The five new tennis courts opening Saturday at the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center should go a long way to allowing more people to play, according to Palm Beach Gardens officials.
“We are busting at the seams. By 9 a.m., we are jammed. All courts are in full swing,” said the city’s Tennis Coordinator Wendy Tatum.
The five new courts will make a total of 18 to be at the center for both recreational and competitive play. The project is being completed by Fast Dry Courts and Musco Sports Lighting for a total of $659,000, according to Candice Temple, the city’s media relations manager.
Opened in 1999, the Gardens center now has about 600 members compared with about 300 seven years ago. Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the only days it is closed.
The grand opening for the new courts — all 18 are clay — is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
One especially popular activity at the center is the hitting frenzy. Coached by one of the center’s 13 tennis pros, players stand on the court and fire away.
“We have to limit it to 12 players per court. So many people want to play,” Tatum said.
The Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center and Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton were named for excellence this past year as two of 12 nationwide tennis facilities by the United States Tennis Association. The 33rd annual USTA Facility Awards recognized excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities. Representatives were honored at the USTA Semi-annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
All ages and skill levels are at the Palm Beach Gardens center, which has lights for night play, Tatum said.
There are classes for players 6 years and younger, men’s and women’s senior league and night leagues. The USTA plays about seven weekend tournaments a year. A group of seniors in their 90s regularly play. Jupiter Christian School students use the center for competitions.
“It’s also a social gathering place. After playing, people love to sit around, chat and have a cup of coffee,” Tatum said.
Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center
Where: 5110 117th Ct. N., Palm Beach Gardens
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 a.m.-8p.m.
Annual membership: Palm Beach Gardens residents: $330; Non residents: $660
Daily play fees: Palm Beach Gardens residents:$8; Non residents: $16
Information: pbgfl.com/tennis or call 561-775-8277.