Chippy Levitch is a character. Chippy has always been a part of the Muni Kids Brand since the beginning in one way or another, but never in any official form. We are excited to have him officially on our team as a Brand Ambassador and Blogger contributing right here on THE BOGEY FREE BLOG. Chippy will bring a lot of humor to the blog and the guy just flat out knows how to have a good time! We sat down for an interview with Chippy so you guys could get to know him a little better.
Tell us a little about yourself, Who is Chippy Levitch?
I'm a guy who enjoys the finer things in life, an ice cold beer, a tasty cocktail, golfing with my friends, and above all, having a line in the water catching fish. I've been working in the golf industry my entire life, with jobs ranging from outside/guest services, pro shop operator, caddy, golf course maintenance, and most currently Assistant Superintendent.
You grew up on a public course, you work at a public course, what do you love so much about public golf?
The people, period. When I was growing up at River's Edge in Bend, Or, I built up a great relationship with the Director of Golf, who later became my first boss. Instead of sending me out on my own, he would pair me with whatever group wasn't full. It was such a great feeling to meet new people and play golf with them, especially when they'd see a little kid beat them. I spent a solid 8 years of my childhood and young adulthood at the Edge and became friends with so many people I would never have met otherwise. As time passed by and I moved away from home, I've found new homes at the local public courses, along with new friendships with the regulars at these courses. When I moved to Concord, Ca where I currently am the Assistant Superintendent at the local muni, it didn't take long to be adopted by their Men's Club which I am now a board member of.
How has being a part of the public golf culture your whole life shaped who you are as a person?
More than anything it has created a very thick skin. With betting comes jokes, and there has been plenty of both on and off the course throughout my life. This has taught me to have a great sense of humor and to not be too uptight. Friends joke around with friends, that's part of life, when a guy makes fun of your putting, or lack there of, sink a 40 footer to take $20 off him. This culture has taught me most of all to use adversity as motivation.
Any muni’s on your bucket list? Whats your favorite public track?
Bucket list would be, in no particular order, Pacific Grove Golf Links, Jefferson Park, and the token answer of Bethpage and Torrey Pines. My favorite public track, and there isn't a close second, is Tokatee in Blue River, Oregon. The track, the location, the people, there is no other place I've ever been where I would rather play a round of golf. One of three locations I will have my ashes spread.
We know you love your cocktails, what’s Chippy’s drink of choice on the course?
It's not a true round of golf if you don't have a screwdriver...or 8. Other acceptable answers would be a Man Cran (absolute mandarin vodka, cranberry, soda, lime) or an eraser (shot of chilled patron with a pineapple back, best taken at the turn to "erase" the front nine). However on hangover days I'll typically settle for a Silver Bullet.
You have been a big part of Muni Kids since day 1, but now as an official ambassador and contributor, what excites you about getting even more involved?
I'm excited for the future of Muni Kids. I remember sitting in the pro shop with Max at Vet's bouncing back and forth ideas of what to call the brand and what direction it should go. It has been great to see the growth Muni Kids has taken since it's conception. I'm stoked to become a bigger presence of helping to grow the brand by building friendships and working with my fellow ambassadors.
What does being a muni kid mean to you?
To me, since day one, the most important aspect of being a Muni Kid is having fun on the golf course. I was in the midst of the end of my college golf career when the idea of Muni Kids first came about and was in a bit of golf purgatory. I knew it was the end of my run playing golf competitively and was searching for a way to love the game again as more of a casual player. Seeing the passion Max had about Muni Kids helped me get back to my roots of playing to have fun (and win cash games) as opposed to gearing up for tournaments on a weekly basis. Being a Muni Kid is all about building lifelong friendships on and off the golf course.
We are very excited to announce Michigan native, Adam Gamble has joined the team as a Brand Ambassador, Blogger, and Fashion Consultant. If you had a chance to check Adam out on instagram you've seen his love for playing golf and men's fashion. If you haven't had a chance to check out his instagram, I suggest you do so and follow him! We are looking forward to him bringing his wealth of knowledge and point of view to our team, clothing, and THE BOGEY FREE BLOG. I had a chance to connect with Adam and talk golf, fashion, municipal culture, and tattoos. Here's an introduction to our newest Brand Ambassador, Adam Gamble.
