Why not clay courts – for college tennis?

//Why not clay courts – for college tennis?

Why not clay courts – for college tennis?

Growing up playing clay court tennis it has always bothered me that collegiate tennis is only played on asphalt/hard surface tennis courts.  Football and baseball fields can be grass or synthetic and that is acceptable.  Beyond the fact that I think colleges/schools should have an home court advantage, I also believe that clay tennis helps to develop a full tennis game.  Longer points, dimensional strategies and different styles of play just makes sense.   It is only a simple biographical search of the top 10 players in both the men’s and women’s professional game to figure out that developing tennis games on clay has produced some of the best tennis players in the world.

So, why aren’t clay courts part of college tennis?


By | 2011-03-14T20:50:57+00:00 March 1st, 2011|Topics of Conversation|2 Comments

About the Author:

The Whalen Company has a long history of building tennis courts for people that love and care about tennis. We pride ourselves in being able to understand the needs and visions of our customers. The Whalen Company was established by Joe Whalen in 1957 in Jacksonville, Fl which will make the year 2011 our 54th year in business. Joe had spent his entire life, to that point, as a tennis player, tennis pro and tennis promoter. Presently owned, since 1978, by Gary D. Whalen, The Whalen Company has never wavered from its tradition of building the best tennis courts possible. At no time, has the company strived to be the biggest or largest tennis court construction company. We have always kept our focus keenly on, being the best tennis court construction company. Even though product share has never entered into our vision, product quality has never left our sight. If you search through the history of nationally ranked tennis facilities you will find names such as: Amelia Island Plantation, Sawgrass Country Club, Sea Pines Country Club, The Ponte Vedra Club – all built by The Whalen Company and all, at one time or the other, ranked in the Top 10 of national tennis facilities. But it doesn’t stop there… We have also built facilities and courts for college programs that strive to meet and exceed NCAA standards in their tennis programs. In our history, we have built for the University of Florida, Florida State University, Jacksonville University, Gardner-Webb University, Brevard College, University of North Florida, Mars Hill College, Montreat College, UNC-Asheville and many more. We have built for Disney World, The Governor’s Mansion in Florida, dozens and dozens of country clubs, public facilities and resorts all across the south. “We Court the South” is our motto and it has been well earned.


  1. Scott Bruce November 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Agreed. As GM of one of best Har-Tru court facilities in Chicago, we were always looking to convert two of our twelve Har-Tru courts to hard courts because we couldn’t retain our younger players after age 12. Why? Because “everyone plays on hard courts.” Four years ago we hired a top-ranked pro from NY to join our management team. He grew up in Romania, played in Europe and his first comment on the matter was, “the reason the Americans are not competing at the level of others is that they do not learn the game on clay (Har-Tru).”

    Don’t be afraid of the maintenance aspect, those kids are young and should learn to care for the courts they play on. The intrinsic value of caring for the court they just played on goes a long way.

    • Gary Whalen December 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      I agree Scott. Clay courts force juniors to hit a lot of balls, get used to running/moving on a tennis court and helps them develop a more mental game. Clay courts may not help in the development of the return game but in all other aspects, clay courts demand better fitness both mental and physical. They have turf fields and grass fields in football. Why not keep some variety in college tennis?

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