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View Full Version : Why don't we have red clay in the U.S?


ESP#1
02-21-2009, 07:27 AM
Not sure this belongs on this forum but there really isnt a better place.

I've been watching the South American tournaments and they are all played on red clay, seems similar to the European clay, why are we subjected to this green clay which plays different,

thanks

saram
02-21-2009, 07:28 AM
Clay is a four letter word to American tennis! :)

beckham
02-21-2009, 07:30 AM
In California, where I live, we have grey clay too, not sure how it plays though, I have never played clay, am a hard court player. I would be nice to have a bit more, so others who want to could try it. Give people a chance to try it out.

fin-tennis(h)
02-21-2009, 07:32 AM
Why don't we have anything else than red clay outdoors in Europe?

ESP#1
02-21-2009, 07:35 AM
In California, where I live, we have grey clay too, not sure how it plays though, I have never played clay, am a hard court player. I would be nice to have a bit more, so others who want to could try it. Give people a chance to try it out.

Playing on clay is great for your tennis, teaches you patients and makes you more consistant, you should make an effort to try it sometime,

veroniquem
02-21-2009, 07:35 AM
Why don't we have anything else than red clay outdoors in Europe?
That is simply not true. France for example has a lot of hard courts too.

beckham
02-21-2009, 07:38 AM
Playing on clay is great for your tennis, teaches you patients and makes you more consistant, you should make an effort to try it sometime,

Yeah, I would love to try it out, but there aren't any clay courts where I live. I did go on vacation to santa cruz this past summer. we went to a tennis facility there, and they had a clay court, but it was under reconstruction, so we couldn't play on it.

ESP#1
02-21-2009, 07:41 AM
Why don't we have anything else than red clay outdoors in Europe?

Spain has hard courts, but i guess clay is more abundant especially at clubs

but really does anyone know why we don,t have red clay?

dr325i
02-21-2009, 07:45 AM
Back to OP question, even Canada has red clay, not sure why is it so rare in the USA.
Though, I don't like playing on clay at all...

beckham
02-21-2009, 07:49 AM
Maybe it will become more popular in the future, we shall have to wait and see.

fin-tennis(h)
02-21-2009, 07:54 AM
That is simply not true. France for example has a lot of hard courts too.

I know. That was half a joke half true. Here in Finland we have red clay courts at almost every club but good quality hard court outdoors hardly anywhere.

Leublu tennis
02-21-2009, 07:58 AM
Not sure this belongs on this forum but there really isnt a better place.

hanks
There is a Miscellaneous section and it has a subsection called Rants and Raves. Maybe that would be more appropriate since this one is supposed to deal with players, not surface or equipment. But everyone disregards that and talks about surface all the time, so I guess you are in the right place after all.

Leublu tennis
02-21-2009, 08:00 AM
In California, where I live, we have grey clay too, not sure how it plays though, I have never played clay, am a hard court player. I would be nice to have a bit more, so others who want to could try it. Give people a chance to try it out.I live in the Bay Area and have never seen clay courts anywhere. One reason may be that clay courts require maintenance and hard courts don't. Oh, they will replace a net once every 10 years but not much more. For clay courts, its almost daily care, I think. But being a Californian what do I know about clay?

Leublu tennis
02-21-2009, 08:02 AM
Playing on clay is great for your tennis, teaches you patients and makes you more consistant, you should make an effort to try it sometime,I love playing on clay and did when I went to school in Boston. Its really an entirely different game and, since I like to run balls down, this sure suited me fine.

veroniquem
02-21-2009, 08:02 AM
I know. That was half a joke half true. Here in Finland we have red clay courts at almost every club but good quality hard court outdoors hardly anywhere.
That's true, most hard courts are indoor.

beckham
02-21-2009, 08:20 AM
I live in the Bay Area and have never seen clay courts anywhere. One reason may be that clay courts require maintenance and hard courts don't. Oh, they will replace a net once every 10 years but not much more. For clay courts, its almost daily care, I think. But being a Californian what do I know about clay?

I played in a tennis facility in Santa Cruz, and they had a clay court, but it was under reconstruction, so I wasn't able to play on it. Thats the only one I have seen in California. I used to live in Hayward, but now live near Stockton.

