Tennis is in full swing around Lake Norman, where the sport has grown dramatically over the last decade. With a mix of private clubs and public parks, there’s ample opportunity for folks of all ages and skill levels to participate — although most regular players will tell you the area still needs more courts. For those of you who are new to the local tennis scene, a great resource to help you get connected with other players is the Lake Norman Tennis Association. The association offers a variety of programs, including the Compass Draw, which is a men's and women's singles tournament with matches every two weeks. There’s also the Tennis Ladder, designed for players of all skill levels and based on a system where competitors get points for making challenges and playing matches. The LNTA also coordinates Unites States Tennis Association league play and hosts various tournaments. Lake Norman USTA spring leagues had 1,323 players in 2005, compared with 2,096 players last spring. For those 60 and older, there are the USTA Super Seniors leagues. These offer doubles play for both men and women, and local winners get the opportunity to compete at state and sectional championships. For younger players, there are several junior tennis programs, as well as the popular QuickStart Tennis program. This is designed to teach kids 10 and under the basics of the game, with smaller courts, junior racquets and a simpler scoring system. So whether you haven’t picked up a racquet in years, are looking for some challenging new opponents, or simply want to get involved in a fun and social sport, Lake Norman is a great place to get started. Below is an overview of both public and private courts in the area, as well as some prominent people in the local tennis community. For details on the LNTA, go to lnta.org.
Public CourtsJetton Park
19000 Jetton Park Road
This scenic, 106-acre lakefront park has eight lighted courts and is one of the area’s most popular places to play tennis.North Mecklenburg Park
16131 Old Statesville Road
The town of Huntersville and the USTA worked together and built six lighted courts at this 98-acre park last spring.Cornelius Road Park
247 Cornelius Road
One of the newest facilities in Lake Norman, the 80-acre Cornelius Road Park opened in January and has six lighted tennis courts.Bailey Road Park
11536 Bailey Road
Located near Hough High School, this 57-acre park has three lighted courts.
100 Sherwood Drive
Near Huntersville’s downtown, Holbrook has six courts.
For more details on these parks, go to http://charmeck.org
Private facilitiesRiver Run at Davidson
19125 River Falls Drive
Davidson, NC 28036
River Run boasts a 16-court facility, including four indoor courts for year-round play. There’s also a pro shop, tournaments, adult and junior leagues and a renowned junior tennis academy.Charlotte Racquet Club North
9300 Browne Road
Charlotte Racquet Club North offers its members 14 lighted courts (12 clay and 2 hard-surface courts) along with a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse with a pro shop. There are also junior and senior tennis programs, tournaments, lessons and social events.The Peninsula Club
19101 Peninsula Club Drive
Cornelius, NC 28031
Situated in the exclusive Peninsula community along the shores of Lake Norman, this private club has eight lighted clay courts. There’s also a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse with pro shop, locker rooms and fitness facility. Also available are instructional clinics, individual lessons and a top-notch junior tennis program.The Point Lake and Golf Club
120 Meeting House Square
This private club has four lighted clay courts and two hard-surface courts. There’s also built-in spectator seating, active league competitions, regular social events, clinics and private lessons, as well as a pro shop and locker rooms.The Club at Westport
2525 Shanklin Lane
Located on the west side of the lake, Westport has eight lighted clay courts, along with a clubhouse, fitness center, tournaments, clinics, camps, junior programs and social activities.NorthStone Country Club
15801 NorthStone Drive
Situated in the scenic, 237-acre NorthStone community, this private club features three courts, tennis programs for juniors and adults, private lessons, clinics and social events.
Skybrook Swim & Racquet Club
830 Skybrook Drive
Located in the heart of the Skybrook community, this membership-based club is reserved exclusively for Skybrook homeowners, featuring six lighted tennis courts; private and group lessons from USPTA professionals; a new Junior Quickstart Program; drop-in classes; leagues for ladies, men and mixed; a pro shop; and social events for all ages.
president of the Lake Norman Tennis Association
Fairer, who took over as LNTA president in January, is introducing several new singles leagues this summer and hopes to roll out other new programs in the near future. “The growth of tennis in this area has been amazing in the last five years,” she says. “Junior programs have grown by more than 500 percent. My job now is to keep this growth going.”Amy Brandon,
vice president of the Lake Norman Tennis Association
Brandon is focused mainly on the junior programs, and has been a huge advocate in helping the USTA bring QuickStart Tennis to the Lake Norman area. “We focus a lot on the juniors because if you can get the kids, the adults will follow.”Scott Tucker
, director of Lake Norman Tennis Academy
Tucker runs the Lake Norman Tennis Academy out of Jetton Park through the Cornelius Parks and Recreation department. The program, which uses QucikStart, offers instruction to juniors Monday through Thursday from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m. “QuickStart gives kids a chance to develop and enjoy the game at the same time,” Tucker says.Tom Polk
, President of Compass Draw Tennis
Looking to find people to play with on a regular basis, Polk started Compass Draw Tennis in 2003 with 16 friends. Now the program has over 200 players just in the Lake Norman area and is expanding into Charlotte and Concord. “Compass Draw is a structured way to play tennis, but it gives people the flexibility to work around everything else going on in their lives,” Polk said.Iris Ham
, local USTA league coordinator
If you want to play tennis in a local USTA league, then Iris Ham is the person you need to contact. Ham, who has been the Lake Norman area league coordinator for 14 years, works year-round to help players and their leagues keep organized. If someone is new to the area, she will also help them get connected with a league that fits their skill level. Contact Ham at firstname.lastname@example.org.Leo Feichtenschlager
of Troutman doesn’t have any kind of official role within the LNTA, but he’s one of the people responsible for helping keep the local tennis community thriving. He started a mixed-doubles group two years ago with just a few friends. Through word-of-mouth, other people joined the group, and now an average of 20 people meet every Sunday at various Lake Norman public parks to play.