Signing up for a good tennis club near you and playing three hours of tennis every week can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 56% and can also provide you with several other health benefits including an improved physique, weight loss, and stress relief. Joining a tennis club near you also provides you with opportunities for social interaction. These numerous benefits account for the increase in the popularity of tennis as both a sport and recreational activity. It is estimated that tennis participation in the United States increased by approximately 22% in 2020 alone, with over 21 Americans partaking in this activity.
Joining a good tennis club near you gives you access to a proper tennis facility with a wide range of services and options that can help you enjoy the sport at your convenience. However, finding the right tennis club near you requires some considerations on your part, such as your preferences, the perks offered by the club, the club's facilities, and whether the club has satisfied all legal operational requirements of your area of residence. To address these considerations, you should make the following inquiries:
The regulatory and operational requirements for tennis clubs largely vary by state. While some states require tennis clubs to obtain an operating license, other states do not require a license but may issue other legal requirements. For example, in New York, tennis clubs are not required to obtain an operational license, but they must file a Certificate of Deposit, Letter of Credit, or Bond with the New York Department of State. In contrast, Connecticut requires tennis clubs to obtain an operational license for each place of business within the state, and South Carolina requires that tennis clubs must file for a Certificate of Authority with the state's Department of Consumer Affairs before commencing operations. On the other hand, some states handle the regulation of tennis clubs strictly at the local government level. An example of this is in California, where most local governments require tennis clubs and other types of fitness centers to obtain locally issued business licenses before commencing operations within their areas of governance.
Accordingly, before booking a tennis court or joining a tennis club, it is vital to ensure that the club has satisfied the required legal requirements in your state of residence. You can find out if a tennis club has satisfied any legal requirements by contacting your state's consumer protection agency. Failure to meet necessary requirements can result in the regulatory authority suspending the club's operations and even issuing a fine, all of which can disrupt your workout schedule and require you to begin the search for a tennis club near you afresh. Either way, this is an inconvenience that can be easily avoided by making sure that the tennis club is legally authorized to provide services to members of the public in your area of residence.
Finally, it is also ideal to find a tennis club near you that belongs to a reputable trade association. Tennis club associations, such as the Association of Centenary Tennis Clubs, typically offer their member clubs a wide range of extra activities like competitions and social events like anniversary celebrations and get-togethers. Joining a tennis club that is also an active member of a trade association grants you access to these additional activities and social events and provides you with opportunities to interact with more people, learn more about tennis, develop your skills, improve your fitness, and improve your recreational experience.
Most tennis clubs charge hourly rates for tennis court bookings, and their fees typically range between $30 and $100 per hour. The exact cost for booking a court depends on other factors such as your location, the length of time you are booking the court for, and the type of court. For example, it is usually more expensive to book a tennis court to play singles tennis. On average, it costs between $15 - $30 to book a tennis court for a game of singles and between $11 - $25 for a game of doubles. Similarly, booking indoor tennis courts are usually more expensive than booking outdoor courts. Booking an indoor court can cost between $35 - $50 per hour while booking an outdoor court typically costs between $15 - $40.
However, when planning to book a court with a tennis club near you, you should consider some steps to help reduce the possible expenses and keep the price within your budget. Some of these steps include:
- Getting a tennis club membership: Some tennis clubs offer paid membership subscriptions. Among other perks, members can use the tennis club's facilities, such as their tennis court, for free or at a discounted fee. Over time, most membership fees are usually more economical than simply booking a club's tennis court as a non-member, particularly if you are a frequent visitor.
- Utilizing available discounts: Besides offering paid membership subscriptions, some tennis clubs also offer to rent out their facilities at a discounted fee in some cases. One such case is hiring a court for a game of doubles. When you book a tennis court to play a game of doubles, some tennis clubs reduce the individual fee of each player. For example, if booking a court for a singles game costs $15 per player, some tennis clubs can reduce the fee to $11 per player for a game of doubles. However, note that discount policies and rates vary from club to club. If discounts influence your decision-making, you should ask your preferred tennis club whether they have a discount policy, what kind of discounts they offer, and see if you can utilize any such discount policy.
The booking fee is the most common cost associated with hiring a court. However, besides this booking fee, there may be additional expenses which typically include:
- Court accessories expenses: To properly make use of a tennis court, you need certain court accessories or equipment such as the ball machine, tennis rackets, and tennis clothing. Based on your preferences, you may want some additional accessories such as a tennis visor and wristband. However, access to these accessories or equipment is usually not included in a court booking fee. Unless you are allowed by the tennis club to bring your tennis accessories along, you may need to hire some of these accessories or equipment from the tennis club at certain costs.
- Refreshment expenses: While it is normal to take breaks and get refreshments when playing tennis, court booking fees do not typically cover the cost of these refreshments. As a result, getting refreshments at a tennis club is an out-of-pocket expense which adds to the overall cost of booking a court with the tennis club.
- Coaching expenses: If you intend to hire a tennis club's coach to train you and help you improve your tennis game, this will come at an additional cost besides the court booking fee.
- Guest invitations: In most cases, court booking fees do not include free guest invitations. If you are bringing guests with you to the tennis court, some tennis clubs charge a guest fee for each guest. Depending on the number of guests you are inviting, this may increase the additional expenses associated with booking a court.