Cyan
02-21-2009, 08:41 AM
Clay is a four letter word to American tennis! :)

Yeah! :twisted:

alcap26
02-21-2009, 08:48 AM
plenty of red clay here in East TN....just not clay courts.

edmondsm
02-21-2009, 08:49 AM
but really does anyone know why we don,t have red clay?

Because it has to be raked?

S H O W S T O P P E R !
02-21-2009, 08:49 AM
I think it's because clay is expensive to set up and maintain and it ruins your shoes.

EDIT: Oh good, no one made a joke about #2. REMOVED

edberg505
02-21-2009, 09:15 AM
That is simply not true. France for example has a lot of hard courts too.

You've got that right. I went there thinking I was gonna play on some red clay and everywhere I looked there were hardcourts. I did get to play on some grass in Great Britain though.

sheq
02-21-2009, 12:43 PM
ı am living in Istanbul and in here you cant find a clay court..thats a shame...but in tourneys as a player you could have a chance to experince playing on clay and thankfully ı used my chance :) In our country all the clay courts stands on the seaside cities wihch are very popular for tourists..

Maybe in the world its like that too,,look at Monte carlo or Rome it seems they should be on a warm region

dandaman
02-21-2009, 03:37 PM
ı am living in Istanbul and in here you cant find a clay court..thats a shame...but in tourneys as a player you could have a chance to experince playing on clay and thankfully ı used my chance :) In our country all the clay courts stands on the seaside cities wihch are very popular for tourists..

Maybe in the world its like that too,,look at Monte carlo or Rome it seems they should be on a warm region

It doesn't necessarily(Spelling) need to be in a warm region. Most of Germany,Austria and Switzerland is only clay(except indoors).

One thing i know is, that you cannot have clay courts in Windy regions because all the clay will get blown away(Well thats the reason i was told why South Africa doesn't have any clay). And you need to put a lot of work into keep a clay court in a good condition

coloskier
02-21-2009, 05:58 PM
That's true, most hard courts are indoor.

Maybe true in NY, but everywhere else in the USA 90% of the hard courts are outdoors.

ESP#1
02-21-2009, 06:26 PM
Well maybe i shouldnt complain, I have access to indoor green clay as well as indoor hard courts, it seems to be better than most people on these boards,

but back to the question why dont we have red clay in the states?

egn
02-21-2009, 06:45 PM
Well isn't that tournament in Houston red clay?

ESP#1
02-21-2009, 07:00 PM
It used to be green, did they change it? So a red clay court spotted in the U.S. Any others?

DNShade
02-22-2009, 12:17 AM
There are red clay courts around. Just have to look. Even red clay courts in SoCal if you look. Sherwood Country CLub near Westlake has red clay and grass:
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/4854/getimage.jpg


There is even a red clay court right in the TW area - Shell Beach, CA overlooking the ocean (although the last time I was there it looked like they had added in some grey clay into the red....)

There are red clay in Ventura CA and other areas. Lots of green/grey all over CA too.

dandaman
02-22-2009, 12:43 AM
I think it's because clay is expensive to set up and maintain and it ruins your shoes.

EDIT: Oh good, no one made a joke about #2. REMOVED

Shoes actually last a lot longer on clay. They just look a lot dirtier.

bluetrain4
02-22-2009, 01:10 AM
There are a few clubs/resorts that have red clay. I can't tell you which ones off the top of my head, but I know I've seen them in Tennis Magazine travel section.

Leublu tennis
02-22-2009, 01:50 AM
There are red clay courts around. Just have to look. Even red clay courts in SoCal if you look. Sherwood Country CLub near Westlake has red clay and grass:
http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/4854/getimage.jpg


There is even a red clay court right in the TW area - Shell Beach, CA overlooking the ocean (although the last time I was there it looked like they had added in some grey clay into the red....)

There are red clay in Ventura CA and other areas. Lots of green/grey all over CA too.
Beautiful resort. I'd go there just for the courts.

Leublu tennis
02-22-2009, 01:53 AM
I played in a tennis facility in Santa Cruz, and they had a clay court, but it was under reconstruction, so I wasn't able to play on it. Thats the only one I have seen in California. I used to live in Hayward, but now live near Stockton.I also live in the Bay Area and, even at private clubs, its all hard courts.

vsbabolat
02-22-2009, 03:20 AM
Not sure this belongs on this forum but there really isnt a better place.

