A group composed of 70 members of Tippecanoe Country Club has raised sufficient capital to purchase and make improvements to the landmark, principals say.
“Some of the prominent leaders in the community who have been here a long time helped pole vault this,” says Joe Thomas, owner of Golf Headquarters in Boardman and an investor in Tippy Acquisition Co. Inc. That entity, incorporated in April 2019, officially took over on Aug 1,
The club’s membership voted overwhelmingly – 95% – in October to approve the transaction, Thomas said. Since then, the group ironed out some of the paperwork associated with the acquisition.
Thomas says the group raised $3 million through the sale of 120 shares. It has the capacity to sell 200 shares total in the club, he adds. Previously, the club was funded solely by membership dues and fees.
According to public records, the real estate at 5870 Tippecanoe Road in Canfield – the clubhouse and golf course – was sold by Tippecanoe Country Club Inc. to Tippy Acquisition Co. Inc. on July 30. The price was $1.66 million.
The process began nearly two years ago, when members became aware that the club wasn’t bringing in enough revenue to invest in capital projects and decided against selling the club to another entity,. Since May, the club has attracted another 20 new members, according to Thomas.
The goal is to have 275 golf memberships. There are about 200 today, while another 150 hold social memberships that have access to dining, the pool and tennis courts.
Thomas says one of the reasons for the acquisition was to maintain the appeal of Tippecanoe. By capping golf membership at 275, for example, it allows members to play without undue delays, while they are also able to enjoy dinners without making reservations, he said.
Among the improvements slated for the club are a new roof, a large outdoor bar, additional outdoor dining, enhancements to the parking lot and pool, and upgrades to the kitchen.
The club opened in 1921 and features a golf course designed by renowned course architect Donald Ross.
Since the membership vote, play on the course has increased 25% compared to last year, says Mike Spiech, the club’s PGA head golf professional. “This is s top-notch course,” he said. “It’s a golfer’s dream to play fast and firm.”
Spiech says the new ownership group provides a rare chance to award members with accessibility and maintain the integrity of a private club.
“Our goal is to restore ‘Tippy’ to its status as the premier club in the Mahoning Valley,” Thomas adds. “This was always the place to be.”
Pictured: Announcing the new ownership are Joe Thomas, CEO of Golf Headquarters; Tina Barker, clubhouse manager; and Mike Spiech, PGA head golf professional.