Orca Golf Bags Are a Splash Thanks to Two Women Founders - Sports Illustrator

Orca Golf Bags Are a Splash Thanks to Two Women Founders - Sports Illustrator
In addition to its regular lineup of distinctive bags, Orca Golf's newest creations feature artwork from artist/conservationist Guy Harvey.
JAN 4, 2024, 5:14 PM EST

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Art is one of those eye-of-the-beholder things. You like the "Mona Lisa." Who doesn’t? I also like "Dogs Playing Poker," which is inarguably not on the same level as Leonardo da Vinci’s work.

That precludes me, therefore, from claiming any art expertise. Still, it seems safe to say that Guy Harvey, the Tiger Woods of marine artists (as far as I know), creates fine art. I just never expected the opportunity to have fine art displayed on a golf bag I could carry.

Orca Golf, based in Boca Raton, Fla., is best known for making exquisite custom golf bags and has a new line of “must-sea” bags (obvious pun intended) featuring Guy Harvey’s artwork. While plenty of golfers, including many tour pros, are avid fishermen, this is likely the first-time fish and other marine life have been given prominent display on a bag.

That is no surprise given the company name, Orca Golf. An orca, commonly misidentified as a whale, is a large, powerful dolphin. So the Guy Harvey connection was a natural. If the hook fits …

Shop Orca Golf's line of bags through our partners at PGA TOUR Superstore

Orca landed the artist almost by chance. Deb and Erica Bennett, Orca Golf’s founders, attended a promotion for one of Harvey’s books—he’s a crusader for wildlife preservation. They met him after the event and in the middle of the conversation, the Jamaican-born Harvey thought he recognized Erica Bennett’s accent. He asked where she was from. Jamaica, she said.

Orca Golf bags featuring art from marine artist/conservationist Guy Harvey.

The Guy Harvey-designed Orca Golf bags are unlike any others in the custom-bag world.

That’s also where Erica was born. What are the odds?

“It was like this aha moment,” Erica said. “He was trying to sign books for people but we were fascinated with each other’s story because our backgrounds are not remotely the same even though we were born so close together. As a little girl, I knew of a family called the Harveys, but I never met them, they were way above us.”

Orca Golf and Guy Harvey art were a delightful match. The result is Orca’s first Guy Harvey Collection of golf bags. They are available for order only until Dec. 31 and come in four colorful scenes.

There’s The Offshore College, featuring three different fish on the Dorsal One, Orca Golf’s roomy, 5.5-pound stand bag ($285). The Mahi is also available on the Dorsal One ($349). The Dorsal One models have five dividers, mesh-covered for endurance, and come with rain hoods, a four-way adjustable carry strap, four zippered pockets and one magnetic pocket.

The Turtle and The Blue Marlin scenes by Harvey come on the Apex Hybrid cart bag ($349). The Apex Hybrid, a little larger than the Dorsal One, has seven dividers, 11 zip pockets, a single foam-padded carry strap and a beverage storage pouch.

“Guy Harvey has a huge following,” Deb Bennett said. “His art is beautiful and colorful. If you’re looking for something that’s a subtle navy blue with a little piping, he’s not your guy. When you’re at a golf outing and all the bags are lined up, there’s no way to know which bags are yours. That won’t happen with our bags.”

Orca Golf’s business really started in 2019 when the Bennetts wanted a customized golf bag and couldn’t find anyone making them. “We wanted our own golf bag, one that reflected us,” Erica said. “We didn’t want the same bag you saw everywhere else. We thought if we wanted a bag, other people would want it as well.”

They recognized a business opportunity and researched the bag-making business. Deb spent 37 years in the technology business and had lots of connections. Erica Bennett had more than 30 years of experience in public relations, marketing, television broadcasting and education.

They are proud to be the first women-run business in the golf bag category. Though their firm has been around only a short time, especially considering they had to weather the rain delay known as the pandemic, they’ve made it a point to support charitable endeavors and opportunities for young female golfers.

Erica Bennett is director of First Tee Florida for the Gold Coast, and the Bennetts are partners with LPGA Girls Golf, creating tour-quality golf bags at discounted rates for young players. Orca Golf is also involved with the American Cancer Society and the Play For Pink Foundation. And that’s just part of what they’ve done.

What separates Orca Golf’s bags is the quality, hand-crafted appeal and the colorful shells. Even without Harvey’s paintings, Orca Golf’s bags are classic and beautiful. And they have gotten noticed.

Former Masters champ Charl Schwartzel carried an Orca-designed bag at the 2020 Masters. Erica produced a special commemorative yellow bag for Jack Nicklaus and the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.

“We’re not just about making these pretty golf bags,” Erica said. “We’re about giving back, sustainability and broadening the game to show that we all belong there.”

Erica does the design work. At the LPGA’s request, she created beautiful bags for the 2023 Hanwha LifePlus International Crown played at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park. The match-play event featured top women professional players competing on eight national teams. Team Thailand won this year’s title.

“At the Hanwha, Erica put the national flower of each player’s country on one pocket,” Deb Bennett said. “She’s just so creative. I attended the event, and the players couldn’t believe someone would take the time to do that.”

Orca Golf has a regular lineup of appealing high-quality bags that are available at PGA Tour Superstore. That includes the Calf, a lightweight Sunday carry bag ($125); three models of the Dorsal stand bag ($335); and the Apex Hybrid cart bag ($395).

The customized portion of Orca Golf’s business is pricier but comes with options. Custom model range in price from stand bags ($1,295) to cart bags ($1,595) to staff bags ($1,995).

Any customized bag or a Guy Harvey Collection model has to be ordered directly from Orca's website. They are not available in stores.

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