I've been watching the South American tournaments and they are all played on red clay, seems similar to the European clay, why are we subjected to this green clay which plays different,

thanks

There are Red Cay Tennis Courts in the U.S. you just have to know where to look.

http://www.worcestertennisclub.net/html/gallery.htm

http://www.clayfricktennis.org/

http://www.rcta.info/

http://www.armonktennis.com/

http://www.coralsprings.org/cstennis.org/tenniscenter.cfm

http://www.oliversredclaytennis.com/index.htm

http://www.tennisport.com/

http://longislandtennisclubs.com/Woodbury.htm

http://www.wvtennis.com/aboutus.html

http://www.suttoneasttennis.com/facilities.php

http://www.armonktennis.com/

http://www.mountwashingtonresort.com/activities/tennis/overview

http://www.cranmorefitness.com/info/tennis_facilities.asp

http://longislandtennisclubs.com/Cold_Spring_Valley.htm

http://www.tuckerhill.com/vermont-bed-and-breakfast/outdoor-pool-tennis

http://www.clay-courts.com/

http://oakmonttennis.com/

Wire Mill Racquet Club
http://leontennis.net/rentals.html

http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/photo-summerville-south-carolina-inns-woodlands_inn.html

http://www.sportimetfm.com/facilities2.ihtml?fid=6

SteveI
02-22-2009, 03:26 AM
Not sure this belongs on this forum but there really isnt a better place.

I've been watching the South American tournaments and they are all played on red clay, seems similar to the European clay, why are we subjected to this green clay which plays different,

thanks

Here ya go!

http://www.buffaloracquetclub.net/

beneszilo
02-22-2009, 04:19 AM
I think it's because clay is expensive to set up and maintain and it ruins your shoes.

EDIT: Oh good, no one made a joke about #2. REMOVED

Why would it ruin your shoes? Hard courts ruin your shoes.

bumfluff
02-22-2009, 04:26 AM
I have Clay Courts just along the road from me and I live in Scotland :)

beneszilo
02-22-2009, 05:23 AM
In Hungary 95% of courts are clay.

Blade0324
02-22-2009, 06:47 AM
I'm in Colorado and while most courts are hard we also have a good amount of green clay around and I am fortunate to have a club only 3 miles from my house that has 2 red clay courts. No one ever plays on them at that club either. I'm not a member so I can't go anytime I wany but I take lessons from their pro and we always hit on the clay at my request. There is def. a good bit more maint. on those so I suspect that has a lot to do with the lack of clay.

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 07:21 AM
Great feedback guys keep it up,

those of you who have played on the red and green clay, which one do you prefer and why?

thanks guys

Raiha
02-22-2009, 07:30 AM
i live in ga and all the dirt here is like 60% red clay so its not like we don't have the resources. i guess people just prefer the grey stuff.

blue12
02-22-2009, 07:32 AM
Beautiful picture DNshade. I wonder what it costs to join there!

penang
02-22-2009, 07:34 AM
Great feedback guys keep it up,

those of you who have played on the red and green clay, which one do you prefer and why?

thanks guys

I like Red Clay a lot. After a game I look like I did a great workout. Dirt on shoes, socks and I feel good. I have to learn to dive in the future but green is like running on sands. I think both really help improve my game where I learn to be more patience. And shoes last longer than playing on Hard Courts.

Underhand
02-22-2009, 08:21 AM
Red clay is a commie thing.

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 08:23 AM
Red clay is a commie thing.

Why cause its red?:)

GS
02-22-2009, 09:15 AM
Some of the ritzy country clubs here in the East Bay area used to have red clay courts years ago, but I hear that their members complained about their white clothes and shoes getting stained, so they replaced em all with hardcourts, instead of simply switching to Har-Tru!
Oh well. A big reason I hope to retire to Hilton Head, S.C. in the future is because of all the (Har-Tru) clay courts there, which will be easy on my knees, ankles and feet.

Hankenstein
02-22-2009, 10:16 AM
I know. That was half a joke half true. Here in Finland we have red clay courts at almost every club but good quality hard court outdoors hardly anywhere.

