Have you ever played on grass?

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I’ve played on grass courts twice and did not like it at all as I usually play on hard courts and sometimes on clay. Once it was around sunset and the dew made the court so slippery that I was more focused on not falling down than anything else. In both instances, it was very low-bouncing and makes slice way more effective than topspin shots. Flat serves and slice serves that stay low are better than kick as my kick on grass doesn’t bounce up high enough. Also, the bounce is not even enough to rely on winning points by playing long rallies - better to hit a slice approach and come to the net as soon as you can.

I didn’t find it too fast compared to some of the fast hard courts you find at some public parks where it has not been resurfaced for a long time, but it is faster than regularly resurfaced hard courts. The low/uneven bounce was the biggest difference for me and also the slippery nature of the surface which probably requires slightly different footwork.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
My local club is a grass court club, if you are ever in Sydney hit me up and I will take you for a match.

I like grass courts a lot. They are very easy on the body - I feel better after five sets on grass than I do after three sets on hard court. They are also very cool to play on in summer.

They are unfortunately very expensive to maintain, and need to have their usage managed fairly carefully. Most courts around here are rested every second day, and for 2-3 months straight in winter. They also need a day or two to recover after heavy rain. A lot of clubs around here have ripped them up in favour of synthetic grass, which is cheap to maintain and can be played on 365 days a year (plus nights).

Grass court tennis can be a bit of a rude surprise if you have played on hard or clay your whole life. Topspin shots are essentially worthless - they just make your ball sit up nicely in the hitting zone - and heavy topspin grips make it very hard to get under low skidding balls. Bounce can be extremely variable, so hitting from the baseline can be a bit of a lottery. The courts are slippery (although not as bad as clay) and the way they play will often change over the course of the match - especially if you are playing in the morning (because the court will dry out as the sun hits it).

Skills that you can mostly ignore on hard courts become critical on grass. If you don’t have a good forehand slice and good net transitions, you will struggle to beat a seasoned grasscourter.

I love playing on grass - I think it is a unique kind of tennis. The natural variability of the surface introduces an element of randomness, and that is often frustrating to people used to the true consistent play of hardcourts, but I think it adds to the experience.

If you play on grass exclusively you will develop a pretty limited and one-dimensional game. But I think the same is true if you play on any single surface - you settle into what works best for you and don’t get out of your comfort zone much.
 
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shamaho

Professional
I have never played on grass and it has always been a goal of mine to play on a grass court.

for those of you who have played on a grass court, what was your experience?
which grass ? real or the synthetic one ?
I never played on real grass, but on synthetic several times
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Synthetic grass is pretty different to real grass. It also provides a good amount of value for flat and sliced shots, but the bounce is higher and more consistent than real grass and you get more value for topspin.

I really like playing on a well maintained synthetic grass court. Unfortunately a lot of them are not well maintained. If they are heavily worn and oversanded they can play very dead.
 

3loudboys

Legend
I think that @Cashman summed up the surface perfectly. I played on grass at my local club as a junior and it suits flat hitting and slices. It is fast and skiddy and requires the ability to abbreviate well if you are to prosper on it. It really suits a serve volley and aggressive net game. Unless the courts are maintained to a high standard the bounce is variable so long baseline rallies are to be avoided. It is a marmite surface for me, you'll love or hate it. Hope you get the opportunity to sample it one day.
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
I have played on real grass. It was a neat experience. I found it to be interesting. The ball does stay low and skids.

However, if you see your opponents racquet face open up you had better get on your horse and be ready to move forward. The ball completely dies.

That was my experience.
 

Mongolmike

Hall of Fame
I too have played on grass. Was catching a nice buzz and a friend called asking for a sub at last second.

I played pretty well, but had a serious case of cottonmouth. Suppose I'd do it again, but not if l was doing shrooms.
 

JW10S

Hall of Fame
Playing on well maintained and well manicured Grass courts is really fun, really a treat. Poorly maintained grass courts are not so fun. I've played on both. I remember onetime playing on not so great grass courts that my opponent threw up a sky-high lob. I wanted to smash it off the bounce but it hit a dead spot and only bounced up as high as my waist.
 

c-had

Rookie
I've played on grass once - last year on a family vacation to Newport, Rhode Island. You can rent a court at the tennis hall of fame (expensive, but I loved it). My opponent was my 9 year old daughter, so I didn't have a very competitive match, but it was fun anyway. I'd love to play someone near my level some day to get a real feel for it, but the courts are hard to find in the U.S.

It's definitely low bouncing, and we brought the kids balls my daughter usually played with at the time (orange balls) which made the low bounces even worse.
 

nyta2

Professional
i only s&v on grass... ball stays too damn low, and it's alot of effort to constant stay low and dig out groundstrokes.
 

tonylg

Legend
We are just coming into prime grass season here, so I'll be playing on it a bit over the next few months.

