Christmas Festivities at Sawgrass!

Christmas is here!

Santa Brunch at Sawgrass

This is a bustling season for so many. Kids are having programs and class parties while tests and papers due for the older ones. There are dinners, work parties, and various activities going on all over Ponte Vedra Beach. It can be easy to lose the joy in the midst of the craziness. But let’s not. Make sure you take time to do good. This can look different for each of us, whether it’s reaching out to a family member or friend that you’ve lost touch with, baking cookies or taking dinner to your neighbor who is struggling with an illness, or simply offering a smile or helping hand when the opportunity presents itself.

Sawgrass Santa Brunch

We are all so blessed to live where we live and to have the options that we do. Sawgrass is so good to us members and puts on so many great seasonal events. Our family got to do participate in a few this weekend. First, we went to the end of the year tennis gathering on Friday, then painted ornaments at the Youth Activity Center on Saturday, and attended Santa’s Brunch on Sunday! It was a weekend full of family fun!

Holly Jolly Exhibition and End of the Year Tennis Party

This event had such a great turnout! Kudos to Ken and his staff for organizing a fun event! The food was delicious, and the exhibition was so fun to watch! They make it look so easy, especially Magnus! I caught a picture of Kyle in the middle of his serve!

Sawgrass Tennis

The pairings were Ken and Josh vs Magnus and Kyle. By a narrow margin, Kyle and Josh pulled out the win! There were long points and great net play from all!

Sawgrass Tennis Sawgrass Tennis

The food was great! Mini sliders, chili, meats and cheeses, and sweets were all complementary and there was a member charge bar for drinks! Everyone was taking advantage of the pro shop sale, which started at 4pm and lasted through the entire event. I bought a few things I’ve been eyeing, and so did Cory! They had items up to 40% off, so it was a great time to buy.

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Overall, it was great to see fellow tennis players outside of the courts even though we did talk about tennis! Haha!

Ornament painting at the Youth Activity Center

Saturday morning, I took Will and Wyatt over to the YAC to paint their very own Christmas ornament. The Policastros were there with their four kiddos, too! Check out cute little Lena enjoying her hot chocolate!

Sawgrass Youth Activity Center

Will chose to make an ornament with two faces, a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other. He said it was so he could switch it around to reflect his mood! Where does he come up with these kind of ideas?!?! Wyatt’s was simple, he filled his with red tinsel and then wrote his name in blue. After making ornaments, all three of us indulged in hot chocolate and cookies and played in the YAC for a bit. It was a perfect morning. Thanks to Lacie for putting this together!

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If you’re interested in painting ornaments, you still can! She’ll have supplies out the 14th and 21st from 10-12, drop in anytime.

Also, did you know Lacie highlights the kiddos in Horizons? It’s called the “Yak” of the month, and you can find it toward the back of Horizons. Holtz Weaver (7) and Lillie Relihan (4) are featured this month! 

Santa’s Brunch

The boys were VERY excited to see Santa this year. They knew exactly what they were asking for, and couldn’t wait to see if his beard was real. We arrived about 11am, and Santa and Mrs. Claus had just taken a break to check on the reindeer, so we sat down and ate lunch.

Santa Brunch at Sawgrass Santa Brunch at Sawgrass Santa Brunch at Sawgrass

The pancake bar was the favorite with the boys! My personal favorite was the shrimp and grits, but everything was good! There were so many choices…omelette station, prime rib, salads, chilled shrimp and smoked salmon, and a pretty sweets table.

If you haven’t been to this event before, make plans to go next year! It’s a great event if you have kids or grandchildren. But even if you don’t, the food is well worth it.

Santa Brunch at Sawgrass Santa Brunch at Sawgrass

Santa was amazingly authentic. He was rosy cheeked and laughed just like you would expect! And Mrs. Claus was just as good! They both made the kids feel comfortable and engaged in conversation. It was just the sweetest to see the excitement and wonder on the children’s faces.

Santa Brunch at Sawgrass

Santa Brunch at Sawgrass

Beside Santa, Sawgrass set up activities as well as a fantastic face painter. One table had an ornament station with different ornaments to stick together. The other table had coloring sheets and crayons. The boys had a great time, and I got to see so many smiling faces of friends and their families.

