Why no clay courts in California?

I get envious watching a lot of tennis videos from the East coast. There seems to be a ton of clay courts there. Here in California there is virtually no clay. Every court is hard. Why?

I can't imagine it would be weather related. Are they too hard to maintain?
 

GeoffHYL

Professional
They do take regular work to maintain. You have to run a big brush over the court every so often to clear the lines and even out the clay. The big advantage of clay courts is they dry off quickly after rain, and since rain is not a big issue in California, there really isn't a compelling reason to install them here.
 
Ah, makes sense.... so it's mainly a water issue. It sucks because a lot of players can extend their playing well into their 60's on clay. But hard courts eventually beat the sh*t out of your legs.
 

jxs653

Professional
They do take regular work to maintain. You have to run a big brush over the court every so often to clear the lines and even out the clay. The big advantage of clay courts is they dry off quickly after rain, and since rain is not a big issue in California, there really isn't a compelling reason to install them here.
It looks like a drawback rather than an advantage since clay court needs far more time to get dry than hard court does.
 

GeoffHYL

Professional
It looks like a drawback rather than an advantage since clay court needs far more time to get dry than hard court does.
Unless it is a monsoon, the clay courts drain the water in about 10 or 15 minutes and are dry on the surface and ready for play. Takes much longer for a hard court unless you have professional level rollers and blowers to dry off the court.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I know from the resort experience how difficult it is to maintain clay courts. The resort put up a shed where they store 2 tons of red clay for maintenance. They charge extra $35/hour even for members, except for those who own villas there (like the guys who call me).
 

blablavla

G.O.A.T.
Unless it is a monsoon, the clay courts drain the water in about 10 or 15 minutes and are dry on the surface and ready for play. Takes much longer for a hard court unless you have professional level rollers and blowers to dry off the court.
the clay courts drain the water - only if courts are properly maintained.
this often requires excessive watering, as maintaining wet clay / water, is a very efficient way to keep drainage.
as soon as you let the the clay courts to dry, clay will become impermeable for water, so you'll have to wait till it evaporates from the surface, of you need the same rollers & blowers to dry off the court.

Beside this, if you want to keep them of good quality, you need to regularly add sand.
This sand tends to pile up, and then you need to close the courts for maintenance works.
Much more work as opposed to hard, but less as opposed to grass.
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
Lucky you. I haven’t seen any public clay courts anywhere, so far.
We have a few places in orlando with public clay courts, you cannot play for free on them if thats the kind of public court your talking about.

Technically the usta place is public, dont think they have grass though. Would be very hard to maintain in the florida summer heat. Greenleaf had one when macci was there, we tried to sneak on it, had its own security team :)
 

jxs653

Professional
Unless it is a monsoon, the clay courts drain the water in about 10 or 15 minutes and are dry on the surface and ready for play. Takes much longer for a hard court unless you have professional level rollers and blowers to dry off the court.
Draining water is one thing, getting dry is another. Clay court becomes soft once rained and it needs to be hardened to be used again. If you step on it while it is soft you will leave a foot dent, sometimes a huge one depending on how soft it is and it can get really terrible from the maintenance perspective.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Most of California's weather is too dry to make having a clay court economical.

Can you use salt water to water clay courts?
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
There are two red clay courts at Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Barnes is a "managed public" facility. As of two years ago it cost $25/hour to play on them. As others mentioned above, the issue is water.
 
the clay courts drain the water - only if courts are properly maintained.
this often requires excessive watering, as maintaining wet clay / water, is a very efficient way to keep drainage.
as soon as you let the the clay courts to dry, clay will become impermeable for water, so you'll have to wait till it evaporates from the surface, of you need the same rollers & blowers to dry off the court.

Beside this, if you want to keep them of good quality, you need to regularly add sand.

This sand tends to pile up, and then you need to close the courts for maintenance works.
Much more work as opposed to hard, but less as opposed to grass
.
. .!

.
 

Crocodile

Legend
Has anyone hit on synthetic clay ( called classic clay in some countries ) ? Is is s viable alternative to natural clay.?
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
I get envious watching a lot of tennis videos from the East coast. There seems to be a ton of clay courts there. Here in California there is virtually no clay. Every court is hard. Why?

I can't imagine it would be weather related. Are they too hard to maintain?
Southern Cal or Northern Cal?
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Most of California's weather is too dry to make having a clay court economical.
Can you use salt water to water clay courts?
Dry is no excuse but a public tennis clay facility is a good excuse with all their budget issues.
Vegas has bone dry weather and their biggest tennis center will get an indoor red clay surface installed. redclayusa.com
Burbank Tennis Center (has 1 or 2 har-tru courts) - open to public.
RCI in Irvine has green clay.
LA Tennis club (members only) has har-tru green clay.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Dry is no excuse but a public tennis clay facility is a good excuse with all their budget issues.
Vegas has bone dry weather and their biggest tennis center will get an indoor red clay surface installed. redclayusa.com
Burbank Tennis Center (has 1 or 2 har-tru courts) - open to public.
RCI in Irvine has green clay.
LA Tennis club (members only) has har-tru green clay.
The Vegas center is my club ... it is public and it will be some time before enough money is raised to install those 3 courts and their indoor structure. Additionally, the initial zoning request is getting some serious scrutiny from the water district. The courts look like they will be $25/hour per person if they ever happen
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
Have played on the RCI courts.

