Tennis Clubs

The local tennis scene has changed a lot in the past year.  This page has a lot of club options, but the new tennis center at George Fox may give Sherwood residents a reason to pause before joining anywhere else.  Tennis clubs probably still make sense for families where several people play, for people looking for a big tennis scene, or those who want a mix of tennis and fitness.  But for high school players from non-tennis families who are mostly looking for lessons or playing indoors in the winter with their friends, George Fox may be your best bet.

That's because it is hard to compete with the  George Fox programs.  They are affordable for junior lessons, private lessons and court rentals for practicing on your own.  Renting courts to play singles twice a week will cost you and your opponent 20/week each.  You'll want to figure how much you plan to play, then do a little math.

For most Sherwood players, it's probably smart to check out georgefoxtenniscenter.com as one of the first places to explore.

For players or families who plan to be serious about tennis, you should also check out some private clubs.  They are moderately expensive and usually require year-round dues when you could be playing for free outside half the year, but they offer access to a lot of other people who are serious about tennis, plus other amenities.

 

Do I recommend tennis clubs for everyone?  No.  I recommend them for people who really want to improve their tennis game by having the ability to play year-round and potentially get lessons from professional instructors.  (If you aren’t going to actually go play several times per week, you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth.)

 

One of the most important things to consider when joining a club is who you will play with.  Lots of people join and don’t get very much use out of them because they don’t have anyone to play with.  When I joined as a junior, I joined with my doubles partner and he was my practice partner 75% of my time there.  Options for playing at clubs as a junior:

  • Playing mostly in group lessons.  These can be 2-3 days per week, but get expensive on top of your club dues if that’s what you are doing.

  • Playing with friends who you know going in.

  • Joining a junior team at a club to meet people to practice with.  You’ll generally need to take the initiative to actually get kids from other schools to go out and play though.  Don't expect to just roll into a group of new players.

  • Find some adults to play.  Most adult members will be willing to play practice matches against junior players who they see around a lot.  That is great practice - you may have better shots than the old people, but they know ways to beat you.

  • Play with your parents if they play and join with you.

  • Hit on a ball machine.  This is a great option to develop your game, but it may come with additional expense.

 

That being said, here are the local clubs:

 

Charbonneau (Wilsonville, cheapest by far, but you’ll really want to join with a friend, and there are some annoyances)

  • You can only join on July 1 and January 1, and you apply in advance.

  • $100 non-refundable application fee.  They may not let you join when you want – you may get deferred by 6 months.

  • Single Membership – about $400 per year.  Family Membership – about $550 per year.

  • 2 courts (but membership is limited to keep them kind of available)

  • There are not many lessons available and their instructors don't always stick around long.

  • No staff – just a building with two courts and a passcode to get you in the door.  That's a little odd for high school players to walk into, but I've never heard of any security issues or incidents.

  • Online reservation system where it helps to be awake at midnight to book your courts.

  • Ball Machine use is free.

 

Stafford Hills (Tualatin, most expensive and nicest):  This is a great full-function/full-family place to be.

  • Full Disclosure:  This is where I play, so I am a bit biased.  It's very nice and the people are great, but the bill can rack up very fast if you take lessons.

  • Up to $1000 to join, then over $100/month for a junior membership.  $2000 and about $200/month for a family

  • 7 indoor courts.

  • Multiple teaching pros and lots of lessons available, but they can be a bit spendy.

  • Full gym and great pool, lots of fitness classes included in membership.  

  • Online reservation system where you book courts a week in advance at either 7am or 7:30am.

  • Ball machine use is $30/month (or $240/year).

 

Mountain Park (Lake Oswego, expensive for adults, but not ridiculous for juniors).

  • Junior memberships are more accessible.  Several hundred to join, but under $80/month after that (I think – call to check to confirm).  Family memberships are a bit less than Stafford Hills, but not a ton.

  • 9 indoor courts

  • Great teaching pros and extensive junior program (this is where the Lake Oswego dominance comes from).  The lessons are fairly expensive though.

  • Dial-in reservation system (8:30 call in time – it is super annoying).

  • Small gym and a few fitness classes (although I heard they improved this recently)

  • Ball machine isn’t free – probably has a single use or monthly rate to use it.

Portland Athletic Club (Raleigh Hills area):

  • Trying to get back in the scene, but I don't know much about it.  It's been generally off the radar for 20 years.

  • They have appealing month-to-month junior memberships:

  • $89/month for just access to the courts​

  • $99/month for membership + 1 group lesson a week

  • $115/month for membership + 2 group lessons a week

  • $139/month for membership + 3 group lessons a week (this is an awesome price for what you get - this would cost easily over $200/month anywhere else, and because it is monthly, you can just do it during the wet months without having to pay year-round.

  • I can't tell you much more and cannot vouch for the quality of instruction, but just hitting balls a few times a week for this price is valuable.​​

Tennis Academies:  If you are super serious about tennis, talk to Todd about these academies.  I have varying opinions of them.