Best place to retire for a tennis player ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Travel' started by SC in MA, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    I still have a couple of years to go before retirement, but I've been wondering where a good place to retire would be. Somewhere where there'd be a good number of 4.5-ish level players who could hit during the day on weekdays. And ideally, this place would also have mild weather most of the year.

    I've heard that Naples, FL has a lot of age group nationally ranked players who have retired there. I've never been there so I don't really know if this is true or not. I would imagine summers would be pretty brutal there.

    One would think Hawaii would be perfect, however, I lived in Hawaii (Honolulu area) for a few years during the tennis boom years back in the 70's. I don't believe it would be that easy to get games with good players on weekday days. Also, the weather is good most of the time, but it's often windy to very windy, which can be very annoying.

    I would guess that somewhere in California might meet my criteria, but I won't know where. Maybe the home of TW, San Luis Obispo ?

    Hilton Head is another place I heard is easy to pick-up games with good players during the day on weekdays, but I've never been there so I don't really know.

    Anyone have any suggestions ?
     
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  2. dantyem108

    dantyem108 Rookie

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    TENNIS magazine had an article about this a few months ago. I am not positive, but I think it was the issue with Sampras on the cover. As I recall, San Diego, Houston, Oakland and Jacksonville were on the top of the list for their modestly priced homes and great selection of courts and pros. Good luck!
     
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  3. goober

    goober Legend

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    I don't know why anybody would want to retire in Oakland. High cost of living, not many tennis courts around from what I could see and basically overcrowded and no where near as nice as San fran.

    Basically when you retire you want good weather all year round and a lot of tennis players. Therefore i would think either Florida and certain areas of southern cali like Palm Springs, San Diego, or even parts Orange County.
     
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  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agree wit goober.
     
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  5. dantyem108

    dantyem108 Rookie

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    tell TENNIS magazine...........
     
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  6. Gaines Hillix

    Gaines Hillix Hall of Fame

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    I would agree with San Diego except for the cost of housing. The weather is the best in the US, tennis courts everywhere and good level of competion. SanFrancisco area housing is even more expensive than SanDiego. Houston and Jacksonville have lower costs of living and lots of tennis, but the heat and humidity in the summer are incredibly high.
     
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  7. miki

    miki New User

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    Puerto Vallarta. I'm not kidding - I was there in vacation and discover good american tennis community looking to play!
    After that I have my dream for retirement!
    Good luck!
     
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  8. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Rookie

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    I would think having a *lot* of 4.5 players who can play during the day on weekdays would be difficult anywhere. I'm not discriminating against older players, but usually by the time someone retires they're no longer 4.5. There are lots of exceptions of course, but are there going to be a lot of them living in one place?

    I live in Gainesville, FL which is in north Florida about 1.5 hours SW of Jacksonville. The summers are definitely unpleasant. If you play during the day the sun beats you down, and if you play at night it's very humid. Having said that, I used to live down near Naples and it was much worse. Naples does have a lot of good older players, but a lot of them only spend the winter there. That's something you have to keep in mind about Florida in general -- what you see in the winter isn't necessarily what you get in the summer.

    I'd recommend looking into Hilton Head or some of the other spots along the SC or NC coasts. There are plenty of tennis resorts and a lot of them have memberships for local players and will use you for game matching against their guests. There are also probably plenty of tennis fanatics who retire there for just that reason. The summers are hot, but not as bad as Florida, and the winters are mild enough so you can play year round.
     
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  9. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I think Money magazine rated Atlanta as one of the best places to retire, and as we all know, tennis is huge there. At this point, I'm thinking of retiring there (but I'm still 15 years away from that). Also, I've heard Saint George, Utah is nice, although I'm not sure how many players are there, Vic Braden has his camp there now.
     
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  10. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    actually oakland has quite a few courts, also alot of ppl play tennis there and its good weather all year round i am 15 and i see of senior people playing tennis
     
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  11. Chauvalito

    Chauvalito Hall of Fame

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    Hilton Head: I dont think you could go wrong. Plus there are a plethora of clay courts to play...and of course the beach.

    I played at VDM (plantation center I think) for a week. I think they called it the World class drilling and hitting week.