And on the clay courts in La Costa.

And on the red clay courts in Rancho Valencia.
are these thick and watered enough in SD?
Barnes was decent the last time I played there.
 
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a10best

Hall of Fame
The Vegas center is my club ... it is public and it will be some time before enough money is raised to install those 3 courts and their indoor structure. Additionally, the initial zoning request is getting some serious scrutiny from the water district. The courts look like they will be $25/hour per person if they ever happen
I read that the red clay from this company was ideal because it requires much less water than green har-tru to maintain.
 
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OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I read that the red clay from this company was ideal because it requires much less water than green har-tru to maintain.
That may be true .... but we are a true desert and new construction zoning restrictions are pretty strict

I truly hope it happens and will be more than happy to pay for the expensive court time.
 

ba4x

New User
I heard Barnes has removed the clay courts. Makes sense - I went there 2 years ago, they were very poorly kept. Nobody putting in the time to rake and water. Also, everything smelled like urine and swisher sweets, from the homeless folks wandering within a few feet of the courts.

Edit: I was wrong, they still have two courts.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I heard Barnes has removed the clay courts. Makes sense - I went there 2 years ago, they were very poorly kept. Nobody putting in the time to rake and water. Also, everything smelled like urine and swisher sweets, from the homeless folks wandering within a few feet of the courts.
I think they still have 2 left
 

ba4x

New User
I think they still have 2 left
Yep, sorry, I had bad information. Word of mouth from a fellow player, my mistake.

I just called Barnes: They have two courts still, but the underground water system stopped working "about a year ago". So the courts are perpetually dry except for rain fall. Only water supply is natural rain. $10 per adult, for 2 hours court time.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
Has anyone hit on synthetic clay ( called classic clay in some countries ) ? Is is s viable alternative to natural clay.?
It is a viable alternative if you want a soft surface. It doesn't play much like clay (or at least, the version I have played on doesn't).

What had me thinking, has anybody seen grass public courts anywhere on Earth?
There are a lot of semi-public grass courts in Australia. By this, I mean courts that are owned by the local council but leased and operated by a not-for-profit club. The clubs are member-run, but there are generally restrictions placed on their constitution for operating on council-owned land. For example - they have to abide by the council's anti-discrimination policy, they have to offer public hire at a reasonable price and so forth.

The grass courts are often attached to a lawn bowls or croquet club, in order to share greenkeeping costs. Generally natural grass courts are only used during summer, and the club has hard or synthetic grass courts for winter play.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
It seems that grass is the only surface on which you can’t play all year round.
It depends on how you manage the courts. A court that sees high usage (i.e. 3-4 days of play a week) will generally have a complete shutdown over winter whilst the grass is dormant.

There is a small two-court club near me that plays all year round - but their courts are only used twice a week, for about four hours on each occasion.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
They do take regular work to maintain. You have to run a big brush over the court every so often to clear the lines and even out the clay. The big advantage of clay courts is they dry off quickly after rain, and since rain is not a big issue in California, there really isn't a compelling reason to install them here.
They require watering everyday otherwise the clay dries and cracks. In CA the water requirements are just too high and the rain is so infrequent that it’s just not in the cards.
 

a10best

Hall of Fame
They require watering everyday otherwise the clay dries and cracks. In CA the water requirements are just too high and the rain is so infrequent that it’s just not in the cards.
True except for Burbank and there's a place in Riverside county ~I haven't been there (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/clay-court-tennis-in-riverside-ca.262225/). You'd think the beach areas would have more because of the morning dew.
Otherwise, your best bet are the private clubs w/hefty membership fees in Greater L.A. that I know of - Sherwood, Mulholland, L.A. Tennis in Hancock Park, Bear Creek (Temecula/Murrieta)
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
True except for Burbank and there's a place in Riverside county ~I haven't been there (https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/clay-court-tennis-in-riverside-ca.262225/). You'd think the beach areas would have more because of the morning dew.
Otherwise, your best bet are the private clubs w/hefty membership fees in Greater L.A. that I know of - Sherwood, Mulholland, L.A. Tennis in Hancock Park, Bear Creek (Temecula/Murrieta)
I grew up in the Bay Area. I'm sure there were some tony private courts/clubs near Palo Alto that had clay and even grass, but I never saw anything but hard courts out there.
 

tenniscan

New User
What had me thinking, has anybody seen grass public courts anywhere on Earth?
Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center in Palm Beach Gardens FL. 20 perfect clay courts. Public. Also Jimmy Evert Tennis Center, Ft Lauderdale. Naples has a nice public clay facility. Lots of them in Florida. Also many in Europe
 
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