With their pink and white ensembles and megawatt smiles, the CouTOURe Club has become an integral part of the hospitality available at The Honda Classic. The group hopes to take that notoriety and expand their philanthropic work in the coming years.
“They have become a very important and a critical piece in our hospitality element,” said Ken Kennerly, executive director of The Honda Classic, which has been held at PGA National’s Champion Course since 2007.
The “girls in pink” began as 15 women acting as hostesses and has grown into a group of more than 70 women who work throughout the tournament.
“It’s a group of women who really love living here and want to make a difference,” said Kelly Kennerly, Ken’s wife and the group’s co-founder.
When Ken first became The Honda Classic’s executive director, he knew he had to raise the reputation for the event. “In Palm Beach County, our moniker here is ‘the best of everything,’” he said. In addition to finding it a permanent home and establishing its identity as a high-end tournament, Ken and his team needed to find creative ways to market the event as more than just a golf tournament.
“It’s all part of creating something special here in Palm Beach County,” Ken said.
Kelly suggested that he make the areas for sponsors and spectators more inviting with the addition of friendly hostesses or guides. The following tournament, she asked a few of her friends to do just that.
It’s since grown as new members joined and brought their own preferences to the tournament. Many women enjoy the hostess aspect of the club, Kelly said. The club’s members are spread throughout the event, covering 38 hospitality tents and venues. Their varied tasks include guiding fans, helping in promotional events for the tournament and more.
“There are so many different types of women in the group,” Kelly said. “There are some who are more outgoing than others, or some who are more professionally minded than others. They all just come together.”
The “TOUR” part of their name alludes to the PGA Tour. Mary Vigliotti, chairwoman of the club, explained that as CouTOURe members have become recognizable regulars at the event, they have also become experts of the tournament.
“We’re not just smiling faces greeting everyone,” Vigliotti said.
The club’s mission is to not only increase awareness for The Honda Classic and enhance the sponsor and spectator experience, but also to develop the tournament’s main mission of fundraising for South Florida children’s healthcare charities.