Santa Brunch at Sawgrass

The boys are getting old enough that they will start remembering the “traditions” we do this time of year, and I love that coming to Sawgrass to see Santa will be one of them.

Now if I could only master Christmas cookies…

If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, sign up for the Nights of Lights Pub Crawl either Thursday or Friday night. The bus leaves the Golf Club at 6:00pm and returns at 10:00pm. Cost is $40pp and includes beer and wine for the bus ride!

Sawgrass Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are here! Are you ready? I must say that I am tackling my list left and right so far. It feels great to get things done early, doesn’t it? Getting things done means I can spend time with the boys when they are out of school instead of last minute shopping and getting stressed out! After all, this SHOULD be a season of rest and spending time with family. But if you do find yourself in a pinch or need some ideas, we’ve got you covered!

Sawgrass Gift Guide Sawgrass Gift Guide

Your team at Sawgrass has put together a few gift guides to help you start early this year! There’s a gift guide for the man in your life and one for the woman in your life. Whether you’re shopping for husbands, wives, brothers, boyfriends, children, or friends, there’s something for everyone! I’ve even included some pro shop favorites from our very own golf and tennis shops.

Gift Guide – Men

Let’s start with the men. I have trouble every year wondering what I will get for my husband, Cory. I like thinking outside the box and looking for unique items that fit his lifestyle. When all else fails, an experience usually saves the day. Don’t tell him, but I got him fly fishing lessons from Blackfly Outfitters this year. Ever since we moved here, he’s been wanting to learn to fly fish in saltwater, and now he’ll get the chance!

Mens gift guide

1. Toadfish can cooler ($24.99) | 2. Ons Terry ($149) | 3. Rak Magnetic Wrist band ($15.99) | 4. Nordstrom Trunk Club (price varies) | 5. Patagonia Men’s Classic Synchilla® Fleece Vest ($79) | 6. LL Bean Men’s Handsewn Slippers, Flannel-Lined ($49.50) | 7. Exceptionally Bad Dad Jokes ($8.99) | 8. FreshJax Organic Spices ($34.99) | 9. Personalized bottle opener ($34.95) |10. Starling’s Car Trunk Organizer ($39.97) 

Gift Guide – Women

Us women are easy to shop for, right? Maybe not. It really depends on how close you are to the person you’re buying for. I could find 20 things that my mom would love, but not so much for other family members. If you know their interests and habits, you’re set! If you need more help, I’m here to guide you to a few favorites for this year! I’ve included all kinds of price ranges and interests from skin care to fun in the sun!

Tip for husbands – If you really want to hit a homerun, you have to be a little sneaky. Go look in your partner’s makeup bag, and see what brands are in it. Take a picture if you need to. Take this picture to Ulta in JAX Beach, and let the consultant lead you to the brands in the bag. She can help you pick out a few skin care items.

Womens gift guide

1. Bamboo Cutting Board With Trays ($59.94) | 2. Draper James Pretty As a Peach Manicure Set ($28.00) | 3. Oventure Key Ring ($25.00) | 4. Sur la Table Nutcracker Mug ($12.00) | 5. Uncommon James Bullet in Gold ($46.00) | 6. Not a Day Over Fabulous Tumbler ($19.99) | 7. Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Throw ($147.00) 8. Tula Brightening Eye Balm ($28.00) | 9. Capri Blue Fir & Firewood Mini Jar Candle ($14.00)

Sawgrass can save the day!

We are members of a fantastic club with knowledgeable and professional staff that can help you pick out a gift! Here are some ideas below!

Tennis – The tennis pro shop always has new apparel! Have you seen the new logo’ed vizors? They are awesome! Tennis skirts, shorts, shirts, and even stocking stuffers like sunglasses all make great gifts for the Wimbledon contender in your family! Ken and the staff do a great job picking out styles that are flattering on everyone. Check out the new racquets like the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed MP and the HEAD Graphene 360+ Gravity MP (pictured below).

Sawgrass Gift Guide Sawgrass Gift Guide Sawgrass Gift Guide

Sawgrass Gift Guide

Sawgrass Gift Guide

Sawgrass Gift Guide

And if you’re looking for entertainment AND a deal, drop by this Friday for an exhibition match, food, and a pro shop discount!

