There's seldom a silent moment at Dayton Center Courts and Tennis Academy. Ten indoor courts and four outdoor clay courts reverberate with the metronomic sound of baseline rallies and shuffling feet. On these courts, players of all abilities—ranging from "casual" to "serious" to "advanced"—take advantage of instructional clinics and lessons or they can join a league to get more match play. Kids as young as 4 begin their path to aces and winners in the junior program, which uses modern training techniques such as custom balls that make it easier for youngsters to learn proper mechanics. Ball machines facilitate independent practice sessions, and a pro shop equips players with new rackets, shoes, and strings, which make air-guitar sessions look more realistic.
Neon streaks fly over and, occasionally, into the four nets at Green Tennis Club, a sign of players taking vigorous whacks with their tennis rackets during casual play and lessons. Certified USPTA professionals lead the lessons, imparting advice for smashing powerful ground strokes and developing a serve in both private and group settings. The teachers also organize weekly group drills, which invite players of similar skill level to practice different aspects of the game.
For the first time ever, the Western & Southern Open—one of the nation's oldest professional tennis tournaments still played in its city of origin—will host top-tier men's and women's matches during the week of August 13–21. Two single session tickets offer up 300-level seating to the first rounds of session 5 held at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, a venue stocked with three televised match courts and nets containing snap-happy lobsters. Live music, food vendors, and racket-slamming action captivate the crowd before announcers crown male and female winners. Past victors of the Western & Southern Open include John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and an out-of-control tennis ball-launching machine.
From its upstairs perch in the club house, Vito’s patio offers a panoramic view of the course’s 18th green so that you can witness impressive birdies and amusing putter-flinging meltdowns while sampling the Old Country–influenced menu. Tee off with appetizers such as the three-onion dip ($6.59), calamari parma ($7.99), and zucchini frito ($6.99), or munch one of 11 pre-determined, gourmet, Sicilian pizza pies. “Sangwiches” include the meataballa ($7.59) and grande hot Sicilian ($8.99), while paninis include chicken gorgonzola ($7.99) and roasted turkey ($7.99). For heartier fare, twirl a fork into pastas such as the blackened salmon with angel hair ($14.99) and penne al forno ($7.99, large $11.99), or drive one down the fairway with a house specialty such as the steak Vito ($12.99) or grilled salmon putanesca ($13.99).
Renowned course architect Pete Dye sculpted Little Turtle Golf Club's 18-hole course from 6,622 yards of Ohio countryside, artfully incorporating the waters of Big Walnut Creek into the par 72 layout. As golfers pass through the course's tree-lined fairways, they can imagine themselves walking in the footsteps and divotsteps of 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples, who holds the Little Turtle course record along with Champions Tour player Rod Spittle, the club's director emeritus of golf. Water hazards come into play on 10 holes throughout the round, often positioned close to greens to make approach shots a daunting task. The club complements its championship course with a practice facility that boasts a full-length driving range and a green with a practice bunker and designated areas for chipping.
Little Turtle Golf Club pairs its par-hunting pursuits with a lively social regimen, which includes holiday events, gatherings for sports fans, and poker nights. The epicenter for all friendly get-togethers, the Grille Room regales guests with a limestone fireplace, a copper bar, and outdoor seating that overlooks the placid waters and amphibious caddies of Lake Turtle.
Course at a Glance:
At Scarborough East Tennis & Fitness Club, manager Bob Hilborn and his dedicated staff of tennis professionals impart cross-court wisdom to racket wielders of all ages. The team keeps members and guests in shape year-round by hosting lessons on indoor courts during cold months and on outdoor courts when it starts to rain inside. Membership programs gives ball swatters the ability to reserve courts, plus they get access to the workout facility, complete with computerized bikes, rowing machines, free weights, saunas, and towel service. Members can also take advantage of exclusive opportunities such as the yearlong junior program. This multilevel program pairs up to four students with an instructor who will attempt to help them hone their forehands and fine-tune their volleys.