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 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 17 July, 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.