you think of the environment surrounding a platform tennis court,
you think of cold, dry air, the court surrounded by cedar trees
with leaves turned color from the autumn months, then without any
leaves over the winter months. This is an all too common sight,
unless you happen to play at the Johnson Tennis Courts in Sun City,
Arizona. Here the air is warm enough to play the game in shorts
and your favorite club T-shirt. Green plants, such as palm trees,
and even a cactus or two surround the courts.
Tennis Courts consist of five courts privately owned by the Sun
City West retirement community, which is located twenty miles northwest
of Phoenix. The community consists of over 30,000 residents and
requires at least one person per house to be over the age of fifty-five.
In the winter, the courts are open at eight in the morning while
in the summer, the courts open at six in the morning to get a head
start playing before the Arizona sun becomes too hot. Platform tennis
is played year round in Arizona!
platform tennis courts have been around since 1978 when Del Webb
founded the community. Since 1978 the courts have been resurfaced
by General Acrylic’s, which has proven itself to stand up
to the heat when it exceeds 110 degrees.
Sun City West
has its own racquet club available to its residents or guests. The
club has three facilities, having the main location (the Johnson
Tennis Courts), and two satellite locations, the Kuentz Center and
Palm Ridge Recreation Center.
contain a total of 27 tennis courts, 5 Platform tennis courts (only
three dollars per person for an annual membership), 2 pickle ball
courts, a table tennis center, on staff professionals and open league
play for both men and women. There is even a USTA tournament held
at the club that is open to national participation. All of these
facilities make this an impressive Mecca of a tennis center.
At the end of
each month of September through May, there are catered dinners for
meetings and social events. Making it a wonderful opportunity for
residents to meet others with the same interest for platform tennis.
the courts were originally started for residents, guests of the
community may sign up to use the courts a day in advance to play.
With the flexibility of the court availability, warm weather and
interesting playing environment everyone should try out the courts
the next time they are around the Phoenix area.
With work put
in from the platform tennis directors Ron Gliot and Walt Schalm,
the Sun City West, and the vision of Del Webb has proven that winter,
nor the Arizona sun does not stop a community from gathering to
play a sport during the winter months. Sun City West had incorporated
platform tennis courts into its original plans, played year round,
the sport is a proven source of exercise for residents, because
of the quick learning curve and smaller court size of platform tennis.
Sun City West
proved that for the past 25 years that platform tennis can survive
in a warm climate. It serves as a model for other communities that
need for recreational activities that can be played by all ages.
Paddlepro.com applauds their success and longevity in the sport
of platform tennis.