Tennis will not take a back seat on Hilton Head Island

Golf isn’t the only sport on this Island

Considering I come from a tennis family (my mom and both of her siblings all played collegiate tennis) and that I’ve been living on Hilton Head Island full-time since 2004, you would expect that tennis would come as second nature.  However, before a recent lesson, if I had to sum up my game in one word, it would be ‘FORE!’ – a word usually reserved for golf courses only.  Control was not my strong suit.

Practicing my serve at the SC Yacht Club

But, in only one hour with Denise Agee, Director of Tennis at the South Carolina Yacht Club (located in Windmill Harbor), much had changed.  I learned the basics from forehands to backhands, volleys to serves.  By the end of the hour, the ball was staying within the lines, backhands were making it over the net and my serve might actually catch someone off guard.  And, I had a great time!  I’m no Williams sister just yet, but it’s a vast improvement from where I started.

What helped?  Some of Denise’s key tips:

  • Balance is the key to a good game.
    Work to get the feel of being balanced while you hit – feel your feet under you, supporting you as you swing.
  • Get professional instruction.
    Before you head out to practice, get with one of the Island’s many professionals for a start-up lesson and learn the proper mechanics.  Playing without proper instruction can create bad habits that can be difficult to break.
  • Enjoy the process of learning.
    Learning how to hit a live ball takes time and practice.  You will not be perfect.  You will mess up and that is ok.  It takes those mistakes to really begin to learn how to react, and, over time, that reaction will become natural.
  • Voice your goals.
    Make sure the professional you are working with understands what it is that you want to accomplish.  Do you want to learn mechanics and etiquette?  Do you want to play singles or doubles? Or, do you want to start competing quickly?  It’s important to communicate your goals from the beginning.

Want more information on tennis at the South Carolina Yacht Club?  Click here for details or call (843) 681-3100.

Looking for places to play? That shouldn’t be a problem.  With over 350 courts on the Island, there is a tennis venue for just about anyone.  Some suggestions:

  • Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort offers great programs for visitors with a full schedule of seasonal activities, daily round robin tournaments and a wide array of instructional programs.
  • Sea Pines Racquet Club, under the direction of former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Stan Smith, offers state-of-the-art tennis facilities with a wide selection of teaching clinics and instructional programs.
  • Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort offers one of the best juniors programs on the Island under the direction of Eric Wammock.
  • The Port Royal Racquet Club, set amid pines, maples, live oaks and the occasional magnolia, boasts 14-courts and is the premier tennis facility in South Carolina, showcasing both Har-Tru clay and Nova hard courts.
  • At Van der Meer Tennis, Legendary Coach Dennis Van der Meer, known as the “Teacher of Teachers”, has a trained staff to carry on VDM’s standards of excellence.

Pros play doubles every Friday night

Not quite ready to play and want to just take in a match?  Don’t miss the Hilton Head Island Professional Tennis League where pros from throughout the Island compete to show who really is best!

With the number of facilities available, the renowned pros it has attracted over the years and year-round weather that makes it easy to play tennis 365 days of the year, it is easy to see why Hilton Head Island is the perfect destination for any tennis lover.  For more on Hilton Head Island tennis, click here.