A hushed quiet settled on the court as the tennis players readied themselves for the final game. The eerie calm was punctuated only by the murmur of the coaches. The defending champion blasted two aces past her opponent, and then a rousing tennis volley ensued, ending with the soft thwack of a racquet gently swishing the ball over the net for a perfect drop shot. The champion clinched the win in emphatic fashion, a crushing forehand followed by an equally forceful fist pump. Were we witnessing the championship point at the U.S. Open? One might think so, but instead, it was a gripping tennis match being played at one of McKinney’s many top-notch tennis centers.

Head to toe, tennis is an outstanding sport that, if played regularly, boosts heart and lung function, revs up fat-burning cells, streamlines coordination and strengthens bones. Thankfully, McKinney offers numerous opportunities to get in a good game while keeping heart rates high.

Philip Farmer with the women’s tennis team from Stonebridge Ranch Country Club.

Philip Farmer with the women’s tennis team from Stonebridge Ranch Country Club.

 

Philip Farmer, director of Tennis and Athletics at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club, explains, “We believe tennis is excellent for the physical, emotional and intellectual development, and it enhances players’ quality of life, allows them to handle stress better and encourages mental agility and tactical thinking. We teach the sport all year round, and it is perfect for all age groups.”

At Stonebridge Ranch, members enjoy extensive tennis amenities, including nine lighted outdoor courts, custom fencing, windscreens, shade covers and numerous leagues. It offers women’s tennis programs and clinics, a junior program for kids ages 4 to 18, and a novice tournament opportunity hosted in mid-September, not to mention the mixed-doubles and 50+ teams. Farmer continues, “Our staff is second to none. All six of our professional coaches hold a wealth of years both playing and coaching. Some of us have had the opportunity and experience of playing or coaching on the professional tour, which is a benefit we bring to our clients to implement in their own games.”

 

 
The Courts of McKinney offers instruction for potential tennis stars of all ages.

The Courts of McKinney offers instruction for potential tennis stars of all ages.

Regardless if a player is a beginner or advanced level, The Courts of McKinney is a place for all potential tennis stars. Located between McKinney’s skate park and the baseball fields near Gabe Nesbitt Community Park, The Courts offers the full gamut of classes for multiple age groups and kids’ camps during the summer months. Matt Hanlin, The Courts general manager, explains, “Anyone and everyone is welcome here at The Courts. Being a public tennis center, our daily-use fees and membership are very affordable, and our goal is to try to get as many people into the game as possible and keep them playing.”

Tennis in McKinney: Serving Up An Ace

Chosen as the 2012 United States Tennis Association (USTA) Facility of the Year for its design and layout, The Courts features 11 beautifully lit tennis courts and a luxurious clubhouse. The Courts was awarded the Tennis Organization of the Year in Texas in 2013 as a result of its excellence in programming and contribution to the community. As part of its community outreach, The Courts offers a monthly “Hitting the Books” Program for kids in need, where each is taught a free tennis lesson, given a delicious pizza snack and encouraged to take a book home.

“Community outreach is a key facet to our mission,” notes Hanlin. “We’ve been offering it for over 18 months, and we’ve really seen it grow. We love encouraging children to get involved in the game of tennis as well as helping them learn to read. It’s been a lot of fun.”

While many country clubs offer supreme golf outings and parties on the patio, Eldorado Country Club offers these opportunities and much, much more. For those tennis players ready to gain the competitive edge, Eldorado Country Club is the place to be. The club is one of only seven organizations nationwide offering the Billie Jean King (BJK) Eye Coach program, which helps train a player’s eye to focus properly in the critical split second immediately before connecting with the ball. The program is a revolutionary tool that trains players to hit the ball more accurately, and it can be taken home and practiced for just 10 minutes a day, with remarkable results.

 

 

“The goal of the BJK Eye Coach is to help players develop their skills more quickly,” says Grady McKee, director of Tennis at Eldorado Country Club. “Studies show that it can help players progress faster, and we’ve seen it help players develop their swing and increase accuracy. It’s a fantastic tool.”

Youngsters and adults like Anne Smith benefit from practicing the Billie Jean King Eye Coach method for better contact at Eldorado Country Club.
Youngsters and adults like Anne Smith benefit from practicing the Billie Jean King Eye Coach method for better contact at Eldorado Country Club.

Youngsters and adults like Anne Smith benefit from practicing the Billie Jean King Eye Coach method for better contact at Eldorado Country Club.

 

In addition to the BJK Eye Coach, Eldorado Country Club also features its Cardio Tennis class, a fun group activity that works on stroke production while incorporating a heart-pumping workout. Offered five days a week, this class provides medicine ball training, ropes, power ladder footwork drills, resistance bands, as well as the usual volleys, serves and forehands.

For juniors ready to train, Stonebridge Beach & Tennis Club serves up an ace. While Stonebridge Ranch is open to residents only, and the facility invites individuals of all ages and levels to its eight, lighted tennis courts, they are especially proud of their Junior Program. That program is known for training players that have won state, regional and international competitions.

“Our mission is to teach players, so they can reach their maximum potential, and through our Junior Program, we develop better competitors, better players and better individuals,” notes Dave Weist, Tennis and Lifestyle director at Stonebridge Beach & Tennis Club. “We are very proud.”

Whether playing at a country club or a public facility, tennis is an excellent choice of sport for individuals of all ages. So, get up and get out in McKinney... time to take a swing at tennis!

Learn more about these facilities:

THE COURTS – TENNIS CENTER
972-547-2013
3253 Alma Rd.
McKinney, TX 75070
mckinneytennis.org

ELDORADO COUNTRY CLUB
972-529-6779
2604 Country Club Dr.
McKinney, TX 75070
eldoradocc.com

HURRICANE CREEK COUNTRY CLUB
972-924-3247
1800 Fairway Ln.
Anna, TX 75409
hurricanecreekcc.com

STONEBRIDGE BEACH & TENNIS CLUB
214-733-5800
6203 Virginia Pkwy.
McKinney, TX 75070
stonebridgeranch.com

STONEBRIDGE RANCH COUNTRY CLUB
972-529-5993
7003 Beacon Hill Rd.
McKinney, TX 75071
clubcorp.com/Clubs/Stonebridge-Ranch-Country-Club

STONEBRIDGE RANCH COUNTRY CLUB –
THE RANCH CLUBHOUSE – HILLS COURSE
972-529-5991
5901 Glen Oaks Dr.
McKinney, TX 75070
hillscoursegolf.com

 

About the author: Carolyn Cameron is an online writer and marketer who fancies her kids, her coffee, random creative endeavors and finishing a home project in her off time. She would love to learn to play tennis more competently.