We have spent a lot of time over the years trying to come up with the right combo of memberships to allow players to enjoy affordable tennis. If you have any questions, talk to me, or read our FAQ’s.
Our primary membership type is Gold: Unlimited(no court fee) Membership, and the one we encourage players to have.
Pay-to Play was created as limited court time membership. I’m now in the position of having to enforce, or eliminate it altogether, but this would only hurt those following the program rules.
The problem occurs when Pay to Play(PTP) members stretch the rules, or forget, and use it as unlimited. This is a specific type of membership. The court time is 1.5 hours. That’s it! Now for people in the middle of a match, we include a 30 minute buffer to finish play if the court is still open at the end of the scheduled time, but not to push the 30 minutes to even more time. The Pay to Play also can be a shared membership which is a bargain if a second person joins with you.
For years, we’ve tried to give the benefit of the doubt, and remind those players of the rules, explained it, chalked it up to people misunderstanding, only to have it continue. We have been a little lax during the COVID crisis, but mostly just happy that people are playing.
Anyway, If you want to hit serves, jump on an open court after clinic, play extra if courts are not booked right after, or play with a second group when your first match is done, then you are a Gold, or SILVER: Unlimited Member and should register this way.
* What are your hours? We open 8:00am Mon-Sat, and scheduled to close whenever play is done (4:00 on Saturday). At least for now, Sundays are closed with the exception of special events, or if you want to play, ask us. We may be able to work it out.
* What time do you close? Repeat: We close when play is done for the day. It varies. Most always, we are here until 8:00pm, but some days are slower, or it might rain, so we close when scheduled play is done.
* Can I reserve courts online? At this time, No! We are looking into possible online reservation systems. All are expensive and would require additional member increases. We’ll keep looking for easier ways for members to book. For now, we prefer to keep that one email only.
* Can I email my court reservation? (SPECIAL: ONLY EMAIL BOOKINGS DURING COVID-19 CRISIS) Yes. Since the beginning of COVID, we switched to email bookings only. If you want a specific time, you need to send at that time 7 days in advance exactly I.e. 9:30 Saturday(no sooner) for a 9:30 court the following Saturday. DO NOT TEXT! There is no scenario that we will receive a text from you. Email is the only source. You have 7 days in advance to book, but I also need a few days to sift through all the requests sent. If you need to cancel, or looking for a court short notice, try calling. Otherwise plan on a 3 day lead time before I can reply. Please don’t send multiple requests unless you don’t hear from me in 3 days. If I got your request, you’ll see a reply email with “schedule” on it.
* Why don’t you start at 7:00am so we can play longer before the 9:30 start time? It’s dark most of the year! It’s also not a popular time. If you want to start early one day, ask. we have been known to accommodate.
* Why don’t you have extra workers available all the time? Tough one, but simple!…. This again, goes back to management, and fees. We decided a long time ago, with the blessing of our members at the time, to keep expenses down. We have built a great program based on that. Currently, we have three pros available for lessons, clinics, coaching, etc. and we cover each other keeping inside open as much as we can, but none of us are paid for these extra hours. Essentially, we do it fore free and earn our money other ways. This is why we request advanced court scheduling, so that we can best arrange our schedules. We work with our members as beast we can. Having extra employees would absolutely increase the dues and start a transition in a direction we prefer not to go.
* How long can I play when I reserve a court? Guaranteed court time is 1 1/2, if courts are open after, you can keep playing if you have the right type of membership. Scheduled time blocks are 8-9:30,9:30-11,11-12:30, 6-7:30,7:30-9. Pay to play members and guests have limited use without being charged additionally. Note: Please be sure to reserve courts, so we can plan.
* Why do we have to finish play at 11:00? We like to play for 2 hours or more? During busy times, unfortunately, we need to share!!! We stick to the standard 1 1/2 hour reservation time during prime time to accommodate as many players as possible. Our time blocks are 8:00-9:30am, 9:30-11:00am, 11:00-12:30pm, 6:00-7:30pm, 7:30-9:00pm. Also, certain memberships are not entitled to extended time.
* Do you allow walk in players without reservations? Yes, if we are open, courts are available, and we haven’t already rearranged work schedules. * Please don’t try to change our rules. We do things the way we do because it has worked for us, and our members for over 30 years! More importantly, we try to accommodate everyones needs as best we can. Often new members are use to a certain protocol. We are, however, always open to any new ideas, suggestions, and improvements, but we have to be smart about what we change, and how it will effect everyone.
* Why do you always put us on court 4 when we play at 8:00? Simply put, our exit gate is through court #1. It’s easier than driving across someone’s court after sweeping and allows us to take the time needed to properly groom the courts.
* How will I know if the courts are wet after a rain? If we know for sure, we’ll either contact whoever is on the schedule, leave a notice on the answering machine, or an email auto reply with details. If it’s an organized league or activity, and there are not enough courts to use, we will cancel the whole group and then the courts that are available are subject to open reservations. Reason: First, we’re working on the courts, and getting up and running asap, and second, if we have 6 courts of players signed up for example, but only 3 courts playable, there’s no fair way to choose who plays. If you’re scheduled at 8:00, this is more difficult to know until we get in for the morning.
* Why don’t you provide water on the courts? We do!!!!! Every court has a water fountain and court six which will have a jug of ice water if requested. Our water is Englewood County water and is excellent taste and quality. We also have bottled water for sale in the clubhouse if you prefer.
* Can we bring our own alcohol to the club? I like different drinks. NO!!!!! We have a beer and wine license, and have kept our prices very low for your benefit. This is an amenity for the members, but we will not risk being fined, or losing our license altogether because of violations. In this regard, there is zero tolerance. As per the Membership rules and regulations that everyone signed, there is to be no outside alcohol brought on property.
