I remember first meeting Cortney, the co-founder of GingerCort, at a golf tournament when I was 17 years old. It was 1996. I was at Atlas Valley Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan and playing a tournament that was part of the Michigan Junior Tour (the predecessor tour to what is now the Callaway & Meijer Junior Tour). My mom and I had driven about an hour and half from my hometown of Okemos, Michigan to the tournament.
True to self, I had managed to forget my golf shoes and the only shoes in my size in the pro shop were over $100. Needless to say, my mom was not happy. I imagine that she was glaring at me as she handed over her credit card. And it was raining.
To say the tournament was a personal bust would be an understatement. I did not break 100 and I was soaked to the bone, despite all my fancy rain gear.
BUT, some good things came out of it… I met this super fun fellow golfer, Cortney Reno – and I had some new shoes. Cortney was a bit younger than me and a way better golfer than me, but, damn, we had a good time. Isn’t that what golf is all about, anyway? Having fun with friends… golfing… in the rain… with new shoes… shooting 100?
I'll talk more about us later... but for now, let’s fast forward to 2016 and I’m now corporate counsel for FTD (an online flower company). Not 1-800 Flowers, the other one. At the time, it was a >$1B publicly traded company. Oh, and yes, by trade, I'm a corporate lawyer, but don't hold that against me. At least until you meet me in person.
Anyway, I was sitting at Briarwood Country Club in Deerfield, Illinois with my boss (our company general counsel), the CEO (who was fascinated that a woman could hit a golf ball over 200 yards), and our outside counsel from a very large prestigious firm. Three men who are all more than 15 years my senior. They are all wearing khaki shorts and pique polo shirts that they wore to the office and then to the course.
I look down and I’m in a stretchy, yoga like skirt and a shiny shirt with a gold zipper. It was the most sedate outfit I could find among the sea of neon green, zig zag pattern, running clothes that fill the women's golf racks today.
I’d had it. Why can’t I find women’s golf clothing that doesn't also pass as a Halloween costume? Something I can wear to work, to the course and then to the after round drinks and feel comfortable, just like my playing partners?
And… the idea of GingerCort was born…