Three-time Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret states, “I simply followed the natural features of the land” to explain the genesis of his brainchild, the Onion Creek Club. Here 18 holes of championship golf—designed by course architects Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore—sprawl alongside tennis courts and a clubhouse with a fitness center and junior-Olympic-size swimming pool. The par-70 course’s claim to fame is having hosted the inaugural Senior PGA event in 1978, four years after the greens’ bermuda grass first whimpered under cleated feet. Its signature third hole invites golfers to play aggressively with their drivers in order to vault orbs onto a landing strip guarded by trees and a creek, or to grip their irons and aim for a narrow green that has notoriously uncommunicative air-traffic controllers.
In addition to the course and its accompanying driving range with 30 hitting stations, Onion Creek Club invites racket-wielders to take advantage of lighted hard and clay tennis courts. The clubhouse’s fitness center challenges muscles with Cybex strength machines, and its junior-Olympic-size pool allows 9 irons to slip into their bikinis and go for a splash.
At River Place Country Club, a championship golf course designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Kite, winner of the 1992 U.S. Open, invites golfers to launch balls over sand bunkers and twisting creeks that wend their way through the landscape’s hilly contours. The course’s superintendent draws on experience at Baton Rouge Country Club and Colonial Country Club, as well as a degree in Plant and Soil Systems, as he ensures that the greens and rolling Bermuda grass fairways are more carefully manicured than a prize-winning pet wooly mammoth. The course’s PGA professional instructors are on hand to improve individual games, and a driving range lets players practice at 15 hitting stations.
Adjacent to the course, eight lighted tennis courts abut a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with an outdoor pool, fully equipped fitness center, and locker rooms whose dry saunas and whirlpools melt tension quicker than butter melts on the calves of a sprinter. The Grille invites clubgoers to sup on steak or seafood, and a pair of outdoor decks let guests drink in scenic views.
Course at a Glance:
Briarcrest Country Club's cardio-tennis camp gets hearts pumping with group classes that combine tennis instruction with boot-camp-style circuits in a high-energy workout environment. This one-hour outdoor class is peppered with calorie-burning aerobic tennis drills and agility training exercises such as ladder hopping, cone weaving, and snapping-turtle shuttle runs. Each session includes a warm-up segment, 30–50 minutes of cardio, and a short cool down, and the added use of a heart-rate monitor helps ensure workouts are safe for all participants and that no disguised cheetahs have been able to sneak in.
The 12 full-size and three mini courts at Huber Tennis Ranch provide an immersive environment in which tennis players can practice strokes, perfect footwork, and improve fitness through classes and open-play times. Head instructor Tony Huber leads a teaching staff certified by the Professional Tennis Registry who instruct both adults and juniors on all aspects of the game, from serves and volleys to congratulating a vanquished ball machine on a valiant effort.
Adults participate in several class styles including programs for beginners or cardio tennis, which combines cardiovascular exercise with high-intensity repetition of on-court mechanics. Juniors can rise through a number of ranks based on age and ability, ranging from introductory classes for beginners to classes that train youngsters for high-level competition. While practicing their strokes, players draw inspiration from Tony's wife, Liezel, among the top-ranked professional women's doubles players in the world and Grand Slam champion of the Australian, French, and U.S. Opens as well as Wimbledon. Huber Tennis Ranch keeps a busy schedule of classes and drills; check the calendar for upcoming times.
Kluge's staff of USPTA- and USPTR-certified instructors impart hard-learned tennis tenets to trainees, making on-court improvement an intelligible goal for pupils of all ability levels. A week of summer-camp sessions puts students among a small class of roughly a dozen fellow racquet-wielders, where they will receive individual attention from experts while honing stroke, serve, and volley techniques, playing competitive games and drills, and learning the subtle art of telekinetic ball control. The classes run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings, and sessions are offered each week from June 7 to August 18. Fledgling Federers should bring their own racquet, sunscreen, water bottle, and theme song to play after every ace or winner.
While growing up in Peru, Ken Sjoberg had a passion for tennis. He dedicated years of his life competing, winning championships, and earning rankings before eventually deciding to share his love for the game by founding KS Tennis to help others realize their athletic potential. Equally capable of teaching children or adults, Ken offers lessons for students of all skill levels. Introductory lessons focus on the basic fundamentals and the more advanced sessions emphasize the mental aspects of the game in addition to the physical skills. These sessions frequently teach players how to use strategic play and telekinetic powers to win more matches. Training is only one aspect of preparation, though, so Ken also sells necessary equipment and offers racquet-stringing services.