Lee's Facility Analysis Survey Offers 'Roadmap' for Court Owners
Confused about how to improve the performance of your clay courts? Looking for a long-range plan to upgrade your facility, but don’t know where to begin? Is your facility seeing the effects of age, and you’re not sure just what it needs?
When it comes to facility maintenance and upkeep, it’s easy for tennis pros, general managers, and other court owners to feel overwhelmed and often confused by recommendations from players, builders, and club personnel. That’s why Lee Tennis has stepped in, offering a “Facility Analysis Survey,” or FAS, that can be a guide to improving and upgrading your tennis facility.
But Lee Tennis, best known as the makers of the Har-Tru surface, goes beyond simply looking at the court surface itself, although that is a big part of the FAS. The survey, which is conducted by an experienced Lee Tennis staff member, includes gathering and documentation of historical site data, geotechnical information, court orientation, computer-generated three-dimensional topographical surface maps, surface thickness and base stone measurements, analysis of the irrigation systems, drainage, curbing, lighting, nets, net posts, fencing, and court and player amenities.
“Our goal is to create a roadmap that will allow a court owner or club to offer the best tennis court experience possible,” says Lee Facility Analysis and Consulting Services Manager Ed MonteCalvo. “The report we create includes short- and long-term recommendations, as well as three-dimensional maps of every court.”
Lee’s FAS also offers recommendations on irrigation, lighting, and, if the facility desires, options on converting hard courts. “Our job is to take the guesswork out of upgrading your courts and to do it in a way that every member can understand and ultimately support,” says MonteCalvo. “We’ve surveyed over 800 clay courts in the last four years.”
The information gathered for the FAS is put into a bound, full-color, easy-to-read report, complete with photos, charts, and computer-generated drawings specific to the facility being analyzed. Lee Tennis personnel also will present the FAS information to a club’s board of directors, tennis committee, members, park and rec departments, homeowners associations, resorts, or other groups.
In fact, that’s what MonteCalvo did for the Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when the club was investigating converting one of its six hard courts to a clay court. MonteCalvo met with the board of directors and others involved in the project.
“We had always talked about getting a Har-Tru court,” says Cam Watts, who recently retired as the tennis director at Elmcrest. “Ed guided us toward subsurface irrigation.”
According to Lee Tennis, the FAS comes in handy in a number of instances:
- For construction and maintenance guidance prior to facility renovations or new construction.
- To evaluate existing court conditions and offer improvements to court maintenance.
- To identify capital improvement needs for long-term planning and budgeting.
- To investigate the possibility of converting hard courts to Har-Tru.
A few years ago, Jamie Peterson, the tennis director at the Chartwell Golf and Country Club in Severna Park, Md., had an FAS done on his seven courts. Since then, he has redone two courts according to the survey results, “but the FAS also plans for the other five to be improved, which is in our capital plan in the future,” says Peterson.
The FAS also has been convenient for Mark Finnerty, the grounds manager at the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, Pa. Merion had six Har-Tru courts rebuilt in 1989, and Finnerty believed they were no longer playing consistently. “I thought it would be nice to have an actual report to back up what I wanted to have done,” he says. “The FAS confirmed what I needed to have confirmed.
“I generally know what needs to be done,” says Finnerty. “But to actually have an outside company come in, then write up a nice, detailed report for you, that’s a real nice service.”
For more on Lee Tennis’s Facility Analysis Survey, call 877-4-HAR-TRU.
A Facility Analysis Survey at Desert Highlands in Scottsdale, Ariz., led to a renovation of the courts.
Typical three-dimensional court perspective included in an FAS report indicates direction of water flow.