    Anyway, it was fun, and there were a lot of good players there. The heat and humidity were brutal though.

    One guy in our group sat down and promptly passed out. The coaches packed him down with ice and we had to call an ambulance.

    He was a VERY large guy though, I would say around 6' 5'', and over 200 pounds.

    For reference, I was 21 at the time and I was having some issues with the heat.
     
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  12. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Atlanta has an amazing tennis community.

    San Diego has better weather, but housing is pretty bad. If you have enough equity that you don't mind paying around $600,000 for a three bedroom 1800 sq ft home, you could probably find something. Balboa Tennis Club has about 25 courts I think, and I'm told it has a lot of action, lots of good players.
     
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  13. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Wow, this thread is back after three years....is that a record ? By now the OP might already be retired. Anyway, I've decided I'm going to need some clay courts by the time I'm ready to retire, so I guess that means Florida, maybe the panhandle area ?
     
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  14. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    LOL...didn't even look at the date OP started it...

    Wish I was 2 years from retirement. I am SO ready to get up every day for my 8:00 AM match. :D
     
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  15. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Monaco!

    I think they have the highest density of top level players, great clay courts and a very agreeable climate. It's also a tax haven.
     
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  16. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    San Diego

    San Diego is great. As mentioned, 25 courts (with many players) at the Balboa Tennis Club (Morley Field) for $155 a year. Also, Barnes Tennis Center, a junior training facility that also has an adult program . . . 20 hard and 4 clay courts that are available to adults when the juniors aren’t using them (for like $6.00 a day for hard / $8.50 a day for clay). I’ve heard getting a clay court is very possible if you don’t need prime time.

    Also . . . 72 degrees every day of the year (only a slight exaggeration), lots of sunshine, good beaches and housing prices lower than SF, LA, Santa Barbara or Palm Springs. Just a bit crowded these days.

    San Luis Obispo is also very nice.

    MG
     
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  17. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Is the proximity of tennis courts your main criteria for where you want to retire? You must have more to do in life...anyway, take my advice and avoid the Fla. Panhandle. It absolutely sucks. And how long each day do you think you can play, as a senior, in the blistering humidity of the Panhandle summer?
     
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  18. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Ditto.

    -Robert
     
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  19. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    Best place to retire for a tennis player ?

    iray, iran or cuba
     
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  20. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    It has been three years already. Have you decided where you are going to go?

    r,
    eagle
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2007
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  21. SC in MA

    SC in MA Semi-Pro

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    Hey all. Thanks for all the responses, both past and recent. It's good to see this thread revived !

    Well, I'm still not retired and my guess is that I'm going to hang in for a couple of more years (that is, unless my employer thinks differently ! :))

    Though I've given it thought, I still don't know where I might retire. Since my original posting, I'm thinking more about just staying where I am - in the Boston area, even though I really dislike winter here.

    The plus is there's good tennis here year around. I prefer outdoor on clay, but the indoor hardcourt season is very active so I can't really complain about not being able to play year around.

    There might not be a lot of good players who can play during the day here, but I have no problem getting good matches either early in the morning or in the mid-to-late afternoon/early evening. So, maybe my wish for good players to play during the day isn't all that important.

    Once I retire, I may try going down to Florida during the winter to see how I like it, but I think I'm still a few years away from that.

    California is probably the next option. I was born and raised in California, though I haven't lived there (nor visited) for a good number of years now. At some point in the next few years, I hope to spend some time in California to get a feel for it again.

    Hawaii is another place I'd like to revisit. It's been a lot of years since I lived there back in the mid-70's, but I definitely loved living there back then.

    Again, thanks for all the responses.
     
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  22. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Howzit brah,

    If you make it out here, let me know so we can hit some.

    r,
    eagle
     
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  23. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Arizona is a nice tennis community i hear. Like Tucson or Scottsdale. Many USTA teams located there. but someone also said Arizona is a racist state ?:confused:
     
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  24. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Can't address Northern California, as I'm a southern (Cal) 'born and breed' boy. San Luis Obispo has pretty much the best weather in the country. Every bit as good as San Diego. However, it might be difficult to get the matches you are seeking in a smaller, rural town; as SLO is.

