Soft Touch

These outdoor facility winners are excellent examples of soft-court construction.

There were only six outdoor tennis facilities that took home honors in the Tennis Industry/American Sports Builders Association Distinguished Facility-of-the-Year Awards for 2015, and the three of those were exclusively soft-court projects

Once again, the majority of these winners are in Florida (come on, the rest of the country!) and as it happens, all three of these winning projects were done by Welch Tennis Courts of Sun City, Fla., one of the World’s largest court builders.

In Nashville, Tenn., the Belle Meade Country Club project consisted of building eight entirely new courts with subsurface irrigation and complete with lights, fencing and canopy for player comfort. Working directly with the owner of the facility, the renovation used the existing granite base material and was completed in April 2015.

The Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club in Palm City, Fla., reconstructed six of its existing overhead irrigated courts. The contractor demolished the court, then regraded the site and installed six new, subsurface irrigated courts, with lights and new fencing – all ready for play in January 2015. The new courts, which use the existing limestone base, drain into the surrounding landscape. The club itself installed shrubs and complete landscaping around the tennis facility after the court renovation. Due to site restrictions, the contractor had to access the site from a single point on the north battery, and had to work from the south to north to complete the project.

Another winning renovation, completed in October 2014, took place at Sundial Resort on Sanibel Island, FLa., where six courts were demolished and removed, the site regraded, then six new subsurface-irrigated courts were built. The two court batteries, using the existing limestone base, were completed in phases. During the demolishion, it was discovered that previous contractors had abandoned the old fence post foundations. The contractor removed two and sometimes three foundations at each fence post location. Along with the new courts, new curbing and fencing were also installed.

In addition to these three winning facilities, the Life Time Fitness Center in Centennial, Colo., also received Distinguished Facility honors. The facility has for clay courts and six hard, and will be featured ni an upcoming issue on outdoor hard-court winners.

– Peter Francesconi

“Soft Touch” Tennis Industry. April 2016: 35-37