Tell us a little about yourself, who is Adam Gamble?
I am husband, a golfer and a daddy to two furbabies – Meatball and Snoopy. I have been playing golf on and off for over 20 years. I pride myself in being able to play year round. I live in Michigan, so we definitely get hit with all 4 seasons, thank you mother nature. One day it will be 25 degrees with 6 inches of snow on the ground and a few days later it will be 65 degrees and sunny, either way I’ll be out golfing at one of the local courses.
You seem to be a tastemaker when it comes to mens fashion on and off the golf course. What drives your interest in this?
My mother and grandparents were always huge into fashion. I look at other country's fashion and I try to bring their culture to the US. I watch a lot of players on the European tour, and they’ve always had a sense for detail in their clothes. If it’s stitching on a pair of pants or an alligator belt or just normal white shoes with colored laces – I’ve always tried to take the extra step to look extraordinary. How many times have you bought a shirt from a designer store because of the name or the price tag attached to it? It doesn’t mean that it will fit the best but you paid for the name, right? What’s wrong with going and buying a cheaper shirt that fits amazing? ....NOTHING! The name brand or price tag has never been something I’ve looked at or searched for. When it comes to the clothes, it should be about the quality and not the price.
You play more golf than anyone we know! What is it that you love about the municipal golf culture?
What don’t I love?? I love going to a course as a single and trying to get paired with another single or group, you meet so many different people! It’s like being a kid again – bringing me back to my youth and approaching the unknown. And that first tee shot is always the best. And of course, the stories and history that are behind each and every muni course out there.
Any muni’s on your bucket list?
1. Goat Hill
2. Chambers Bay
3. Lincoln Park
4. Torrey Pines
The tattoos are awesome, tell us a little about what they mean to you?
Each tattoo has their own meaning, their own story. It’s like a book of chapters on my body, the events that have happened in my life to the things that I love. For example, my knuckles have Rock Star tattooed on them, to my stomach having a pirate ship and to my shoulders reading “soul golfer”.
As an ambassador, contributor, and consultant to Muni Kids, what excites you about getting involved?
Getting in at the ground level and helping a brand I believe in. I think it’s awesome how you guys bring cool and fun back into the golf game. Your brand makes people feel that muni courses are still great courses, even if they’re not 7500 yards or the club house isn't 10,000 square feet. The clothes are original looking and you have a great logo – which is always awesome.
What does being a Muni Kid mean to you?
Being a Muni Kid is about the lifestyle and golf. It reflects the type of culture that we grew up with as kids. Not everyone was or is able to play at a private club. It’s not about having perfect fairways or perfect greens. The only thing that matters is having your golf clubs and being able to play golf. You don’t care about the condition of the course, because hey, guess what, you’re out there golfing. It’s also about being a golfer without actually looking like one. If I finish up a round of golf, I want to be able to head out to dinner with my wife or go hang out with some friends. It’s not just a golf brand, but it’s a lifestyle.
Follow Adam Gamble on instagram: @sir_gamble
We are starting a new weekly campaign up at Muni Kids called, #munikidseverywhere. Starting today we encourage you to tag your instagram and twitter pictures with the hashtag #munikidseverywhere so we can post them up each week on THE BOGEY FREE BLOG. We want to see your golf pictures and pictures of the great public courses you play at! One of the driving forces behind Muni Kids is to create a lifestyle brand that is for the people. Muni Kids is about the everyday golfer and their love for the game, so its our job to push our culture to the masses and we need you to do that! Use hashtag #munikidseverywhere and we will showcase your pictures right here at munikids.com!
I am starting a new series on THE BOGEY FREE BLOG called, Swing Away. Swing Away will give you an inside look at what we're up to each month through photos in my camera, iPhone, and action cam. February was consumed with a lot of travel setting up pro shop accounts and playing a lot of golf! It felt like I was living and running Muni Kids out of the car. Here's an inside look!
Eagle Point Golf Club | Medford, OR
Diablo Creek Golf Course | Concord, CA
Sunsets in Sacramento.