Event: Holly Jolly Exhibition, Pro Shop Sale, and End of Year Party
Date: Friday, December 6th from 4:00-6:00pm

Golf – I confess that I am not a golfer, but I love the outfits! It’s great that you can look fabulous while you play these days in adorable patterns and comfortable fabrics. Our pro shop stocks the cutest trends in golf apparel, clubs, even underwear (check out this ultra comfortable brand of men’s briefs called 2 UNDR!).

Sawgrass Gift Guide

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The golf shop can also customize items like head covers for a unique gift!

Sawgrass Gift Guide

And if you’re looking for discounted items, check out the annual Golf Shop Christmas Sale!

Event: Golf Shop Christmas sale
Date: Tuesday December 10th from 3:00-7:30pm

Fitness – Give the gift of a personal trainer this year or treat yourself to new fitness gear or a massage! Studies show that folks work harder when working with a trainer. Plus, their knowledge about nutrition, training regimens, and stretching can help you develop a plan for wellness long term! Get 30% off at the Fitness Center apparel holiday sale now through December 24th!

Sawgrass Gift Guide Sawgrass Gift Guide Sawgrass Gift Guide

Wine – Bo Cure, Wine Director at Sawgrass, is amazing at picking out wine. It just so happens that many stockings are the exact dimensions of a bottle of wine! Let Bo help you pick out a bottle or a case for the person that’s hard to buy for. These also make great hostess gifts!

Experiences – There’s a reason why you see “Experience Sawgrass” on the website and throughout printed materials. If you get to live here and experience Sawgrass Country Club, you will be here for life. Why not give the gift of experiences around the club? Consider things like a tennis lesson, personal training session, private golf clinic, or maybe give your wife a girls night out at Ocean’s Edge!

It’s the holidays…don’t sweat the small stuff! Enjoy time spent with family whether it’s baking cookies, fishing, or playing an endless game of Monopoly!

From my family to yours, may you find peace and joy this holiday season!

XGLOsive Tennis Event was a HUGE Hit with Sawgrass Members!

Ken Veney, Director of Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club, and his team planned an amazing night of glow in the dark tennis with the help of XGLOsive!

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

The company is based here in Florida and travels all over the state putting on unique events like this for organizations. “The glow tennis event was such a fun and exhilarating experience for all levels of players with a slight fun competitive twist to it,” says Lauren Daly. Her and her husband John played on the court with Cory and I.

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

The event took place on Friday, October 4. Set up started mid day, and it was fun to watch the courts transform into a whole different environment. The nets were wrapped, the lines were taped, and covers were placed on all sides of the courts with fun glowing imagery! It looked cool during the day…but when night fell and it was time to turn the black lights on, the crowd went wild!

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

Members like Laura Nicoles raved about how fun it was. She says, “Who needs Friday night lights when you can play tennis in the dark with XGLO! We enjoyed a “glowing” time at Sawgrass Friday night playing tennis with energizing music, glow in the dark balls, pizza, and drinks. It was friendly competition and fun for all ages! Let’s do it again, Sawgrass!”

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

Then it was time to play! The action took place on courts 9 and 10, and members either played from 8-9 or from 9-10. Our tennis pros ran the warm up and games while Jason Cordova, owner and founder of XGLOsive, took the mic and got the crowd going! It was hard to track the ball at first. Our eyes had to adjust to the glowing tennis balls! It was a good thing they used orange dot balls because it made the games more fun! We played a few variations of king of the court, a fast moving two on two game. Overall, it was a beautiful night for tennis, and we all got a great workout in, too!   

XGLOsive Tennis at SawgrassXGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

I asked Ken a few questions about the event, and here are the highlights:

How did you learn about XGLOsive tennis?
Ken: Back in the day I used to do Glow Ball tennis for my juniors as a Halloween event. I would buy glow paint and paint the balls and tape for the lines to get things to glow but it was not an easy task. I heard about this company out of Florida that was doing something along those lines but to an extreme level and that immediately piqued my interest. I reached out to them to see what it was all about, and I was sold! I had them come to Sawgrass a year and a half ago to look at our layout and start the planning, and I’m so glad I did!