Note that some tennis clubs may offer to cover some of these additional expenses to an extent under their court booking fees. For example, some tennis clubs include access to court rackets under their court booking fees. Considering this, it is advisable to always find out from a tennis club exactly what their booking fees cover before choosing to book their tennis court.
Tennis clubs typically have employees, volunteers, or members that assist with the club's operations. Hence, when you book a tennis court, the club's representative assigned to deliver your requested service largely depends on the service that you have requested. For example, tennis clubs usually have a representative tasked with simply taking court bookings and assigning available tennis court facilities when requested. Similarly, some tennis clubs also have coaches or trainers that train interested club members or visitors upon request. Therefore, before requesting the services of a tennis club, you should ensure that the club has the necessary facilities or qualified professionals to deliver your preferred service. Notably, some services, like coaching or training, should be performed by someone with some experience. In such cases, it is vital to know about your trainer, their level of experience, whether they are certified by any professional association like the United States Professional Tennis Association, and their preferred training style. You can find out about a trainer's level of experience, certifications, or preferred training style by asking the tennis club or the trainer. You can further verify a trainer's certification by contacting the association the trainer claims to have been certified by. Finally, find out from the club whether you will be allowed to request a different trainer if you are unsatisfied with the level of experience, training performance, or style of the one that is initially assigned to you.
It is estimated that there are 417,100 recreation workers in the United States, and they include tennis club trainers. The typical entry-level education for these tennis club trainers is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some trainers also join tennis clubs or associations like the United States Professional Tennis Association and apply for training exercises to develop their playing skills and improve their understanding of the game. To further improve their professional experience and understanding of tennis, some trainers also apply for and obtain certifications from reputable tennis associations such as the United States Professional Tennis Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. To obtain a certification, a trainer typically needs to acquire teaching experience, on-court training, and pass off-court assessments. Hence, while certifications are usually not mandatory, they indicate that a trainer understands the basics of the game and has extensive experience in playing either recreational, semi-professional, or professional tennis, depending on the specifics of the certification.
Before booking the services of a tennis club, it is crucial to ascertain whether the club has the facilities that fit your preferences and whether they have satisfactory service delivery. One way to find out is to ask the club for references from previous club members or visitors. Such references are usually helpful in evaluating the club's service delivery and other considerations such as the club's treatment of members and visitors, perks or discounts, and the quality of the club's facilities.
Alternatively, you can visit review-dedicated websites such as Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and Google Review for a good tennis club near you. These websites contain frequent and updated reviews from members and visitors regarding their experience with certain tennis clubs, which can be helpful in your decision-making. Finally, you can also contact family members or friends to suggest any good tennis club near you. However, before joining or booking the facilities of any referred tennis club, you should also ask the tennis club to provide references from previous or current members and visitors.
The Recreation Workers industry includes tennis club trainers and other recreational trainers and instructors that oversee exercise activities. Below are the quick facts for the industry:
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The method for joining a tennis club largely depends on the club. While some clubs provide online registration portals on their respective websites, some require you to visit the club physically to process your membership registration. However, most tennis clubs require a membership fee which may be charged monthly or annually. Tennis clubs memberships typically entitle members to certain privileges such as free or discounted access to court facilities, coaching options, and the opportunity to participate in organized competitions such as inter-club competitions.
Yes, most tennis clubs offer coaching options. However, coaching options are typically segmented into different levels, ranging from junior level to professional level. Note that, depending on the level and frequency of coaching requested and whether or not you are a member, you may be required to pay an additional or separate fee for coaching.
The facilities a tennis club will have largely depend on the club's budget, members, location, and zoning requirements. For example, tennis clubs in hot places are less likely to have indoor courts. Similarly, some tennis clubs in certain residential areas may have limited parking spaces due to zoning requirements. As a result, it is vital to inquire about the facilities a tennis club has before booking a court with them and ascertain whether their available facilities fit your preferences.
Tennis clubs generally have operating hours that are suited to their services and respective members. As such, while some tennis clubs may be open for the whole day, others have specific hours during which they operate. Additionally, some tennis clubs segment their available services into different hours of the day. For example, a tennis club may dedicate morning hours to tennis playing and noon hours for coaching alone. Hence, before joining a tennis club, it is crucial to make inquiries regarding the club's open hours and whether there are any operational timetables. Knowing a club's open hours helps to determine whether the club's schedule works for you and ensures that you can fully maximize the club's facilities or services.
How you can book a court depends on the tennis club. While some tennis clubs provide online booking options, some others require you to physically visit the tennis club or contact one of the court's representatives by phone, email, or mail.
Tennis clubs typically offer varying services and programs, and in some cases, these include age-specific programs and services like 10 and under tennis games. Note that in some cases, tennis clubs with non-adult membership programs may also have specific age brackets for prospective members or customers. Therefore, if you intend to enroll a loved one or anyone in a 10 and Under Tennis program, you should ideally make inquiries on the age bracket of persons allowed in the tennis club of your choice before doing so.
Programs offered by tennis clubs are typically categorized into junior or youth programs and adult programs. While some tennis clubs may focus on providing either junior or adult programs, other clubs may offer a blend of both. Hence, it is crucial to ask your preferred tennis club which programs they offer and determine whether the available programs align with your preferences.