Friday, February 20, 2015
Are Your Tennis Members Having Fun?
Back in the mid-90s I had the good fortune of being a resident and club member of Raintree, a country club in Charlotte, NC.
This was probably one of the best times I ever experienced as a member of a community and as a tennis player.
Back then we had two 18-hole golf courses, a 19th hole, as well as an upstairs dining patio overlooking one of the 18th holes, fitness facilities, locker room with lounge, swimming pool, another restaurant and one large party/convention/meeting area.
Oh, and a killer tennis membership and staff. It was a blast. Charlotte was growing, booming and there was plenty to do in the city and surrounding areas, yet most of these events and activities usually had to fall into my lap to gain my attention because my wife and I were never without something to do down on the tennis courts or with our tennis friends.
We had seven hard courts and two clay back then - obviously they have changed that situation. We always seemed to be making improvements and creating new events, which is not always easy when you are dwarfed by two golf courses and its membership. Money doesn't always flow one's way in these circumstances, but we thrived and continued on. Fortunately I was also a golfer (not bad) and a few of my tennis buddies were as well, and, they were on the board of the club.
I believe I played about eight matches a week back then, consisting of Monday Men's Night, USTA League, a few planned or pick-up matches during the week, Friday Night Mixer, Saturday Mixed Doubles with my wife, a Saturday Social Dinner Night, Queen City League and our regular Saturday morning (usually hung-over) small men's doubles group. I'm surprised I had a successful career and marriage. Oops the latter did not quite make it, but not the fault of tennis. Great woman by the way and one heck of a tennis player.
I would actually leave the courts after a match, go home and mow the lawn, shower and go back to the club and play on most Saturdays. I loved it.
Again, I was fortunate. Upon returning home from work or leaving the country club I most always passed the club and I could either see what was going on at the courts or I would stop by the pro shop to find out more.
Times were good, so was money and I was in the computer and wireless technologies biz at the time. It's not what it is now and the average Joe's didn't even know what e-mail was.
Well, now they do; perhaps to a fault, along with all the other communication technologies available.
I had every communications gizmo available to me back then, but I still loved stopping by the club to watch a match or get in a pick-up match - tennis bag and tennis clothes usually in the car. I'm a social kind of animal, but how many people nowadays actually go out of their way to get news and information. You have to throw it at them.
And, if you do so, well, they may become almost entranced with the idea that they may have a stronger relationship with your club and its members, getting more involved if they can simply by making a few more keystrokes on their computer or smartphone. That's a good thing. Of course, you also want them out on the courts and enjoying more of what you have to offer, whether you are a tennis club or center or a tennis league. This can be accomplished as well.
I was a member of two tennis clubs (one, one of the best in the area) a few years ago and they were rather distant from my home. I rarely had a clue what was going on at either and I believe we were in the 21st century at the time. I was.
So, without not straying too far from what you do, tennis, and not becoming a techno-geek in the meantime, you can stay in touch with your members. Check out what we have to offer at Blogs for Tennis Clubs and Leagues.
Posted by Doug Ingbretsen