Tennis Industry magazine

 

Soft Landings

These seven outdoor winners are excellent examples of clay-court construction.

By Peter Francesconi

Once again, Florida dominates in the outdoor soft-court category of the Racquet Sports Industry/American Sports Builders Association 2009 Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards, as the Sunshine State is home to four of the seven winners. But credit Massachusetts as coming on strong, with two winners.

The interesting news with this crop of winners is the use of subsurface irrigation for six of the projects. At least two of these switched to subsurface irrigation because of a desire to conserve, but also to reflect members’ wishes.

Members at the St. Andrews Country Club, for instance, complained that they wanted to maximize their playing time, and subsurface irrigation allowed them to do that. The Fisher Island Club converted its eight overhead-watered courts to eight hydro courts in the last phase of a project to upgrade and modernize the facility. Access at Fisher Island was so limited, that special wagon carts had to be constructed to take away the excavated material and bring in the new material.

The Longboat Key Club & Resort was a major rebuild of the facility, which includes 20 new clay courts, with new fencing on all. Access was limited due to nearby construction and water on two sides of the site. The well water for the subsurface irrigation system contained fine silt, so an inline automatic flushing filter had to be installed. The Jonesville Tennis Center is a major new public facility with 14 lighted clay courts, new fencing, shade cabanas and other amenities. There’s also a tournament staging area and spectator viewing areas.

The Placencia Hotel in Belize uses Lee Tennis’s ClayTech surface, which uses conventional overhead watering, but less of it. The contractor for the Placencia Hotel listed “difficulties” as “jungle, swamp, unskilled labor.” His solutions? “Rain gear, bug spray, and lots of patience.”

In Massachusetts, The Field Club converted a former asphalt plant site and dumping ground into a first-class recreational facility built to be environmentally friendly in all ways. The facility has seven clay courts, a grass tennis court area, two platform tennis courts, and a grass pitch for croquet and badminton, along with a Tennis Pavilion with locker rooms, a lounge and a pro shop.

The Wequassett Resort & Golf Course removed its existing courts and installed four subsurface irrigated courts, with custom fencing. The project incorporated green design throughout, including using native and recycled materials. Construction started in December with a deadline of April 15, so fencing was measured and built off-site, along with footings for net posts, center anchors, and light poles.

For details on the 2010 Outstanding Facility-of-the-Year Awards, contact the ASBA at 866-501-ASBA or info@sportsbuilders.org, or visit sportsbuilders.org.


The Field Club

The Field Club, Edgartown, Mass.

(Nominated by Global Sports & Tennis Design Group LLC, Fair Haven, N.J.)

No. of Courts: 8 (7 soft, 1 grass)

Architect/Engineer: Ahearn, Schopfer and Associates

Tennis Design Consultant: Global Sports & Tennis Design Group LLC

General Contractor: Metric Corp.

Specialty Contractor: Boston Tennis (soft courts), Lawn Tennis Supply (grass court)

Surface: Lee Tennis

Fencing: Perfection Fence Co.

Irrigation: Bettencourt Irrigation


Wequassett Resort

Wequassett Resort & Golf Course

Chatham, Mass.

(Nominated by Cape & Island Tennis & Track, Pocasset, Mass.)

Specialty Contractor: Cape & Island Tennis & Track

No. of Courts: 4

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch Tennis Hydrogrid

Lighting, Line Tapes: Lee Tennis

Nets, Posts, Center Straps: J.A. Cissel


Placencia Hotel

Placencia Hotel, Placencia, Belize

(Nominated by Ritzman Tennis Courts LLC, Fort Myers, Fla.)

Specialty Contractor: Ritzman Tennis Courts

No. of Courts: 2

Surface: Lee Tennis ClayTech

Nets, Net Posts: Superior Court Supply

Lighting: Tech-Light

Fencing: U.S. Wholesale

Windscreens: CN Screen


Fisher Island

Fisher Island Club, Miami, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

General & Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 8

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch HydroGrid

Court Supplies: Welch Tennis Courts

Channel Drains: ABT


Jonesville

Jonesville Tennis Center, Gainesville, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

General & Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 14

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch HydroGrid

Lighting: LSI Courtsider


Longboat Key

Longboat Key Club & Resort

Longboat Key, Fla.

(Nominated by Welch Tennis Courts Inc., Sun City, Fla.)

Architect/Engineer: Global Sports & Tennis Design Group LLC

Specialty Contractor: Welch Tennis Courts Inc.

No. of Courts: 20

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Welch HydroGrid

Lighting: LSI Courtsider


St. Andrews Country Club

St. Andrews Country Club, Boca Raton, Fla.

(Nominated by Fast-Dry Courts, Pompano Beach, Fla.)

General & Specialty Contractor: Fast-Dry Courts

No. of Courts: 5

Surface: Lee Tennis Hydroblend

Subsurface Irrigation: Lee Tennis

Net Posts, Windscreens: J.A. Cissel

Nets: Superior Court Supplies

Line Tapes: Lee Tennis

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.

 

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