BARBARA HORAN: Local Tennis Growth Has a 'Wow' Factor
Things are happening in the Moore County tennis world, and all I can say is wow.
Leagues are forming, a new tennis facility is going up, there is a new tennis shop and junior tennis is moving forward. Soon tournaments will begin, and there is so much more happening on the local tennis scene.
I took a ride out to see the new Legacy Lakes Tennis Center, and again all I can say is wow. This will be a first-class facility with six Har-Tru lighted Hydro Courts with plans to add two more in the future. A full-service pro shop and fitness center are also included, with a pool scheduled to be provided soon. Spokesman John Stone, who has been involved in tennis in the Pinehurst area for several years, will announce very shortly who will fill the positions of tennis pro and activities director. The facility is very accessible in a lovely park-like setting out on U.S. 501 heading toward Laurinburg. The facility is planning to open in mid-March.
Also on U.S. 15-501, work is beginning on a new tennis shop called Tennis Essentials. Founder Carla Simpson McKenzie is certainly not new to Moore County tennis. She has been a tennis pro in the area for several years. She is currently the assistant director of the Professional Tennis Management program at Methodist University.
At Tennis Essentials, she will provide the tools and the equipment to bring out the tennis player inside of you. From beginners to advanced players, equipment will be available no matter the level of play. The grand opening is planned for early May.
A spring league is about to begin that will include 165 tennis players on 17 teams at the Senior level (50-and-up). At the adult level there are 314 players on 30 teams. That makes a total of 479 players signed up already, and I'm sure more will be joining the leagues. Indeed, tennis is alive and well in Moore County.
If we counted all the junior players and recreational players, there is no telling how many players are hitting the courts in the area. Ruth Bondurant, local league co-ordinator, sure has her work cut out for her.
The local clubs continue to see tremendous growth. Over at The Lawn and Tennis Club, Ryan Peterson has been promoted to director of tennis and George Lowe was hired on as head pro. The junior program continues to see tremendous growth, as well as the many other programs the club offers. Numerous clinics and private lessons are also offered. Competitive tennis teams at the club continue to sprout, and its almost time to sign up for the summer camps.
Out at Seven Lakes Country Club, Bruce Adams, the club's tennis pro, has brought the club to life with his clinics and private lessons. They now feature a new access card program to make tennis more affordable. The junior program has really shown great promise. Competitive teams continue to grow. Summer camps are just around the corner, camps that will also include swimming. On the schedule, is a junior futures tournament for children.
Two local teams are getting ready to compete in Columbus, Ga., at the end of March, both of them competing in the 70-and-over division. And you thought tennis was for kids. There is a men's team from The National Club and a women's team from Seven Lakes Country Club Tennis Center doing their last-minute training for the Southern Sectional Championships. I'll keep you posted on the efforts of these teams.
Tennis has certainly "arrived" here in the Pinehurst area, and I'm willing to bet that some of the players might even sneak in a little golf now and then.
Until next time, just keep hittin' that little yellow ball!
Barbara Horan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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