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ClarkC 05-16-2011 06:32 AM

Red clay courts in America
 
Just saw this article with a listing. I wonder if anyone here is familiar with these courts, and how expensive it is to play on the red clay.

andfor 05-16-2011 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ClarkC (Post 5655436)
Just saw this article with a listing. I wonder if anyone here is familiar with these courts, and how expensive it is to play on the red clay.

Good question. My question about the article you found is at those American Red Clay Court clubs is red clay (crushed brick) real or red colored Har-Tru?

At my club play on the outdoor hard and Har-Tru are not extra. Dues and indoor fees are another story.

BMC9670 05-16-2011 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andfor (Post 5655451)
Good question. My question about the article you found is at those American Red Clay Court clubs is red clay (crushed brick) real or red colored Har-Tru?

At my club play on the outdoor hard and Har-Tru are not extra. Dues and indoor fees are another story.

Good questions to ask as red Har-Tru and red brick clay play differently. Red clay also clumps more and can be harder to maintain, which might mean higher costs to play (just speculating).

If you're looking for more of a red clay experience in the US, try to find Har-Tru that is irrigated. Our club has two HT courts with underground irrigation, which keeps them moist all of the time. Also, the amount of, or depth of material makes a difference. These courts have a good thick layer of material on the surface, and coupled with the irrigation, play soft and slow, closer to red clay. Dry Har-Tru with less surface material will play harder and faster (and kick up more dust).

bluetrain4 05-16-2011 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 5655513)
Good questions to ask as red Har-Tru and red brick clay play differently. Red clay also clumps more and can be harder to maintain, which might mean higher costs to play (just speculating).

If you're looking for more of a red clay experience in the US, try to find Har-Tru that is irrigated. Our club has two HT courts with underground irrigation, which keeps them moist all of the time. Also, the amount of, or depth of material makes a difference. These courts have a good thick layer of material on the surface, and coupled with the irrigation, play soft and slow, closer to red clay. Dry Har-Tru with less surface material will play harder and faster (and kick up more dust).

Very good points. Often, American Har-Tru (at least from what I've seen) is rarely as well-maintained as the courts at your club and is often relatively dry and a relatively thin surface.

I still think you get some good clay court experience under those conditions -- it's still slippery and it helps to slide, there are still erratic bounces, the ball still kicks up on many shots more so than on hardcourts, and it is generally slower than even today's slow hardcourts.

But, I do believe courts such as those at your club or red clay would be a better, more genuine clay experience.

TennisCoachFLA 05-16-2011 08:37 AM

The Coral Springs place use to be all red clay. The public complained it stained their socks and shoes so they took out all but one of them.

There are 2 red clay courts at Lakewood Ranch Tennis Center outside of Sarasota. When we lived there we could play on them anytime we wanted. Everyone else played on the Har Trus, same deal, they said they stained their footwear too much!

Very true about the Har Trus. Most of them are very thin coatings and dry. They don't play anything like red clay.

TennisTaxi 05-18-2011 04:16 PM

All courts listed in this article are on the east coast, as I have previously indicated, clay courts in CA are few and far between, and this is basically true for the rest of the country...this is a reason why US players do not do well on clay--har-tru or red :confused:

BMC9670 05-19-2011 05:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisTaxi (Post 5662472)
All courts listed in this article are on the east coast, as I have previously indicated, clay courts in CA are few and far between, and this is basically true for the rest of the country...this is a reason why US players do not do well on clay--har-tru or red :confused:

True. I lived in CA for 10 years and don't think I ever saw a Har-Tru court. Here in the east they seem to be everywhere. In fact, the nice courts I talk about above are not even at a high-end country club, but a regular suburban swim and racket club. I can think of at least 10 others that I have been to within a 30 minute drive. The kicker is, tennis is really an afterthought at our club (swim team is huge), so these courts feel like "private" courts because they are always available.

max 05-19-2011 05:35 AM

We need more clay; it's a great surface for tennis. It really is. . . despite what "park board" type people tell us.

bluetrain4 05-19-2011 05:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by max (Post 5663518)
We need more clay; it's a great surface for tennis. It really is. . . despite what "park board" type people tell us.

I don't think "park board" types would deny it's a great surface. The issue is usually with cost, actual or perceived, of the courts and the cost of maintenance.

BMC9670 05-19-2011 06:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluetrain4 (Post 5663554)
I don't think "park board" types would deny it's a great surface. The issue is usually with cost, actual or perceived, of the courts and the cost of maintenance.

From what I've learned at our club, the initial cost of installation is higher for Har-Tru, but ongoing costs are actually lower with proper maintenance, which really isn't hard. As I said, many of the community swim and racket clubs here in the east have them and membership fees to these places are not high - no rich country club folks here, but middle-class suburbanites.

For a public park, hard courts are just more convenient - lower upfront costs and resurface and replace nets every few years as needed (or when they literally fall apart as we've all seen). No regular maintenance needed. I don't think I've seen "public" Har-Tru courts.

mikeler 05-19-2011 06:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 5663608)
From what I've learned at our club, the initial cost of installation is higher for Har-Tru, but ongoing costs are actually lower with proper maintenance, which really isn't hard. As I said, many of the community swim and racket clubs here in the east have them and membership fees to these places are not high - no rich country club folks here, but middle-class suburbanites.

For a public park, hard courts are just more convenient - lower upfront costs and resurface and replace nets every few years as needed (or when they literally fall apart as we've all seen). No regular maintenance needed. I don't think I've seen "public" Har-Tru courts.


I play at a public facility that has 12 Har-Tru courts and 5 hard courts. The hard courts barely get used though. There is another public facility about 3 miles away from my club that has 8 Har-Tru courts and 6 hard courts.