    San Diego might be your best bet, except for the cost of housing...and the increasingly overcrowded infrastructure (freeways). If you can swing the housing, San Diego is close to tennis paradise.

    Lots of tennis in the Los Angeles Basin (incl. Orange County). Getting crowded, and will become more so in future years. Housing (relatively) affordable, depending on how far you are willing to drive. Transportation system fast approaching gridlock, virtually non-existent rapid transit.

    For me personally, (I have about ten years left before retirement), if wanting to be near family and cost of housing were not an issue, I'd spend summers in San Diego and winters in Saint George.
     
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  25. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Well, you could always challenge Chris Edwards of VLOG fame for a match...
     
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  26. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    EAGLE . . . in Kona

    So EAGLE, what’s the tennis scene like in Kona? Are there any stand-alone tennis clubs, or are most of the courts, players and teaching pros at the hotels? My mind keeps getting drawn to the area above Captain Cook. How about private courts . . . are there many?

    MG
     
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  27. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    MG,

    There are only four public courts. All others are private or clubs.

    We play primarily at Holua Tennis Club and at times at Royal Kona. There is also Island Slice (Keauhou) next to Outrigger Ohana. Most mainlanders are probably more familiar with the courts at Waikoloa where big USTA tourneys are held.

    Thanks,
    eagle
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
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  28. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Keauhou Surf and Racquet Club is my main experience. Lots of retirees but the quality of play is variable.
     
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  29. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    As well as Shaolin, NoBadMojo, and any of the players from Cal Poly or Cuesta College. And there are a couple good clubs like Avila Bay and SLO Country. I know Avila has some good players. Definitely an awesome area that i would like to spend more time in.
     
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  30. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    Eagle,

    Hey there...I make it out to The Big Island quite a bit. Kona huh? Maybe we can hit the next time I'm there. Usually just up the Queen K from you at the Mauna Lani area. Keep thinking I need to buy a house out there...

    D
     
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  31. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Hi DN,

    Let me know when you make it out. Also, my wife is a realtor, so she can help you get a house. :)

    r,
    eagle
     
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  32. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Traveling Eagle?

    Hi E, are you the “Traveling Eagle” . . . Virginia, San Diego, Kona? What’s it like above Captain Cook? Are there multi-acre parcels to be found? Would the zoning allow building an indoor (or covered) tennis court?

    MG
     
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  33. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    Yes, multiacre lots are available. Covered courts here? I haven't seen any although that's almost sacrilegious. :)

    r,
    eagle
     
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  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I don't think you can get much better than California as far as tennis weather is concerned - mild, sunny, and low humidity almost year-round. Also lots of players of all levels to play with. However, the cost of living (especially housing) is quite prohibitive. :-( But given what I said above, I think you can understand WHY housing is so expensive. If it were cheap, just about the entire country would be living here. ;)
     
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  35. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

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    Oakland's great! Just don't forget to bring your gat.
     
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  36. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Sacrilege

    Maybe the religions aren’t keeping up with the times. Most of the “faithful” think enclosures are for climate and weather control. I’m a bit of a heretic. After DECADES of playing and teaching this game, I’m no longer a believer in the gospel of sun tanning.

    But I’m sure the Tourista Deacons would be proud of your sermon.

    MG
     
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  37. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    No, it's just the fact that Hawaii is the most expensive place in the country in terms of cost of electricity. Try running an AC unit in your home a few days here even sparingly and be prepared with a bill upwards of $400 ... if you're lucky.

    Now try that with multiple courts under cover. It won't be fiscally feasible. Also, I never needed the sun to be tan if you follow. :)

    r,
    eagle
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
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  38. DNShade

    DNShade Professional

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    I may just have to take you up on both. Should be out there in the next month or two...

    D
     
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  39. Pete Semper

    Pete Semper Rookie

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    I would say any city in the South of France (Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Marseilles, Montpellier, Perpignan) just because its my area, lol. Sweet weather, tennis courts are everywhere (mostly clay and hard courts), players are numerous and most of them have a 4.5 rate certified.
     
