BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., The Oaks Club in Osprey, Fla., and Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va. round out the Top 5 racquets facilities in the 2023 Top Ranked initiative.
It is truly a team effort at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Gary Henderson, the club’s Director of Racquet Sports, says the employees, the members, the management and board, and the facility itself are all major factors in helping the club stand out amongst its peers.
It is also undoubtedly among the reasons BallenIsles Country Club attained a high-level ranking in the Club + Resort Business Top Ranked Racquet Facilities Recognition Program.
“[We’re] very proud and honored to be recognized,” Henderson says. “With the growth of pickleball and the increase of tennis events at BallenIsles over the past year, we appreciate our team and their dedication in making lasting memories for our members and guests.”
The club has 21 tennis courts and nine pickleball courts, along with 2,570 sq. ft of retail space, all of which is overseen by 14 full-time employees and seven part-time workers.
“The employees have delivered exceptional service with increased participation and traffic and made it look easy,” Henderson says. “We have highly experienced maintenance staff who maintain the courts to the highest level. The shop staff learn about each product from shoes to racquets to material used in apparel so they can give a quality retail experience.”
Plenty of amenities are offered at the courts. The canopies for each court offers towels, cups, water fountains and fans for the players. There are also drink stations with iced towels and Gatorade, as well as a stadium court that seats up to 500 people.
The club’s management and board plays a key role in organizing special events at the club.
“These events consist of a concierge welcome desk, themed playing activity and dining after play ensuring everyone leaves with a smile and a lasting memory,” Henderson says.
The members provide feedback to club employees and this allows the staff, Henderson adds, to “deliver quality experiences again and again.”
The staff at The Oaks Club in Osprey, Fla. is focused on enhancing the member experience.
“We personalize and specialize our programs and events specifically to the wants and needs of the members,” says Andrew Sirota, the club’s Director of Racquets. “We are constantly soliciting feedback and input from our members to create our schedule of programs. This allows for all members to be able to find an activity that suits their preferences.”
Sirota adds he is “humbled and proud” that his facility “scored well” in the Club + Resort Business Top Ranked Racquet Facilities Recognition Program.
“To know that my peers and colleagues in the industry recognize how special The Oaks Club is, makes me understand how fortunate I am to call this place my work home,” Sirota says.
The club’s racquet program offers 12 tennis courts, four pickleball courts, and 550 sq. ft. of retail space. In addition, there are five full-time employees and two part-time staffers who Sirota says are “constantly learning and training” to remain up-to-speed on all of the latest coaching techniques to improve members’ racquet skills.
A picturesque setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains, buildings reflecting Jeffersonian architecture, and a diverse set of racquet facilities all help distinguish Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville, Va. from its counterparts.
Even with those distinctive attributes, the quality of the people is what makes the club stand out the most, according to Head Racquets Professional Jonathan Sarosiek.
“We have the best racquets staff in the country, the most supportive membership around, and we are very lucky to call Farmington Country Club, home,” Sarosiek says. “We, as a racquets staff, are so fortunate to have such amazing support from our membership, our GM/CEO, Joe Krenn, the other hardworking departments at FCC, and the board. Leadership and culture permeates through the club on a daily basis, and resources are given to ensure our membership are given first-class facilities, creative programming, and unparalleled service.”
The club offers 18 tennis courts, 11 pickleball courts, three platform/paddle courts, and 1,000 sq. ft. of retail space, all supported by a staff of 12 full-time employees and 16 part-time workers.