TennisCoachFLA 05-19-2011 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 5663608)
From what I've learned at our club, the initial cost of installation is higher for Har-Tru, but ongoing costs are actually lower with proper maintenance, which really isn't hard. As I said, many of the community swim and racket clubs here in the east have them and membership fees to these places are not high - no rich country club folks here, but middle-class suburbanites.

For a public park, hard courts are just more convenient - lower upfront costs and resurface and replace nets every few years as needed (or when they literally fall apart as we've all seen). No regular maintenance needed. I don't think I've seen "public" Har-Tru courts.

The only public Har Tru courts I have seen outside of FL. were at the Delaware Tennis Center.

http://www.destateparks.com/park/bel...nis-center.asp

We were there several years ago but I notice that the link to the website is inactive so maybe they closed it.

They had a bunch of very nice Har Tru courts surrounded by big trees and historic buildings, very cool place.

Carolina Racquet 05-19-2011 06:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andfor (Post 5655451)
Good question. My question about the article you found is at those American Red Clay Court clubs is red clay (crushed brick) real or red colored Har-Tru?

At my club play on the outdoor hard and Har-Tru are not extra. Dues and indoor fees are another story.

I believe over 90% of the 'red clay' courts in the US are essentially very similar to the normal green Har-Tru court surface manufactured by Lee Tennis out of Charlottesville, VA.

The difference between their 'clay' surface and the European red clay surface is significant. Har-Tru and their 'red clay' surface is actually a crushed limestone material found in the Allegany mountains. European red clay is more of a crushed brick material found in France. Har-Tru plays harder and faster than European red clay.

I believe there are some European red clay courts in the US but found primarily in some very exclusive resorts, clubs and private courts. They import all of the material which is pretty pricey!

Concerning more clay-like surfaces in the US, the biggest issue of maintaining Har-Tru in the Western US is the low humidity requiring a lot more water. The 'answer' to this issue is a newer Claytech surface which is actually a revised version of FieldTurf top-dressed with the Har-Tru material. Claytech requires very little watering and maintenance but is more expensive to install. I believe you'll see more Claytech surfaces popping up in the West and actually works great indoors if you can deal with the mess of it in the non-playing areas.

"Clay court" tennis is great. Once you get used to it, playing on hard courts feels harsh. Long live clay.

BMC9670 05-19-2011 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 5663617)
I play at a public facility that has 12 Har-Tru courts and 5 hard courts. The hard courts barely get used though. There is another public facility about 3 miles away from my club that has 8 Har-Tru courts and 6 hard courts.

Cool! Maybe they will become more common.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCoachFLA (Post 5663627)
The only public Har Tru courts I have seen outside of FL. were at the Delaware Tennis Center.

http://www.destateparks.com/park/bel...nis-center.asp

We were there several years ago but I notice that the link to the website is inactive so maybe they closed it.

They had a bunch of very nice Har Tru courts surrounded by big trees and historic buildings, very cool place.

It's still there but is privately owned now. I've played in tournaments there and my wife has played league games there. Nice place.

TennisCoachFLA 05-19-2011 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 5664004)
Cool! Maybe they will become more common.



It's still there but is privately owned now. I've played in tournaments there and my wife has played league games there. Nice place.

Funny story about that place when it was Delaware Tennis Center. My girl had just turned 5 and we wanted to hit on Har Tru while visiting up there. The head pro was this tall skinny guy and he took a look at my kid and said, "don't waste your money hitting with her on these courts, just take her to the high school up the street".

I paid the fee, told him off a little, then he watched out his window while she smacked balls harder than 90% of the folks hitting there.

I guess in DE he hadn't seen what tennis kids can do down here at young ages.

BMC9670 05-19-2011 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCoachFLA (Post 5664116)
Funny story about that place when it was Delaware Tennis Center. My girl had just turned 5 and we wanted to hit on Har Tru while visiting up there. The head pro was this tall skinny guy and he took a look at my kid and said, "don't waste your money hitting with her on these courts, just take her to the high school up the street".

I paid the fee, told him off a little, then he watched out his window while she smacked balls harder than 90% of the folks hitting there.

I guess in DE he hadn't seen what tennis kids can do down here at young ages.

Yeah, I think that was the old Tennis Director. It's now run by a nice couple and their daughter, who played college tennis, runs the junior camps. Seems to be an older crowd as far as membership.

gavna 05-19-2011 10:48 AM

The New York City public courts in Forest Park, Queens USED to have real red european clay. I lived in Forest Hills thru High School and they had 11 (maybe 10) public courts and the stuff was AWESOME. I understand that all are now hard and the Red stuff has been gone for quite some time - Also up on the upper Westside along the river when i drive thru New York every few weeks for business I still see a batch of Red Clay Public courts.

Here in Houston the River Oaks CC used to have Red clay that was imported from Italy a few years ago but they switched to the Red American Clay that is sold by Lee Tennis (Har Tru folks). Same Red stuff you see at Crandon Park in Miami. I also remember that in Metarie, LA the public facility had Har Tru but that was pre Katrina and I dont think the facility has been even been rebuilt.

TennisCoachFLA 05-19-2011 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMC9670 (Post 5664357)
Yeah, I think that was the old Tennis Director. It's now run by a nice couple and their daughter, who played college tennis, runs the junior camps. Seems to be an older crowd as far as membership.

Yes, he said he was the tennis director, I looked him up, old school USPTA pro. It was an older crowd when we went, he was sitting in the pro shop talking with a few old timers when we got there.

NineMileSkid 01-02-2013 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCoachFLA (Post 5655828)
The Coral Springs place use to be all red clay. The public complained it stained their socks and shoes so they took out all but one of them.

Morons.

10 char

TCF 01-02-2013 09:35 AM

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