in the St. Andrews area.

How’d that happen?

The background is that Callaway and St. Andrews collaborated on an initiative called The Big Bag Trail—a project providing a platform to showcase young local talent.

Aspiring artists from two local schools—Madras College and St. Leonards—were encouraged to design a St. Andrews-themed bag, with 10 finalists selected.

Turner’s design, titled “Nessie’s Round To Play,” was eventually chosen as the winner. Here is her thought process on the bag.

“In preparation for designing this golf bag I walked around St. Andrews with some friends and took photos of the things that we thought were most important, most iconic and recognizable in the town,” she told Callaway. “These included the famous Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of the Old Course, the colorful houses by the harbour, the cathedral and, of course, the sea.

“Next, I took further inspiration from the whole of Scotland to incorporate into the design. I was very keen to include Nessie—the Loch Ness Monster—due to how iconic she is, and so she was placed right in the center of the design. I also felt I ought to include bagpipes and a kilt, because they are things that my mind automatically jump to if someone asks me about Scotland.

“When the time came to add color to the design, I chose bright colors that reminded me most of summertime in St. Andrews—particularly important as the Open takes place during July. I finished the design of this bag by deciding on a concept for the zips, and for this I was inspired by my friend Tess, who suggested that ice cream would be a good idea.”

Leave it to a teenager to include ice cream.

What makes the initiative even more worthwhile, however, is the charitable aspect of it. On the Tuesday after the conclusion of the Open Championship (July 19), 10 larger-than-life sculptures from The Big Bag Trail will be auctioned during an evening event which, fittingly, will be held at the Old Tom Morris Bar & Grill in the St. Andrews Links Clubhouse. All proceeds will go to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland and Scottish Sports Futures, which uses sports to engage with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Scotland. Those not present in person for the event can participate via Bidpath.

“It’s brilliant the bags have been designed by local young people and we are so grateful to have been selected as one of the beneficiary charities the auction will support,” said Kirsty McNab, CEO of Scottish Sports Futures. “Every penny will support us to change the lives of young people.”

For more information on The Big Bag Trail, the auction and the 10 nominated bags, click here.