Investors Group to Take Ownership of Tippecanoe Country Club
CANFIELD, Ohio – A group composed of 70 members of Tippecanoe Country Club has raised the 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,” said Joe Thomas, owner of Golf Headquarters in Boardman and an investor in Tippecanoe Acquisition Co. Inc. That entity will officially take over on Aug 1., he said.
The club’s membership voted overwhelmingly – 95% — in October to approve the transaction, Thomas said. He noted that since then, the group has worked to iron out some of the paperwork associated with the acquisition.
Thomas said the group raised $3 million, despite the coronavirus pandemic, through the sale of 120 shares. It has the capacity to sell 200 shares total in the club, he added. Previously, the club was funded solely by membership dues and fees.
The process began nearly two years ago, when members became aware that the club wasn’t bringing in enough revenue to invest in new capital projects, Thomas said. Instead of selling the club to another entity, the membership opted to approve sale to Tippecanoe Acquisitions. Since May, the club has attracted another 20 new members, he said.
He said that once word circulates that Tippecanoe is on solid footing and will begin improvements, memberships should increase. The goal is to attract a total of 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 said 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 include a new roof, a large outdoor bar, additional outdoor dining, enhancements to the parking lot and pool, and upgrades to the kitchen, Thomas said.
Club dues would not increase for at least two years, per the agreement, he said.
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, said 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 said the new ownership group provides a rare chance to award members with accessibility and maintain the integrity of a private club. “I think it’s going to promote new membership and promote the excitement,” he said.
Thomas also said that clubs such as Tippecanoe appeal to new business executives who might be relocating to the region. “The new Lordstown battery plant is just one example of the exciting job-creating development coming our way,” he said.
“Our goal is to restore ‘Tippy’ to its status as the premier club in the Mahoning Valley,” he said. “This was always the place to be.”
Pictured: Joe Thomas, Tina Barker, clubhouse manager, and PGA head golf professional Mike Spiech
Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.