The set up began months ago.
“It’s really become a 52-week platform,” Kelly Kennerly explains, maneuvering her golf cart around the 17th green. Back at the pro shop, she stops and shares a laugh with Bill Decker, golf teaching professional and the voice who will announce the golfers at this year’s Honda Classic.
The tournament is a mere days away, yet she seems entirely unhurried. Kennerly is all smiles, an impressive feat for the wife of the tournament’s executive director. Not to mention ringleader of the popular “ladies in pink,” otherwise known as the CouTOURe Club.
When Kennerly’s husband, Ken Kennerly, brokered the deal to host The Honda Classic at its current location, she threw herself into the task of ensuring her husband’s success. She wanted to break the mold, jazz it up a little, add some spice of life to the experience. The best area for her to work her magic: hospitality. Between herself and co-founder Sharon McEnroe, the CouTOURe Club was born.
“It started with 15 to 20 of my closest friends, asked to help enhance the hospitality venues for sponsors. They did it as a favor,” Kennerly chuckles. “I really wanted to put the charm on.”
The group acts as an extension of the hospitality services – greeting attendees, helping with directions, and offering assistance with a smile at the various sponsor venues. Since the success of that first year the club has grown to more than 80 women. There is a current membership fee of $250 and a minimum of two to three shifts at the event per lady. New members must be nominated by existing members, and there’s still a wait list to join.
Given her enthusiasm, it’s easy to understand why. The CouTOURe Club members are a lively and outgoing bunch, made up of a variety of women. Chairwoman Mary Vigliotti pairs the ladies together to work different venues at the event based on their chemistry, and women take pride in their assigned venues. “They treat it like their home,” Kennerly explains. And the CouTOURe Club members play the part of hostess to perfection.
The pink element really came about by accident. It originated from the first year’s “uniforms,” which happened to be the pink caddy bibs worn by the pro golfers for the wives’ tournament. “We just threw those things on and went with it,” Kennerly laughs.
The color stuck, but the uniforms have certainly improved. This year clothing designer Gretchen Scott is donating her “Havana Nights” sports blouse to all CouTOURe Club members. Last year she donated her “Lovey Do” tunic top. Kennerly and the girls perfectly embody Gretchen Scott’s own company motto of “Laugh more… gripe less… ignore critics… say yes… order dessert… love life.”
In spite of rapid success, Kennerly keeps sight of the main purpose behind the club. “We really want to showcase the best of Palm Beach as well as the tournament,” she says. There are grand plans for expanding the club in the future, but no real rush. The emphasis remains on offering the unique hospitality that makes this tournament stand out as a true family event. There is no pretension or reserved attitudes with this group.
“Our girls do everything, from picking up glasses from tables to escorting CEOs to sky boxes,” Kennerly says. And, as to be expected, it’s always a good time.