Same here in Sweden. 95 % of the clubs (or maybe more..) use clay as outdoor surface. This is simply because itīs so dmna expensive to lay (?) an hardcourt. I have heard itīs 3 times the cost to do a hardcourt instead of a claycourt here in Sweden.

naylor
02-22-2009, 10:36 AM
Same here in Sweden... simply because itīs so dmna expensive to lay (?) an hardcourt. I have heard itīs 3 times the cost to do a hardcourt instead of a claycourt here in Sweden.

Interesting - possibly something to do with needing to avoid it cracking in winter if the undersoil freezes (or to stop it from freezing, for the same reason)?

Anyhow, clay court maintenance is manual work and quite frequent, you have to sweep it after every hour's session, and you also have to water it regularly (as in several times each day) to stop the clay from drying up and becoming fine dust/sand (on which you get no traction). If local labour is cheap and plentiful, then it's a viable proposition - and most large clubs in places like Spain and Portugal (and I daresay France and most of Europe) are outside towns rather than in the town centre, so there are plenty of retired farmers that do the maintenance to supplement their pensions.

The flip side of high maintenance is the high level of tennis achieved by players who were brought up on clay. Technique, consistency, placement, patience, shots.

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 06:07 PM
I'm interested in building a red clay facility stateside, people seem to really enjoy the clay, there seems to be a big enough market, not to make a fortune but just to be able to live and enjoy tennis

mary fierce
02-22-2009, 06:12 PM
Who needs red clay? I play almost exclusively on Har-Tru and find no meaningful difference between it and red clay, except that the Har-Tru doesn't ruin your clothes.

NandoMania
02-22-2009, 06:13 PM
Because red clay is a dirty mess.

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 07:10 PM
Who needs red clay? I play almost exclusively on Har-Tru and find no meaningful difference between it and red clay, except that the Har-Tru doesn't ruin your clothes.

Have u played on red clay often?

Rob_C
02-22-2009, 07:25 PM
i live in ga and all the dirt here is like 60% red clay so its not like we don't have the resources. i guess people just prefer the grey stuff.

Red Clay isnt dirt, its crushed bricks, laid above a limestone layer, laid above a layer of stone, I believe. The actual components are available if u search for it.

NandoMania
02-22-2009, 07:47 PM
Red Clay isnt dirt, its crushed bricks, laid above a limestone layer, laid above a layer of stone, I believe. The actual components are available if u search for it.

BUT why would anyone want to? It's a big distraction and time consuming mess to have to employ armies of groundskeepers to come onto the court everytime there's a changeover.

Rob_C
02-22-2009, 08:10 PM
BUT why would anyone want to? It's a big distraction and time consuming mess to have to employ armies of groundskeepers to come onto the court everytime there's a changeover.

They only sweep the courts at the end of sets at pro tourneys. If its a practice match, or even a local tournament, the courts are only swept at the end of the match. I guess if the players wanted they could sweep the courts more frequently, but I havent seen it done.

NandoMania
02-22-2009, 08:15 PM
They only sweep the courts at the end of sets at pro tourneys. If its a practice match, or even a local tournament, the courts are only swept at the end of the match. I guess if the players wanted they could sweep the courts more frequently, but I havent seen it done.

Did you see Vina del Mar? Maybe you are correct, but it seemed that they were sweeping it more than that. It is a big mess and looks ugly on socks, ugly on shoes, and ugly blobs on the backs of the players shirts. just an ugly mess. why would you want that?

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 08:28 PM
Did you see Vina del Mar? Maybe you are correct, but it seemed that they were sweeping it more than that. It is a big mess and looks ugly on socks, ugly on shoes, and ugly blobs on the backs of the players shirts. just an ugly mess. why would you want that?

First off, who cares if your clothes get dirty? im playing tennis im not in a fashion show, my clothes will be dirty by the end of the day anyway,

Second, it doesnt take that long to sweep a clay court, not longer than it takes to sweep a basketball court, and once in the beginning of a match is good enough, unless your doing some serious sliding,

dont think the sliding part applies to you since your main concern seems to be keeping clay off your clothes

saram
02-22-2009, 09:13 PM
First off, who cares if your clothes get dirty? im playing tennis im not in a fashion show, my clothes will be dirty by the end of the day anyway,

Second, it doesnt take that long to sweep a clay court, not longer than it takes to sweep a basketball court, and once in the beginning of a match is good enough, unless your doing some serious sliding,

dont think the sliding part applies to you since your main concern seems to be keeping clay off your clothes

Spoken like a true Spaniard! Ferrer would be proud. Vamos!

