Club serves up excitement

Published 6:28 pm Monday, February 2, 2009

Although the Pelham Racquet Club hosts events year round, many players cut back on winter play due to the holidays and the cold. As the weather warms and a new season of tennis begins, area tennis players have even more to look forward to as the club prepares for an exciting kick-off during the weekend of March 1.

“We wanted a great kick-off for the new season—we wanted some excitement!” said Pelham Racquet Club employee, Chaney Mills. “We wanted to have a well-known tennis player visit, and we’re thrilled that Tracy Austin is coming to Pelham.”

I remember watching Austin play tennis on television in the 70s triumphing over older tennis greats including Chris Evert and Billie Jean King. Austin was a tough teenager giving all of the experienced players serious competition.

In 1980, 17–year–old Austin became the youngest tennis player ever to be ranked number one in the world. After recovering from a serious car accident in 1989, Austin began working as a tennis commentator for the major networks. And fortunately for Pelham, she also gives tennis clinics and exhibitions.

To encourage everyone to be active and try their hand at tennis, the club is also hosting radio personality Bubba Bussey from the Rick and Bubba show as he takes on the role of tennis instructor in a new class for the racquet club — Bubba 101. Bubba 101 is free to the public and will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28. Even though Bubba is known for his humor, Mills assures me that Bubba is a serious tennis player.

“Bubba plays tennis well,” Mills said. “He’s a racquet club member and plays regularly.”

The free Saturday event will also feature a free tennis clinic. Sign up is required so that the club can prepare for all expected participants. Racquets will be provided.

Austin will lead two clinics on March 1 scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Participation in a clinic will cost $60 and require advance registration. At 5 p.m., Austin will play an exhibition set, which is free to the public.

Call Pelham Racquet club at 621-3380 to register for any of the weekend’s events.