Cliff Drysdale Tennis (CDT) teaches thousands of tennis players each year, priding themselves on delivering the “ultimate tennis experience.” And one question is commonly asked at the end of a camp: “Can your pros make a trip to our club?”
The answer is yes. The Cliff Drysdale Touring Camps returned in 2019, and the team is ready to hit the road even more frequently in 2020. The touring camps are not new. A little over a decade ago, CDT had a full-time team of traveling pros who delivered special events at tennis clubs, communities, and associations across the nation. An option once again, these events have proven to be a fantastic way to make tennis more engaging, and create value for tennis club owners, managers, and directors.
“The Touring Camps are where I really learned what it meant to be a Cliff Drysdale Tennis pro,” said Scott Colebourne, Chief Operating Officer for Cliff Drysdale Tennis. “Being around a group of professionals who made energy and fun the priority showed me just how impactful we can be as coaches.”
In 2019, Cliff Drysdale Tennis made a handful of stops, including a special adult and junior event in Red Ledges, Utah. Michael Topp, director of tennis at Red Ledges, noted that his members not only loved the experience, but actually played more tennis after the touring camp.
“The energy and enthusiasm of the touring camp makes everyone excited to get back out on the court,” Topp said. “Whether they play every day or haven’t been back out for a few weeks, this is exactly the type of event that can spark interest in tennis at our club.”
CDT and the host club work together to plan out an event that will make the biggest splash with members. Often this includes adult and junior clinics, as well as pro exhibitions and pro-am round robins. These are programs not typically included in the weekly schedule at most clubs, and the result has been highly satisfied players, pros, and host clubs.
One of the challenging aspects of a touring camp, on the surface, is the potential for conflicted coaching philosophies. That’s why one of the camp’s top priorities is to actually mix the host club’s pros with the traveling touring team.
“WHETHER THEY PLAY EVERY DAY OR HAVEN’T BEEN BACK OUT FOR A FEW WEEKS, THIS IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF EVENT THAT CAN SPARK INTEREST IN TENNIS AT OUR CLUB.”
“Collaborating with other pros is what allows us to really excel and deliver the best experience possible,” said Mitch Joyce, a touring team pro based out of New Braunfels, Texas. “Every tennis pro has a different perspective, and we want to make sure that we allow each individual to shine rather than conform to a singular idea.”
The touring camps also prove to be a great way to get non-tennis playing members or guests to be involved with the sport. Whether it’s a complimentary mixer, barbeque, or exhibition match, these events draw more eyes on tennis at each of the host clubs. It’s also common to host introductory sessions for players new to the sport.
One of the highlights of the touring camp schedule in 2019 was a stop at Belfair, a Troon Privè property in Bluffton, South Carolina. The facility includes a grass court on which the pro exhibition was played. After the match, members gathered for dinner and drinks. Mix in four great clinics throughout the weekend, and it all amounted to an amazing event. Touring camps are planned at Troon-managed facilities across the nation in 2020.
For more information about how to bring one of these special events to your club, email Joey Hanf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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