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

What made it a great event for Sawgrass members in particular?
Ken: We are such a fun and social club. I am always looking for unique and creative formats to give members unforgettable experiences. Our Triples program has become a staple amongst the members with the music, food, and beer so I really believed XGLOsive Tennis was the next level. When I can change the format to create a twist on our great sport, it is going to create an atmosphere and energy that shows what Sawgrass is all about. That’s what sets us apart from other clubs and makes us who we are.

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

Did the staff like participating?
Ken: Absolutely! The feedback from the staff was so positive because of the feedback they were receiving from the members. These kind of events are a showcase of our program and the court is our stage. We get pumped up to go out there and perform and make sure everyone is having a “smashing good time!” We all feed off each other and that makes each of us better every single day.

XGLOsive Tennis at Sawgrass

So, will we see another XGLOsive event in the future?
Ken: I think we have too! Based on the feedback I have received this would be a marquee event for our tennis program. I take pride in offering opportunities to our members to do things that are not your normal run of the mill programs and events. XGLOsive certainly ticks all the boxes for what I look for and based on the reaction from the membership we definitely served up an Ace!

What did you think, Sawgrass? Do you have other ideas of unique events Ken and his team could plan? Send Ken an email and let him know! His email is: [email protected]

Want more tennis? Here’s a look at a few fun fall events coming up:

  1. Rusty Racquets is a 6-week clinic session designed for beginners, novice players, and individuals returning to tennis. This program will focus on developing proper swing shapes, maintain rallies, and build fundamentals to strengthen tennis skills. The program will run from October 21st to Thursday, November 27th. Contact the pro shop for more details!
  2. Senioritas Tennis tournament is October 18-20.
    Club Championships are November 2-16. You can compete in several areas – mens and womens singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
  3. Weekly clinics for adults are offered at different times throughout the week including Saturdays!
  4. Weekly clinics for kids are conveniently offered after school Monday through Thursday.

Developing Doubles Strategy with Coach Lennon

Tennis at Sawgrass is amazing. The competitive matches, friendly round robins, and team clinics all offer opportunities to improve skills and build relationships with other tennis players.

Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club

I have LOVED learning doubles over the past year and a half! Last season, I played consistently with the same partner, Lindsay Long. By playing together each week, we learned what each others tendencies were, our best shots, court positioning in different situations, and how to encourage each other when we were winning (or losing!).

Now that we’re on the C team, opponents have gotten tougher. They are more consistent and more versed in strategy. So Lindsay and I decided to kick off the season with a lesson together focused on doubles strategy! The timing was great because we DID play together in our match the week we had the lesson.

We probably won’t be playing together every week, but these ended up being skills that we could take with us as we play with other partners.

Doubles Tennis Lesson

Lennon was our coach for the lesson, and he was really helpful! We expressed that we wanted to know how to change our game if the opponents were either better than us or using certain shots over and over to win points. The drills we worked on were designed to help us position ourselves better throughout the match in order to give us the best shot at winning.

Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club

After the warm up, here are a few things that we worked on specifically:

  1. We started out one up one back working on playing points quickly. He feeds in the ball, we hit the ball to a strategic spot on the court (or try to!). He feeds in the next ball right away to simulate the ball coming right back at us. After eight points, we switched positions. The balls could go to the baseline or net. We went back and forth for several rounds.
  2. Once we got the hang of it, he gave us a new goal. We were to return each ball to only one side of the court, all balls to the deuce side for example. He still fed in eight balls to either baseline or net, but they all had to go to the deuce side across the net. The point of the drill was to target the weaker player on the other side. Most of the time in matches, there is a stronger player, and it’s important to know when to avoid that player!
  3. Then he varied the drill, and we played all the points out with Lennon. We were still aiming for one side of the court. Because he was playing them out with us, they came at us faster. He stressed to us that we needed to recover to a spot on the court after striking the ball. Whether it’s coming to the net, stepping behind the baseline (or just inside the baseline), recover and be ready to split step to get the next ball. If you notice a pattern of play and winners they are hitting over and over again, take those shots away from them by recovering to a different spot on the court if necessary. During our match two days later, we encouraged each other when we saw one another “recovering to a spot” on the court!
  4. Lastly, we worked on serve returns. We see all kinds of serves, loopy, rainbow, fast, slice, you name it. Being confident returning all kinds of serves is important! I want our opponents to know they are not getting free points on serve! We even got to hit serves to Lennon, and practice recovering after the serve!

Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club Tennis at Sawgrass Country Club

Over all, it was a great lesson! We talked about communicating, hitting solid ground stokes (knuckles over the ball!), recovering to get ready for the next shot, and stroke placement to target the weaker player on the other side. I would highly recommend taking a lesson with a partner that you play with often. It will boost your confidence as you play together!

Lennon encouraged us to talk to each other and work on displaying a united front…high five, cheer, whisper between points, and let mistakes and bad calls roll off your back. In the end, we’re not training for Wimbledon! It’s country club tennis, and it’s meant to be FUN!

Tennis: Kids Clinics at Sawgrass

tennis clinics at Sawgrass

“Ready? Swing!”

“Wyatt, stop playing in the clay.”

“Everybody pick up at least 10 balls!”

“Lilly, do you need to go potty?”

“Molly, nice forehand!”

This is just a small sampling of my Monday and Wednesday afternoon soundtrack. Will (8) and Wyatt (6) have been taking tennis clinics at Sawgrass since March! Will loves it more than Wyatt who just tolerates it. But he loves being outside, so it works out. He’s more concerned with making his shoes as “green” as possible from kicking the clay!

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I have developed a love for tennis (an addiction, really), and I picture tennis as a way for our family to be active together. Will confessed recently that he wants to be a professional tennis player! My heart just swelled. I think his real motive is to beat mom and dad one day, which won’t be a challenge the older we get! But whatever the motivation, I hope he thrives in the sport. I hope he learns sportsmanship, how to work hard, how to succeed, and how to fail. Tennis is a sport where you’re not successful 100% of the time, it’s a game of percentages. We have to learn how to trust our forehand when we’ve totally messed up the shot right before it.

I really appreciate how the coaches are teaching them not only the game of tennis, but are being role models for our kids.

Tennis clinics

Tennis clinics are offered in the afternoons throughout the school year at Sawgrass. Kids from about three to ten work on strokes and skills while playing games. The older kids work on higher level skills and consistency. The coaches do a great job at making the lessons fun! The last week of afternoon clinics coincide with the last week of school, the week of May 20th. For the summer, the club focuses on day camps for kids. (More on tennis camps later!)

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Clinics for younger children are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30, and the older kids play (ages 9-12ish) from 4:30-5:30. The coaches offer private lessons for those that really want to accelerate the learning process or who can’t make the clinic times.

tennis clinics at Sawgrass tennis clinics at Sawgrass

The coaches are patient and kind and really want to see the kids be successful in the sport. On Wednesdays, there is a group of tiny humans, ages 3-5. These are the most comical to watch! One day, one little boy was not having it and was literally throwing a fit on the court. Coach Matt calmly scooped him up and walked him over to another court. They sat there for a few minutes, and the little boy calmed down. Matt continued to sit with him and they talked quietly. A few minutes later, he brought the little boy back to the court and he engaged in the lesson again. It was so sweet to watch! I don’t know what Matt told him or what was said by the little boy, but apparently Matt knew just what to say. I was with the little boys mom, and she was very impressed that coach Matt took control and didn’t just send the little boy to her to calm him down.

Summer tennis camps

Summer at Sawgrass is filled with things to do! The tennis club offers tennis day camps to members and guests starting the week of June 3rd through August 8 (except the week of July 4th). Camps will be Monday-Thursday, and daily drop-ins are available as well!

Here’s how tennis camp at Sawgrass works:

Half Day
10:00-10:15 – Warm up/Roll call
10:15-11:15 – Stroke of the day
11:15-11:30 – Snack break
11:30-12:15 – Tennis games
12:15-12:30 – Cool down/Child pick up

Full Day, everything above plus:
12:30-2:00 – Lunch and pool break
2:00- 2:50 – Practice matches/Tennis games
2:50-3:00 – Cool down/Child pick up

Campers must be at least seven to participate in the full day camp, and at least six years old to participate in the half day camp. If you want more information, give Sarah a call (904-273-3740) to ask questions or to sign up. Or, you can sign up on Foretees.

tennis clinics at Sawgrass tennis clinics at Sawgrass

Shout out to Matt, Kyle, Josh, and Lennon for all their hard work teaching our kiddos the sport of tennis!

