All Skill Levels are Welcome at Tipton Municipal Golf Course
Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Jason Graves
Amaya Stowers, a senior at Tipton High School, says the Tipton Municipal Golf Course has been a huge part of her life since she was a young girl.
“I’ve honestly been playing golf for so long that I can’t remember the exact age I was when I started,” Stowers says. “I know I’ve been playing my whole life, and Tipton Municipal Golf Course has helped me become a better golfer over the years.”
Stowers says she has received great advice from people at the course.
“Rusty Ripberger, who was a golf pro here before, always used to tell us to not run on the green,” Stowers says. “He also taught us how to really improve, and put in the time to become better.”
Stowers has high praise for the Junior Golf Program.
“You learn so much just by being out there on the course every day,” she says. “It’s really a great culture here. I’m glad I started playing golf here when I was young. I was able to pick up the lingo and just keep improving.”
Stowers also works at the golf course.
“I work at the cash register and outside,” she says. “It’s nice to be able to work at a place where I know a lot of the people.”
Stowers also played on the Tipton High School girls golf team last fall.
“We did really well last season,” Stowers says. “We were the first full girls team to make it to regionals. I’m really proud of the team. Emma Crawford, who is also a senior, did an outstanding job.”
Stowers was also president of the Mayor’s Youth Council, was on the student council for four years, and was a member of the National Honor Society.
“I also worked in the school’s athletic training office, where I helped the girls basketball team,” Stowers says.
Stowers is planning to attend the University of Indianapolis in the fall.
“I’m going to study psychology and I’m going to be in the university’s Honors College program,” Stowers says. “I’m very excited about it.”
Stowers says she will still find time to play golf.
“One of the things I love most about golf, and about playing at the Tipton course, is that I appreciate how much of a social sport it is,” she says. “You are only out to beat yourself, and it’s a great environment. Golf teaches you about life skills, and it is something you can still do when you are 80 years old. This is a wonderful place.”
Ryan Bontrager, director of golf at Tipton Municipal Golf Course, agrees.
“There are a lot of great things about Tipton Golf Course,” Bontrager says. “The golf course is easy to get around. It is flat, and players don’t lose many golf balls as they go around. While some golf courses take over four and sometimes five hours to play, most of our golfers get around in three hours, which frees up their day. In this day and age, people don’t have as much time as they used to, so to be able to play in three hours is a big deal.”
Like all golf courses, Bontrager says the greens make the difference.
“Our greens are consistently some of the best greens around,” he says. “They are typically fast and true on a daily basis. We get people coming off the golf course, and they are really excited about the quality of our greens.”
Bontrager says the quality of the playing surfaces is strong.
“We put in a new irrigation system a couple years ago, and it has made a world of difference,” he says. “We used to have to worry about keeping grass healthy on several areas of the course. With the new irrigation system and a fantastic superintendent, Jake Talley, the golf course has never been better. The word is getting out about how good it is. We are getting a lot of players from out of town, and more season passes being sold this year than what we have seen the past several years.”
Bontrager says the course fees are reasonable.
“Our fees are also very competitive,” he says. “We are consistently on the low end of green fee pricing, golf cart pricing and season pass pricing. We offer some great deals on weekend afternoons, and offer a twilight rate during the week that is very popular. For example, junior golfers ages 22 and younger, and enrolled in school, can pay $100 and play as much golf as they want all year long. A senior, 62 and older, can pay $470 and play as much as they want. Our season passes don’t include cart fees, but being that our course is easy to get around, we have a lot of pass holders that walk the golf course and keep their costs per round at a minimum.”
Bontrager notes that the course includes two distinct 9-hole courses.
“The front 9 is a lot easier, and perhaps some would see it as more fun, while the back 9 is a longer test with some very challenging holes,” Bontrager says. “Both sides offer tree-lined fairways, small green complexes, and Big Cicero Creek that runs the outside of the property. The back 9 offers Buck Creek that plays a big role on most of the holes.”
Bontrager stresses that the Tipton course is a great practice facility.
“We have a driving range, chipping green and putting green for players to take advantage of,” Bontrager says. “We also have some customers that drive from Kokomo just for our practice facilities. We have several leagues and groups that give a lot of golfers the ability to play as part of a group.”
To find out more about the Tipton Municipal Golf Course, located at 2211 South 200 West, call 765-675-6687.