Cool in the heat, balls coming through with pace, no stupidly high bounces and the ability to attack the net .. I can't wait.
 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
Played a lot on grass as my school had fantastic courts. Later I was not so enamoured of the surface as most clubs didn’t seem to have the expertise to keep them in tip top condition and the unpredictable bounce was annoying. I did get to play as a guest on Queens Court No1 and that was amazing, as flat and even a hard court but faster with a lower bounce. At their best a great surface but most clubs have replaced now with courts requiring less maintenance.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Played exactly one time on grass as kid about 30 years ago.

Remember the other kid had this can-opener low slice serve that seemed to bounce 90° left and maybe a foot high!
 
Yes and its an absolute amazing surface to play on. Played at the International Hall of Fame in Newport on the same courts as the ATP event.

Awesome time! Is so easy on the body, barely any wear and tear over the span of a tournament.

Here is a point of me playing on the surface:

Wish I had more footage bc I miss that event but maybe I'll go back and play again.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Do you guys have grass court events for your juniors?

Here in Australia we have separate state and national championships for hardcourt, grass and clay.

It’s a good initiative, and gives a lot of kids experience on surfaces that they may not be exposed to much on a week to week basis.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I only get to play on hard courts here at home. I have played on har-tru clay while on vacations and absolutely loved it.

Have played on carpet courts. Didn't seem safe especially near the seams. But very very fast and rewards a good serve as well as a low slice shot.

On another vacation got to play on grass. Sh&tshow. Outdoor grass court in MN. It was at a private home (friend of a friend of a friend of a business client) and in the worst condition. Seemed to not have been leveled ... it definitely tilted at somewhat of a diagonal. Lumps and bumps and divots everywhere. Injury waiting to happen and not fun tennis.

Yeah. I should say that I have never played on grass ... because certainly that shouldn't count.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Do you guys have grass court events for your juniors?

Here in Australia we have separate state and national championships for hardcourt, grass and clay.

It’s a good initiative, and gives a lot of kids experience on surfaces that they may not be exposed to much on a week to week basis.
Apart from a handful of private clubs in major metropolitan areas, we don’t have grass or clay courts period in most of the US. So, we usually don’t have juniors with any experience playing on anything outside of hard courts and that’s a problem for US tennis.

The USTA has built a National Training center in Florida with many green clay and some red clay courts and are training some of the top juniors there. But, you have to be a top junior willing to leave your family at a young age and go live in Florida to benefit from that and so, I don’t think it is going to help develop a lot of players from around the country. The USTA is better off building centers like that in all the major regions of thy country or at least proving maintenance funding for more public parks to have clay courts.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
My club growing up had 10 hard and 10 grass courts, which made securing a court with your second tier junior booking rights a bit of a hassle most of the year but was worth it for the summer when the grass became playable.

While learning to play on grass has contributed to my lack of a back-court game (I’ve always felt the back fence to the service box is a bit “There Be Dragons”), I will always have wonderful PG Wodehouse-style memories of spending long summer days playing on the immaculate courts or flopping down on the turfed banks beside the courts to chat, the smell of freshly cut grass, the newly painted lines and morning dew, playing bare-footed when it got too hot and cooling off in the sprinklers when they came on in the middle of the day. There is also almost nothing in tennis to my mind as aesthetically pleasing as playing on a grass court on a sunny summer evening as the sunlight dapples the turf and the shadows creep across the court. The midges can be a right pain though.

As said above though, playing on a poorly maintained grass court is a total waste of time (and the amount of work and associated cost for proper maintenance is eye-watering). While I was lucky that my club’s courts were extremely well-maintained (teams of juniors from France, Spain and Argentina used to play the annual tournament, including one G Coria), I have played on grass courts that were as even as a WW1 battlefield. At that point the court becomes a waste of space and you might as well just rip it up and put down an easier surface to maintain. The only problem is that this has resulted in the surfeit of artificial grass courts in the UK which I have never gelled with.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
I will always have wonderful PG Wodehouse-style memories of spending long summer days playing on the immaculate courts or flopping down on the turfed banks beside the courts to chat, the smell of freshly cut grass, the newly painted lines and morning dew, playing bare-footed when it got too hot and cooling off in the sprinklers when they came on in the middle of the day. There is also almost nothing in tennis to my mind as aesthetically pleasing as playing on a grass court on a sunny summer evening as the sunlight dapples the turf and the shadows creep across the court.
I don’t have memories of playing tennis on grass courts growing up…but I have wonderful memories of lazing away weekend afternoons reading PG Wodehouse books!
 

