A total of £126,000 has been raised in a charity auction of The Big Bag Trail sculptures, a unique creative collaboration between partners, Callaway and St Andrews Links to commemorate the 150th Open.
The idea for The Big Bag Trail began when pupils from two St Andrews schools - Madras College and St Leonards – were commissioned to design a Tour Bag that Callaway staff players would use at the 150th Championship.
To showcase the excellence of those designs, the sculptures of the final 10 were positioned in various locations around St Andrews, as The Big Bag Trail became a route from which locals and visitors could explore throughout the town, and proved to be a popular attraction for the record-breaking crowd of fans who flocked to attend this year’s Championship.
Following the conclusion of the event on July 17, which saw Aussie Cameron Smith become Champion Golfer of the Year, the sculptures were moved from their locations around the Home of Golf to the St Andrews Links Clubhouse where they were auctioned off by celebrity auctioneer Charlie Langhorn.
Neil Howie, President and Managing Director, Callaway EMEA, said: “This has been a truly unique and wonderful project. Seeing the designs created by the young artists for the first time gave us a real sense that we were on the road to something special.
“But to see them come to life as these 10 beautiful sculptures, not forgetting Iona’s winning design that was made into the official bag used by our Staff Professionals during the 150th Open, has been an unforgettable experience.
“We’re delighted to have raised so much money for two such worthy causes, while also promoting the incredible community spirit that surrounds the Home of Golf.”
Kirsty McNab, CEO of Scottish Sports Futures said: “We’re delighted to have been involved in such an exciting and innovative project as the Big Bag Trail and would like to thank Callaway, St Andrews Links Trust and everyone else involved for raising an incredible amount of money that will make a real difference in people’s lives through the power of sport.”
Rami Okasha, CEO of CHAS, said: “When we first heard about the Big Bag Trail project we knew it was something unique and something that would capture the imagination of the public around The Open. We’re hugely grateful to Callaway and St Andrews Links Trust for their support in raising a significant amount of money which will greatly contribute to the work we do with children and families across Scotland ensuring no family faces the death of their child alone.”
The trail included the winning design by 17-year-old Iona Turner, whose creation titled ‘Nessie’s Round to Play’, was selected to be made into the official golf bag used by Callaway Staff Professionals competing at The 150th Open.
Iona’s design, which took inspiration from many of St Andrews’ iconic and recognisable landmarks, including the famous Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of The Old Course, was the most popular of the night, eventually leading to a final figure of £30,000.
Another design that proved popular at the auction was Lily Driscoll's 150 Opens, 1 St Andrews. Peter and Linda Wood from Woodside Lodges, St Andrews felt Lily's design “Depicted St Andrews perfectly in both the colour scheme and the design” and were successful in outbidding other interested parties.
Neil Coulson, Chief Executive of St Andrews Links, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response to The Big Bag Trail, both in person from those who attended The Open, and online from those who couldn’t be with us last week.
“It was a remarkable build up to The 150th Open, a phenomenal event both on and off the course, and now to have raised so much money for these fantastic charities is the icing on the cake.”
For information about:
St Andrew Links: www.standrews.com
Madras College: www.madras.fife.sch.uk/
St Leonards School, St Andrews: www.stleonards-fife.org
Childrens’ Hospices Across Scotland: https://www.chas.org.uk/
Scottish Sports Futures: https://ssf.org.uk/