North Coast Golf Co. combines Michigan love, philanthropy and stylish apparel
Michigan and golf go hand in hand. The state has more than 650 public and private courses, and Michiganders are passionate about the game and about their state.
That combination is what Matt Fernandez had in mind when it came to North Coast Golf Co. The Michigan State University grad came up with the idea of creating a unique, stylish and premium golf glove in 2018.
After getting some samples and doing a couple of years of research and development, Fernandez was watching the sunset over Lake Michigan at the famed Arcadia Bluffs course when the name hit him.
"Why don't we call it North Coast and just play off that northern Michigan adventure lifestyle where you're getting up early, you're going ton the course, and you're coming back to the lake, hanging around the campfire and sharing stories."
At the start, the company had just a few offerings as Fernandez said they didn't want to over-exert themselves.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Fernandez said everything halted for a bit before picking back up and the company starting hitting its stride.
According to Fernandez, they always had the plan to expand into other areas of golf apparel. Now, North Coast sells, headcovers, headwear, apparel and other accessories, on top of a variety of different golf gloves.
This summer, North Coast released a glove based on the Michigan State Stone – the Petoskey Stone.The glove features a blue wrist with Caribbean blue logos, with other accessories like a headcover.
One collection that continues to grow with new designs and with a philanthropic arm is the Bogey the Bear. The idea started in the winter of 2021 as the North Coast team was looking for a new product.
"It was like, 'Why don't we do something where we give back?'" Fernandez said. "For every item sold, we plant a tree in an area of need."
According to Fernandez, North Coast partnered up with One Tree Planted, an organization that makes it simple for anyone to plant trees around the U.S. and around the world.
So far, they have planted around 5,000 trees, and they just released a new line of Bogey the Bear corduroy items.
"I think at the time when we started, we didn't think it would be as big as it was," Fernandez said. "I thought we'd do a drop or two and see how it went, but it's a big hit for us now."
Even as they have continued to grow, Fernandez said they keep trying to tell the stories of golf in Michigan and in other parts of the country.
North Coast even does custom orders and they have plans to expand that into other products, but Fernandez said their customization goes further than other companies.
"We dig into the storytelling, a little of the course, and come up with some cool ideas that resonate, whether it's the colorways, patterns, whatever it might be," he said. "We also like to tell the story of that course for our audience, and then it expands their audience as well."
Looking ahead to the rest of this year and beyond, Fernandez said North Coast has a couple of lines planned into the end of this year and early next year.
"Beyond that, we have a couple of cool collaborations lined up that we're hoping to close in 2023," Ferndanez said.
He also hopes that one day, there will be a North Coast Golf Co. store in Northern Michigan area to sell the brand.
"When you're going up there, whether you're from Michigan or not, you stop in and check out the North Coast goods while you're exploring the north coast," he said.