7 amenities to look for in an indoor tennis club

November 3, 2015

Although tennis is great exercise and fun, the problem is winter makes playing outside impossible. What's more, finding indoor tennis facilities that suit your needs can be a challenge. Here's some advice about what to look for in an indoor tennis club, so you can find one that fits your skills, goals and budget.

7 amenities to look for in an indoor tennis club

[Photo Credit: iStock.com/Tashi-Delek]

1. Tennis pros

Most tennis clubs have a roster of tennis pros ready to teach you the game or help develop your skill, but not all instructors are equally qualified.

  • Look for instructors officially licensed by Tennis Canada. Their rigorous certification program tests instructors' overall knowledge of the sport and their ability to teach it.
  • Ask how long the coach has been teaching, who they've previously taught, and their personal history with the game.

Finally, consider what skill-level the club's pros feel most comfortable teaching to ensure a good fit with your goals.

  • Are you an intermediate-level player who wants to improve? An expert player who wants to fine tune your serve? Or have you just started playing tennis and need help with the basics?

2. Family friendliness

If your whole family is interested in the sport, this may be among the most important factor.

  • Most tennis clubs allow children, but not all are equally accommodating.
  • Look for a club with programs specifically for children, such as after-school classes and summer or winter camps.
  • Ask if the club pro has experience teaching children.

3. League play

Whether you're training for competition or simply looking for a bit of fun, most tennis clubs offer some form of competitive league play.

  • Leagues are usually divided into multiple skill levels, as well as divided by gender and by singles/doubles.
  • Look for a facility with enough options to fit your current skill levels, but that will keep you challenged as you improve.

4. Court surfaces

There is a range of tennis court surfaces: grass, carpet, clay and hard.

  • Each has a different grip and hardness, changing how it feels to run on them and how balls behave on them.
  • As you'd expect, grass surfaces are usually only found outdoors. What's more, because they require maintenance such as cutting, seeding and watering, they have become increasingly rare.
  • Most indoor tennis courts have hard surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete. Sometimes they are covered with an acrylic layer. Occasionally, indoor courts are made of clay.

Choosing a surface is partially based on personal preference, unless you're interested in competitive play, which is normally played on either clay or hard. Practising on both surfaces gives the best chance of success.

5. Seasonality

There's no question that an outdoor court in the winter simply won't do. Although certain tennis clubs might tout having winter courts, the facilities aren't suited for colder weather.

  • Some tennis clubs may install temporary plastic or tarpaulin domes over their courts in winter, which means the heating in these structures can be dodgy. There's also always the worry that too much snow could possibly make these temporary structures collapse.

Fully indoor facilities mean no winter interruption at all.

6. Additional facilities

Some tennis facilities also offer other sports.

  • Multi-purpose sports centres may house swimming pools, running tracks, fitness equipment and weight training rooms. Country clubs may offer golf, curling or other sports.

It's a good idea to consider the facility's non-sports amenities, such as saunas, snack bars, restaurants and pro shops.

7. Price

Perhaps the largest factor that differentiates tennis clubs is their membership fees.

  • Tennis clubs range from community facilities with prices designed to be as inclusive as possible to country clubs with highly exclusive prices.

The higher price tag of certain clubs may come with better-quality facilities, better surfaces and a smaller clientele, making it easier to find court time.

It's a good idea to establish a budget for how much you're willing to pay to join a local tennis club.

  • If you're a beginner, the quality of court surfaces may be less important than location or how well you get along with the instructor.

The end of summer doesn't mean the end of playing tennis for the year. Indoor courts are an excellent way to extend the season, so you can continue to enjoy the sport in the depths of winter's worst weather.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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