If you think your club has what it takes to be considered a Top Ranked Racquet Facility, hurry and submit your details on our website. The May 17 deadline is quickly approaching.
My love affair with racquet sports dates all the way back to elementary school, when my buddies and I would ride our bikes to Brooker Park in Ashtabula, Ohio to play tennis.
We found old racquets lying around the house—tucked away from when an older sibling or parent picked up the sport and eventually abandoned it for something else. While my earliest era came after wooden racquets, I was way before the advent of today’s modern versions.
The first racquet I used had a heavy steel frame with a small head and even smaller sweet spot. We found tennis balls that would bounce just high enough for us to (try to) send them across the sagging net. They were better suited for the dog and a game of fetch, but we made them work.
We’d joke that we were playing Wimbledon because the courts had huge cracks with grass peeking through. As you can imagine, a dead ball hitting a clump of grass made for some unpredictable bounces.
My skills developed enough to make the high-school tennis team my senior year, after giving up my dream of playing baseball at a high level. While my eye had trouble differentiating a curveball or slider from a fastball, it was good enough to return most serves I faced on the tennis courts.
I continued to play recreationally through college and beyond, and even joined a men’s league while living in Dallas. I quickly learned there was a considerable jump from a 3.0 league to a 3.5 league, but I had fun at both levels.
Spending most of my adulthood in Northeast Ohio, I’d trade in my tennis racquet for a racquetball racquet over the winter months. Both sports kept me fit and active, and served to provide the competition I craved.
I now have a pickleball paddle and am anxiously awaiting my chance to try that sport. In fact, it’s the fastest-growing sport in America. I recently visited Berry Hills Country Club (see page 18) in Charleston, W.Va., and they’re remodeling their racquet facilities to add a pair of pickleball courts (and bocce) to meet members’ demands.
Give me a decent reason to try platform tennis and squash, and I’ll quickly be in the market for more equipment.
What is your club doing to scratch the racquet itch? Are you expanding your facilities? Please let us know.
And if you think your club has what it takes to be considered a Top Ranked Racquet Facility, hurry and submit your details on our website. The May 17 deadline is quickly approaching.