By Ken Levy
Sisters J.J. Winters and Julie Suitter gag when they think khaki. Especially when it comes to women wearing it on the golf course. So they developed a line of colorful and vibrant skorts (skirts with shorts underneath) that are tastefully hip and made in the USA.
“We found a need because we loved to golf and were tired of the same old bland black, white, pastel pink and khaki,” Winters said. “There had to be a happy medium between boring and offensively tacky, so an idea was born and we decided to make it happen.”
The sisters got into the idea because “we thought it would be fun and different,” says Suitter. “’Fashionable’ in the ladies golf world means standing out but not in a tacky or offensive way,” said Winters. “It’s still golf and therefore evokes a certain level of class and appropriateness.”
Winters and Suitter’s designs are more than just stylish. “We designed them to have deep front pockets for balls, tees, lip-gloss, etc. and no rear pocket to detract from your assets,” says Winters with a wink.
According to Winters, “Julie comes up with the ideas, and I run with them. We found that as business partners, we work well together because our different strengths complement each other. We’re like an old married couple.”
“We were amazed at how underserved the market really is,” says Winters. “Golf is a social sport and takes, on average, four hours for a round of 18 holes, so you’re wearing that skirt for a big part of the day. Why not make it fashionable and fun? ‘Just say No’ to khaki!”
Haute Shot Golf is looking closely at expanding its offerings. In addition to the six prints already in play, six new prints are planned for the 2014 line. The sisters plan to grow their product line by adding more prints to their line of skorts, as well as adding sleeveless polo shirts, hats, gloves and branded swag. They’ll be showing their current and upcoming lines this fall at the PGA show in Las Vegas.
“Ultimately, we’d like to be a recognized brand,” says Suitter.
That goal may be boosted by Haute Shot Golf’s recent sponsorship of pro golfer Madeleine Sheils. The golfer contacted the Boise firm after hearing about it from a college friend.
“She said she loved that we were from Boise, loved that we were made in the USA and would we be interested in a sponsorship deal?” Winters said. The sisters agreed, and now supply Sheils with the gear she needs for the game. Sheils wears Haute Shot Golf’s clothing and sports the company logo on her golf bag during every pro-am, once a week in competition and every final day of a tournament.
“Golf and fashion go hand-in-hand,” says Winters.
Shadow Valley Golf Course carries Haute Shot Golf’s entire line exclusively as a retail location. Their products can also be found online at Amazon, golf4her.com, pinkgolftees.com and, of course, www.hauteshotgolf.com