LOBALOT

Hall of Fame
Apart from a handful of private clubs in major metropolitan areas, we don’t have grass or clay courts period in most of the US. So, we usually don’t have juniors with any experience playing on anything outside of hard courts and that’s a problem for US tennis.

The USTA has built a National Training center in Florida with many green clay and some red clay courts and are training some of the top juniors there. But, you have to be a top junior willing to leave your family at a young age and go live in Florida to benefit from that and so, I don’t think it is going to help develop a lot of players from around the country. The USTA is better off building centers like that in all the major regions of thy country or at least proving maintenance funding for more public parks to have clay courts.
There is this tournament but I have been unable to locate others.

 

mmk

Hall of Fame
I took a lesson at Newport just so I could hit on grass, the only lesson I've ever taken. The courts were a bit patchy, so the bounces were even less consistent than har-tru.
 
Too bad there aren't more grass courts around--it's the best when done right! How much would you pay per hour to play on quality grass courts?

Golf clubs could make some extra money if they would also have grass tennis courts--the same grounds crews who maintain pristine putting greens could maintain the grass courts.
 

Jono123

New User
I have been a member of a grass court club, so we had no choice. Grass really depends on the skills of the ground keeper at the club.
Have to say though, playing in the summer with slightly baked courts is the best tennis has to offer,
 

FRV4

Semi-Pro
I used to hit serves in my backyard. My backyard is mostly grass. However, the place I was serving from has a bunch of bricks cemented into the ground so I could play basketball. So my footing was on hardcourt-ish, but the tennis balls would hit off of grass.
 

oiler90

Rookie
I have never played on grass and it has always been a goal of mine to play on a grass court.

for those of you who have played on a grass court, what was your experience?
Favorite surface. Forgiving on the body, rewards the server, encourages use of brain over braun, smaller margins than clay.
 

oiler90

Rookie
Too bad there aren't more grass courts around--it's the best when done right! How much would you pay per hour to play on quality grass courts?

Golf clubs could make some extra money if they would also have grass tennis courts--the same grounds crews who maintain pristine putting greens could maintain the grass courts.
The problem would be the extra real estate. Since golf courses aren’t built with grass courts in the planning, there’s really no meaningful space to install a court with proper dimensions and safety.
 

oiler90

Rookie
I took a lesson at Newport just so I could hit on grass, the only lesson I've ever taken. The courts were a bit patchy, so the bounces were even less consistent than har-tru.
If your bounces were less consistent than Clay I’d say you were on some pretty bad grass courts! Then again if you were taking a lesson you probably were in the premier tier of courts. They usually save those for prime time member play.
 
Bounces on grass courts are something of a lottery
I think this depends on whether or not the courts are laser-graded. When I played on grass courts, they played almost as true as a hard court. Except of course in the dirt patches. The proshop attendant told us that they were laser-graded and that was the big difference in getting weird bounces on a grass court vs a more true bouncing grass surface.

 

Matthew Lee

Professional
I played on these weird synthetic grass courts in South Korea a few years back. It was super uncomfortable to play on due to the fact that I've spent my relatively short tennis time playing on hard courts here in Socal. However, what was interesting was that it was easier to slide on these courts than the clay courts I played on the week before. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't have any clay court shoes, but other than the low bouncing balls and the ease of sliding I experienced, synthetic grass courts kinda suck if you ask me.
 

McLovin

Legend
The Philadelphia area has (or at least had) three clubs with loads of grass courts.
GermanTown Cricket Club in Philly is a great club.
I've actually played at all 3 of them (Germantown, Philadelphia and Merion) as the Grass Court Nationals holds different age groups at the various clubs. Germantown is by far the most 'blue collar' of the 3. I'ts nice, but the courts aren't even close in quality to Philadelphia or Merion.

What I remember most is that my quads were killing me by the end of the weekend. I was constantly in a crouch as the ball just doesn't bounce much, especially if your opponent hits flat or slice. Anything that bounced within 5ft of the net was a winner as it just died.

Playing doubles is a blast. Singles, not so much.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
Yes, a while back a tennis guy, with some money, bought a farm near Dallas and turned it into grass courts! Anyway, find a way, go play on it, it will open your mind when you are watching Wimbledon. For me grass is awesome, even for singles, I am a serve, sometimes volley guy, 6'4", man those serves destroy opponents on grass. If you are an old school fan of Sampras or even Goran's wildcard entry championship, playing on grass will really help you understand that era.
 

tonylg

Legend
What I remember most is that my quads were killing me by the end of the weekend. I was constantly in a crouch as the ball just doesn't bounce much, especially if your opponent hits flat or slice.
Some of fondest memories of my youth are my coaches yelling at me to bend my knees. Now all you see is 6'4" pros standing upright and hitting balls at hip height and above. OMG .. they are the most talented players evaar :-D
 
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