Enjoy a Group Tennis Lesson at Sawgrass!

Tennis is my jam. Since moving here and joining Sawgrass, I have become addicted to the sport! It’s challenging both physically and mentally. It requires a “getting better” attitude because there’s always an element of your game that needs improvement, especially for me as a new player! As a mom of young children, it feels good to go out on the court and release the stress of the day.

tennis lesson

Recently, my mother-in-law, Shelley, came to visit us. She has seen my love for the game grow and has played on and off for years. She’s familiar with singles but doubles makes her nervous. I don’t blame her….it’s tough to learn! You want to be in the right position at the right time, and there’s a drive to make the shot and win the point for your partner!

Her excitement to learn gave me an idea: to set up a group lesson with a pro so she can begin to learn doubles. She was ecstatic! And let me tell you…my mother-in-law, Shelley, is full of life! We enjoy spending time together whatever we’re doing. She has a zest for life that keeps her young. She is constantly learning new things, traveling, and soaking up time with her grandchildren playing games. So naturally, she was on board with a group tennis lesson.

The lesson

I booked the lesson with the Tennis Director, Ken Veney, for an hour and a half. I invited two D-team ladies to join us, Lindsay Long and Jennifer Werba. It was important to me that we play with other women who are still beginners to make her feel comfortable. We started with typical warm-up drills practicing baseline strokes, approach shots, and volleys.

Then, we moved into talking about basic doubles positioning and each person’s purpose on the court. If you’ve never heard them before, terms like “garbage collector,” “hot seat,” “big or small” can sound silly, but to play effective doubles, you have to know where to be. Shelley “loved how Ken made the group lesson so much fun by tailoring it to each of our four levels and giving equal advice to us all. His lessons are the BEST! I learned so many aspects of the game because he makes everything understandable.” He does. Ken is a seasoned professional who loves the game and loves instructing others in order to improve their game.

From there, we did fast-paced drills that focused on being in the right position on the court and working with your partner to win the point. It was a great lesson overall, and I really enjoyed the time with my mother-in-law! Plus, she got to meet the ladies I play tennis with every week!

I asked Jen if she would want to do this again, and she said, “I absolutely would want to schedule a similar lesson when family is in town or even with some friends locally.” She adds, “I really liked the doubles drill because it helped reinforce the doubles strategies you want to use in a match.”

Tennis events at Sawgrass

I’ve been so impressed with the social focus Ken and his team have brought to Sawgrass. They tediously plan events, clinics, flexi leagues, and tournaments so members can interact and get to know each other.

One of my favorite events is called “Triples,” and it happens once per month on a Friday night. It’s fast-paced, entertaining, and casual. Be warned…it’s a lot of cardio (but we all need that, right?)! You’ll get your steps in that day for sure. It’s basically three vs. three with a pro on every court feeding in the ball each point. It takes away the serve, which makes it less intense! I won’t go any further explaining it, but sign up on Foretees! The next date is Friday, December 14th. I promise you’ll have fun, and it’s a great way to meet other members who play tennis. For me, it’s a great way to interact with different levels of tennis players…I’m always open to learning, so it’s neat to see how they play versus how I play the game.

Want to play during the week? There are mens and womens clinics during the day and in the evening. And if you have kids, there are kids clinics in the afternoons. Matt and Klara run these clinics, and they are amazing! They’re both so patient with the kids, and they really make it fun with games that teach tennis technique.

Tennis is a game that can be enjoyed at any age and at any level. The staff at the racquet club would love to see YOU on the court! Why not try something new this coming year? According to Ken, “It’s all about fun…this is a way to spend time with your family and do something active while learning new aspects of the game.”

So, when family comes to visit, schedule a tennis lesson with Ken ([email protected]) or one of the other pros! Get outside, do something active, and learn new skills!