The private club completed construction of four paddle tennis courts and accompanying warming hut at a ribbon-cutting on July 21. The club will offer three women’s teams and three men’s teams starting this fall, and is exploring how to make the courts available to non-members as well.
A sport popular in several North Shore communities is now being played at Park Ridge (Ill.) Country Club, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The private club marked the completion of four paddle tennis courts and an accompanying warming “hut” during a party and ribbon cutting on July 21, the Tribune reported.
“Paddle tennis is big with the country clubs now around the North Shore of Chicago,” said Racquet Professional Matt Davis. “It’s a great winter sport, so it’s good for the club members. And it adds value in the wintertime because they can’t play golf, they can’t play outdoor tennis.”
Though primarily a winter sport—the surface of the enclosed courts is heated to melt away snow and ice—paddle tennis, also known as platform tennis, can still be played during warmer months, too, the Tribune reported.
“A lot of clubs are now starting to play all year round,” Davis said.
“It adds a whole new activity for members to enjoy,” said club Vice President Kevin Buggy. “It also makes the club a destination-type place year round now.”
The Park Ridge Country Club will have three women’s paddle tennis teams and three men’s teams starting this fall, said club President Harry Arger. They will play teams from other country clubs and park districts, and the club is exploring how to make the courts available to non-member groups as well, the Tribune reported.
Two paddle tennis courts had been proposed as a new amenity at Prospect Park, located just north of the country club, but the Park Ridge Park District Board in late 2014 voted not to pursue construction in an effort to keep the project within the $13.2 million budget voters approved a year earlier, the Tribune reported.
That decision did not influence the country club’s decision to create its own courts, Arger said. “We were going to do it anyway because of the demand for it,” he said. “It’s become quite a popular sport, and we’re just trying to provide more amenities.”
In addition to the courts, the new complex also includes two golf simulators in the lower level of the warming building. Before a large video screen, members can practice their swings in virtual reality during the cold weather months, the Tribune reported.
The building itself contains a bar, furniture, televisions, and large windows for viewing the paddle tennis courts. It can be used by paddle tennis spectators or rented for parties and private gatherings, the Tribune reported.
“There’s a million different ways they can use it socially,” Alger said.