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 09:30 PM
Spoken like a true Spaniard! Ferrer would be proud. Vamos!

Haha, wouldnt you agree?

btw whos on your avatar?

saram
02-22-2009, 09:33 PM
Haha, wouldnt you agree?

btw whos on your avatar?

Don't shoot me--it's Gaudio. Love his 1HBH.

ESP#1
02-22-2009, 09:40 PM
Don't shoot me--it's Gaudio. Love his 1HBH.

Great player, i really wish i had some of his games, missed his best years while i was partying but still seen enough of him to appreciate, i like his backhand alot more than federers, sad when they go so young:cry:

saram
02-22-2009, 09:44 PM
Great player, i really wish i had some of his games, missed his best years while i was partying but still seen enough of him to appreciate, i like his backhand alot more than federers, sad when they go so young:cry:

Yeah, it sucks. Really liked his strokes. Something to try and emulate. Well, hate his forehand--but backhand is a thing to emulate...

dParis
02-22-2009, 09:51 PM
Red Clay isnt dirt, its crushed bricks, laid above a limestone layer, laid above a layer of stone, I believe. The actual components are available if u search for it.

I was at a club in River Forest, IL that has the green clay (Har-Tru?). Looked like the base was some sort of paver brick. After a set they would go and sweep the lines with something that looks like a chalk truck. It took me a minute to realize they were sweeping dust from permanent lines and not laying new chalk:oops:. It was my first time that close up to clay.

Are permanent lines the way most clay courts are marked? With all of the sliding into shots, it seems one can trip up on the side lines.

Rob_C
02-22-2009, 09:58 PM
I was at a club in River Forest, IL that has the green clay (Har-Tru?). Looked like the base was some sort of paver brick. After a set they would go and sweep the lines with something that looks like a chalk truck. It took me a minute to realize they were sweeping dust from permanent lines and not laying new chalk:oops:. It was my first time that close up to clay.

Are permanent lines the way most clay courts are marked? With all of the sliding into shots, it seems one can trip up on the side lines.

Most of the time, the lines are some sort of plastic that is nailed down into the court to stay in place, which is why the sound/bounce of the ball off the lines is distinctly different.

Rob_C
02-22-2009, 10:03 PM
Did you see Vina del Mar? Maybe you are correct, but it seemed that they were sweeping it more than that. It is a big mess and looks ugly on socks, ugly on shoes, and ugly blobs on the backs of the players shirts. just an ugly mess. why would you want that?

Because its fun. Theres nothing like sliding into shots. Think Risky Business, when Tom Cruise was sliding around in his socks. When u were a kid, did u have fun sliding around the floor in ur socks??? I did.

As far as socks, buy black ones, they age better, even if u dont play on clay.

No, I didnt see Vina del Mar this year, but in all my years watching clay court on TV, they have only swept the courts at the end of sets.

ESP#1
02-25-2009, 07:52 AM
Because its fun. Theres nothing like sliding into shots. Think Risky Business, when Tom Cruise was sliding around in his socks. When u were a kid, did u have fun sliding around the floor in ur socks??? I did.

As far as socks, buy black ones, they age better, even if u dont play on clay.

No, I didnt see Vina del Mar this year, but in all my years watching clay court on TV, they have only swept the courts at the end of sets.

Yea clubs usually have a big clay sweeper hanging on the fence, it takes like a 5 minutes to sweep, you just do it when you first get there, its not really a big deal, similar to dusting a basketball court or a racquetball court

pennc94
02-25-2009, 08:11 AM
Clay (red or Har-Tru) is a joy to play on IF it is well-maintained.

That said, the time and cost associated with the maintenance is the reason why relatively few tennis courts are clay (red or Har-Tru) in the US.

Clay courts that are not properly maintained (that means beyond just sweeping the court - i.e. watering, patching, etc.) are just horrible.

od_sf
02-25-2009, 09:16 AM
Clay (red or Har-Tru) is a joy to play on IF it is well-maintained.