Riding the BART and exploring the Bay.
The Metro | Oakland, CA
Fatpro hitting snappers at Diablo Creek GC.
Boundary Oak Golf Course | Concord, CA
Buchanan Fields Golf Course | Concord, CA
Sharp Park Golf Course | Pacifica, CA
The City by The Bay.
Fishermans Wharf | San Francisco, CA
Lincoln Park Golf Course | San Francisco, CA
One of my favorite birdies I ever made.
Chippy, munimax, and Fatpro.
Matt guiding us through the city.
Chinatown | San Francisco, CA
Somewhere on 101.
Northwood Golf Club | Monte Rio, CA
The Jones Original goes everywhere with me.
Making birdies in the Redwood Forest.
Avenue of the Giants
The Redwood Forest
Khloe at Cherry Hill. She came for the golf, I came for the pizza!
This past week, if you've kept up with us on social media, you've noticed that we have been on a road trip to the Bay Area in Northern California. We had the chance to play many great muni's while there and along the way but one stands out above all the rest, Lincoln Park Golf Course. I previously wrote a blog post that pinned my bucket list muni golf courses and Lincoln Park Golf Course was at the top of my list. So as you can imagine, I was very excited for the chance to finally cross it off. We lucked out and got a beautiful day to play and the course relatively to ourselves, which the pro told us was very rare. Let me tell you, I think you would be hard pressed to find a better value green fee on the planet. $39.00 for 18 Holes and incredible views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, if it gets any better somewhere else, let me know so I can add it to my list. The layout of the golf course was incredible and challenging. The condition was a little wet, but it's early spring time and I'm not complaining. The Clubhouse is old with a classic look and is filled with vintage pictures of the course. Also, there were a few retro Ashworth posters from photoshoots they did at Lincoln Park that included the likes of Freddy "Boom Boom" Couples and Ernie "The Big Easy" Els. Lincoln Park's staff was incredibly friendly to us and made us feel right at home. It was an incredible experience for us and the highlight of our trip. Not to mention, I swept the front, back, and totals with both Fatpro and Chippy, so my round paid for itself!
The Lincoln Park Golf Course Clubhouse
Hole #1 (Left to Right, Chippy Levitch, Maxton Reinland, Marcus "Fatpro" Kilthau)
Maxton Reinland striping a drive on Hole #5
Lost somewhere in Golf Heaven
Hole #5 Green with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background
Maxton Reinland & Marcus "Fatpro" Kilthau
The Legion of Honor next to Hole #6 Tee
Views of "The City" on Hole #7
Just a Muni Kid & his Jones Bag
Marcus "Fatpro" Kilthau looking for an eagle putt on Hole #13
View from the iconic Hole #17 Tee
Chippy Levitch hitting his 7th shot into Hole #18
Where have all the golf courses that allow dogs gone? We see the superintendent's dog out running and living the dream but that is usually the only dog. In America it seems with each year that passes we are seeing less and less of our furry friends roaming the course with their owners. I personally find this trend saddening. One of my favorite things in life to do is strap the dog leash to my Jones Bag and get an early morning or late afternoon nine in with my dog Khloe. She loves every moment of these two hour adventures where we walk the fairways together chasing the little white ball. Overseas in Europe, from what I understand, it's not all that uncommon to see dogs out on the links everyday. They have a much more relaxed policy when it comes to man's best friend. So is it the barking or droppings keeping dogs off the course in America? I propose that golf industry use allowing dogs to help grow the game and revenue. Dogs are the heart and soul of American outdoor recreation and I believe if the golf industry starts moving into a dog friendly direction, it will open up the game of golf to a larger audience. Maybe golfers will play more if they can take their dogs out for a quick 9 hole walk instead of a lap around their neighborhood. I understand that there needs to be policies in place to make sure dog owners are keeping dogs on a leash and behaving. Right now, I think it is pretty common knowledge that public golf is suffering and searching for ideas to boost revenue. Allowing dogs on the course may not be the fix all answer but it can definitely be apart of the solution. I love golf and I love dogs, if the industry moved in this direction, I truly believe all it would do is grow the game. Leave a comment and let us know what you think!