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  40. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    Atlanta

    RedFlea is right on about Atlanta ....... more tennis here year round than anywhere I know. Now, traffic, etc. is another matter ! I've been retired 17 years and have played every weekday since I retired.

    Check our website below and come join us.
     
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  41. jasonbourne

    jasonbourne Professional

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    I agree with BP. I've been to play tennis and considered living and later retiring in FL, TX, AL, NY, AZ, NV, IL, and NC. IMO, northern peninsula and southern CA is better for its weather and number of accessible courts. Another reason for the high demand to live in CA.
     
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  42. Bill K.

    Bill K. Guest

    RV

    Anybody give any serious thought to using an RV to get to tennis resorts or tournaments (in retirement)? I get the impression some places cater to RV's (mobile home, 5th wheel, or travel trailer) and have tennis, e.g. Yuma, Arizona and Destin, Fla. In theory, seems great on a part-time basis to get around the country assuming you can spend some gas money. Any thoughts or experiences with this....?
     
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  43. Tampa, Florida.
    Join a club and join the Ultimate Tennis League from K-Swiss and you will never be without a good match.
     
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  44. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    No experience, but my thoughts are you'd have to use it a HELLUVALOT for it to be cost-effective. For the money you'd pay for one of those (new, anyway) you can stay in a LOT of hotel rooms. (But, if money is no object and that's what you want to do - then no problem.)
     
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  45. GS

    GS Professional

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    Too bad Oakland got a bad rap on this thread---I've been here 30 years and think it's tennis paradise. Best weather in the country (along with San Diego), lots of publics courts, and a facility that usually wins best public place in the country. But, I'm about to retire, and that means moving onto clay courts, which aren't around here. Florida is too hot and humid in the summer, and I don't like hurricane threats, so my choice will be Hilton Head, S.C.---tons of clay, lots of golf, and pretty good weather. (Since it's a barrier island, it almost never gets hit by a hurricane.)
     
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  46. sciwriter

    sciwriter New User

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    "Since Hilton Head is a barrier island, it never gets hit by a hurricane."

    What? What?! You're joking, I hope.
     
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  47. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Hi GS and all,

    I think GS is right on with his facts. HH has been hit only a few times.. and never very bad compared to other places in the hurricane zone.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    #47
  48. IceNineTX

    IceNineTX Semi-Pro

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    I live in the Houston metro area. I have about 60 (last count was 59) public courts in a 5-7 mile radius of my house. That doesn't count the numerous country club and athletic clubs in the area.

    It's really hot from July-Sept, but I still play at night without too much issue. The rest of the year is nice. You can play 12 months out of the year unless it's raining. I played a ton last winter with just a long sleeve shirt, lightweight athletic pants, and something to cover my ears. It was great.

    jpc
     
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  49. GS

    GS Professional

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    Thank you for your support, Stevie Ray.
    For the record, Hilton Head gets brushed by a hurricane every 3.6 years.
    Their average years between direct hurricane hits is 10.5 years.
    Their only big hit in the last 100 years was in 1959, Hurricane Gracie, with gusts up to 138 mph, and leaving 11 inches of rain. An old-timer there told me the whole island was covered with 6 inches of water.
    That's the facts, jack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2007
    #49
  50. sciwriter

    sciwriter New User

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    OK, I'll drop this subject after this -- but Beaufort County, where Hilton Head is located, is one of the most vulnerable places to hurricanes on the East Coast. In 1893, 2,000 people died there in a hurricane that was about the size of Katrina when it hit the Gulf Coast.

    Saying that Hilton Head isn't vulnerable because it hasn't been hit directly in the past century is like saying that Galveston, Texas, isn't vulnerable. In 1900, Galveston lost 6,000 people.

    Hilton Head is a dangerous place to live partly because its evacution routes are inadequate. It's almost as bad as New Orleans in that respect. There isn't enough road capacity off the island. People can get out in time if they leave 36 hours before a hurricane, but if you delay, you're in trouble. County emergency managers in Beaufort County are among the best in the nation -- and they will tell you, straight out, that they are worried, very worried, about losing lives.
     
    #50

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