Clay courts that are not properly maintained (that means beyond just sweeping the court - i.e. watering, patching, etc.) are just horrible.

Well said. Clay is great on well maintained courts, but a really terrible experience on bad courts. Recently played at Flamingo Park in Miami Beach, and the court was just about unplayable. Soooo many bad bounces it was unbelievable.

mikeler
02-25-2009, 10:19 AM
Clay (red or Har-Tru) is a joy to play on IF it is well-maintained.

That said, the time and cost associated with the maintenance is the reason why relatively few tennis courts are clay (red or Har-Tru) in the US.

Clay courts that are not properly maintained (that means beyond just sweeping the court - i.e. watering, patching, etc.) are just horrible.


You can get hurt on a clay court that is too dry. I injured my knee pretty bad trying to slide into a shot and my foot just stopped instead of sliding. Aside from that one bad incident and a few falls caused by the lines, clay is a great surface to play on. It is much easier on the body and sliding into your shots is a lot of fun.

skraggle
02-25-2009, 10:58 AM
Beautiful picture DNshade. I wonder what it costs to join there!

If you have to ask...

My parents used to live a few miles from here, and it's a crazy exclusive club. Suffice to say it's far out of my league...

ESP#1
02-25-2009, 11:53 AM
Clay (red or Har-Tru) is a joy to play on IF it is well-maintained.

That said, the time and cost associated with the maintenance is the reason why relatively few tennis courts are clay (red or Har-Tru) in the US.

Clay courts that are not properly maintained (that means beyond just sweeping the court - i.e. watering, patching, etc.) are just horrible.

ya I understand the maintenance is beyond just sweeping, i was referring to the maintenance required by the players before playing, as far as watering and patching is concern not anymore difficult than maintaining a healthy lawn

i assume that maintaining har-tru is the same as red clay, why then is har-tru more popular? is the green stuff cheaper?

ESP#1
02-25-2009, 11:56 AM
If you have to ask...

My parents used to live a few miles from here, and it's a crazy exclusive club. Suffice to say it's far out of my league...

Whats expensive? i mean expensive is subjective, we talking a grand a year or like 10 grand?

od_sf
02-25-2009, 12:16 PM
Whats expensive? i mean expensive is subjective, we talking a grand a year or like 10 grand?

A grand a year would be dirt (pun intended) cheap for a place like that. I would assume $10k per year would still not cut it.

mikeler
02-25-2009, 12:21 PM
ya I understand the maintenance is beyond just sweeping, i was referring to the maintenance required by the players before playing, as far as watering and patching is concern not anymore difficult than maintaining a healthy lawn

i assume that maintaining har-tru is the same as red clay, why then is har-tru more popular? is the green stuff cheaper?


I would assume Har-Tru is less expensive here in the USA. I've actually helped build 2 Har-Tru courts as a teenager and that is back breaking work carrying all those 80 pound bags of clay to the courts. Then nailing the lines down is so tedious. All in 95 degree weather.

As for maintenance, don't forget that clay does blow away, so once a year or more you'll need to put some replacement clay down. The lines need to be replaced about once a year if the court is heavily used. I used to drive a roller over the clay to compact the courts I helped build, but I'm not sure if they do that anymore. The club I play at, they sweep the courts with a golf cart and they have underground watering.

ESP#1
02-25-2009, 12:34 PM
I would assume Har-Tru is less expensive here in the USA. I've actually helped build 2 Har-Tru courts as a teenager and that is back breaking work carrying all those 80 pound bags of clay to the courts. Then nailing the lines down is so tedious. All in 95 degree weather.

As for maintenance, don't forget that clay does blow away, so once a year or more you'll need to put some replacement clay down. The lines need to be replaced about once a year if the court is heavily used. I used to drive a roller over the clay to compact the courts I helped build, but I'm not sure if they do that anymore. The club I play at, they sweep the courts with a golf cart and they have underground watering.

This is the only part that really worries me, I assume this might even be monthly, depending on how often the court is used, i have a friend who works at a club, seems like they use alot of dirt,

Rorsach
02-25-2009, 12:49 PM
During the winter our clay courts are out of play. If you use it when there are puddles or if the court is soaked, you'll ruin it completely.