* Why don’t you build more courts? The solution isn’t always to build more courts. That would increase expenses, increase dues, then people may leave. We do everything we can to keep dues from increasing. We also have rates lock which keeps dues at the rate you joined even if prices increase.
What is considered a student, or Family? Please refer to our club brochure for additional or up to date regulations. Student Definition (Unmarried, 21 years and under & living at home. Family memberships include household members as well as students of that family, and living at the same address.
* Do you string racquets? Yes, Sue was one of the first certified stringers in the country when certification started in the 1980’s, and Bob was right after. All racquets are professionally strung.
* Do you sell tennis balls? Yes!
* Have you considered building a roof over the courts? Nope. We live in sunny Florida. People come here to be outside. Sorry!!!
* The lounge is sometimes closed, why don’t you hire more people to keep it open? Lots of questions will reflect this same answer. For 30 years, we’ve tried to keep rates as low as possible for everything!!! If you have a question, or don’t understand why we do certain things, always consider this. We have low beer and wine prices, better racquet prices than online dealers, lowest dues and the most options. This is because we have had a great relationship with our members over the years. They know we put all the dues back into the club, and when the club does well, improvements are made faster. There are no homeowners association fees, tax assessment, or hidden quarterly fees for members. If we don’t have to increase miscellaneous expenses, rates won’t have to increase. We prefer to keep the club as is since it has worked so well for us to date.
* You use to have a full pro shop. Why don’t you stock clothing anymore? Simply put, online pro shops!!!! They have changed the way of the club pro shop. We carry accessories, necessities, shoes, racquets, and do lots of stringing.
* Do you have a ball machine for use? Not at this time. We have had several expensive programmable ball machines over the years that we provided at no cost to members. Both of our good ones have been destroyed through hard use, abuse, and harshness of the clay. We have chosen not to replace them to date
* Do you allow pets at the club? Not really! We love dogs, but we have some members that are extremely allergic. Owner Sue, has a portuguese water dog that is hypoallergenic and we still need to be careful when she brings her to the club.
* Have you considered building a swimming pool? Or fitness center? No, We had a 40,000 gallon pool for our first 15 years that was not used much or at all in the later years. We have many times been close to adding a fitness center. At this point, it’s not in the plans.
* How come you don’t put in new fences? Actually, we have! many times Fences are our biggest nuisance. We have had complete replacement three times, and even with new product, being so close to the ocean, and having salty ground water for court irrigation, wire, and steel doesn’t last long at all. We try to patch, fix, and patch, and then every so often replace a section. We do this at a rate current memberships will cover, again focusing on reasonable dues and court fees.
* What food or drink do you sell? Beer, wine, soda, powerade, water, snacks, clip bars, chips, etc. We don’t serve restaurant food. Menus may change.
* Can I bring my own alcoholic beverages? Sorry, no one is allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages on the Englewood Tennis Club property. We have a beer and wine license, and have kept our prices very low for your benefit ($2 for a16oz. draft beer, and $4 for a 9oz. wine). This is an amenity for the members, but we will not risk being fined, or losing our license altogether because of violations. I understand if we don’t have your beverage of choice, but we can’t carry every option. We will, however, try to keep in stock what is most popular. In this regard, there is zero tolerance. If we don’t have what you like, we are sorry, but you still cannot bring your own. As per the Membership rules and regulations that everyone signed, there is to be no outside alcohol brought on property.
* Is it ok if I park on the front rail of the club? We prefer not!!! When delivery trucks come it presents a problem. Please stick to parking spots. We may park there bringing in supplies, or for other reasons, but we can also quickly move the car if needed…
* Why don’t you have windscreens on the fences? Too much fence damage over the years, plus they really don’t help much…If it’s windy, it’s windy. Quick pop up T-storms have damaged and knocked down our fences multiple times. Detached windscreens on really bad days also can interfered with players swings.
* I heard you were selling the club, is this true and how will it effect us? We listed it and wrote a letter to our members in 2015. We also stated we are in no rush, just ready to start the stepping out process. That was when I was traveling a lot with Ben for tournaments. Currently, it’s business as usual. Although we have not been officially listed for a few years, we are still getting calls and had many offers, all refused. Our hope is that we can pass the baton some day, to some really good tennis people….Many of our offers have been from developers, but we really prefer not to sell for development.
* Why do you run tournaments some weekends and not allow members to play? You can’t mix social play with tournament play first, but also we use all the courts. This all contributes to keeping your expenses down. Tournament revenues go right back into the club and we feel 4 weekends out of 52 is fair and truly, if we didn’t earn this income, we would have to pass the loss of revenue along.
* Why don’t you offer drills for only 3 or 4 players? We do….It’s a clinic, or group lesson.
* Why is there is a guest fee on my bill? If you bring a guest, and that guest does not pay the fee, we will charge the guest fee to your account. If your guest offers to pay, we will accept their payment, unless you tell us not to ahead of time. Also, ALL GUESTS MUST SIGN IN! We have a sign in as you leave the clubhouse. Please take responsibility for your guests.
* Why do you only allow 8 players in drills? Added more lessens the effectiveness of the drill. On the other hand, our minimum is 4 players. Anything less is not really a drill.
* Are your pros certified? Yes, USPTA
* Do you have any socials, mixers, or parties? We do. After 30 years, we’ve had years where 100 people will participate, and other years where hardly any members are interested. We adapt to what members are looking for. There are certain evening events we still have year after year.