Updated: May 21, 2015
Kiawah Island Tennis:Want to play tennis in a top rated resort? Look no further than Kiawah Island Golf Resort located in South Carolina. Kiawah Island is about 30 minutes south of Charleston and boasts nearly year round playing conditions for avid tennis fans or those just wanting to learn the game. Kiawah Island Tennis is consistently rated in the top 2 or 3 tennis resorts in America. Year after year families and individuals come to South Carolina to enjoy the quality weather and great tennis atmosphere. The pros are friendly, the courts are kept in terrific shape and the classes and lessons they offer are first rate. I had the opportunity to visit in June 2011 and they clearly went beyond all my expectations. I live on the west coast so my experience with clay courts, or Har-Tru clay courts as they refer to them, was limited, but I enjoyed every minute. After watching the French Open and the pros on the red clay of Paris, I wanted the thrill of hitting forehands on the green clay of South Carolina.
Tennis Courts of Kiawah Island Resort - There are 2 tennis centers on the island - West Beach Tennis Club and Roy Barth Tennis Center. The Roy Barth center in the East Village is open year round and hours vary by season so check before you go. There are 9 Har-Tru clay courts (1 is lighted) and 3 hard courts to play on. The cool thing at the Roy Barth Tennis Center is the practice zone with a hitting machine and ball retrieval system. Over at the West Beach Tennis Center are 14 more Har-Tru clay courts and 2 lighted hard courts. I had the pleasure to play multiple times at the West Beach courts and beyond dealing with the heat, had a great time. It was easy to get court time in mid-June although I wish we had a court that wasn't next to another court since my kids hit quite a few balls over the small fence onto our neighbors court. Court fees are $34 for an hour and we were able to get 30 minute slots a few times. With the extreme heat and humidity that South Carolina gets during much of they year, don't plan on playing for hours unless you are used to the conditions. If you forgot to bring your equipment, you can rent racquets or ball machines. View the Kiawah Island tennis website at http://www.kiawahresort.com/tennis/. You can get private lessons, group lessons, or try the Practice Alley. Advanced reservations are recommended but I found that the courts were almost always open when I called about 1 hour in advance. If you prefer playing at a specific time of day (say early in the morning) then definitely call in advance and get it secured. For those of you that have never played on clay tennis courts, don't let the chance slip by when at Kiawah. On the west coast we never see clay surfaces for tennis, so it was fun for myself and my kids to try them out. Again, Kiawah Island Resort is rated the #1 Tennis Resort in the world by Tennisresortsonline.com and Tennis Magazine regularly rates them in the Top 3. The tennis pros that I spoke with were knowledgeable of the game and very supportive of juniors just getting started.