At East Hartford Tennis Club, head pros Scott Snow and Sharon Murphy work with a team of fellow certified tennis instructors to spread a love for the sport. On contemporary courts, they shape athletes of all ages—some as young as 4—with fun games and drills, as well as more competitive training. Parents can oversee the lessons from the comfort of a courtside lounge.
Whether you need a racket restrung in the pro shop or want to hear stories about the time he taught an up-and-coming Maria Sharapova, Glastonbury Tennis Club director Jim Melesko happily consults with visitors on all aspects of the game. Jim oversees the club's six championship courts, where he and his fellow professional teachers coach kids and adults alike. Their lessons cover game basics to tournament techniques, preparing students for both casual and USTA team matches. Spectators can observe practicing players from an observation deck in the lounge, which is equipped with daycare centers and free WiFi.
Half the personal trainers at Sport & Wellness left lucrative careers in other fields to become fitness professionals. The other half jumped right into the world of fitness, accumulating multiple certifications. Regardless of background, the trainers share a common love for athletic pursuits. At Sport & Wellness, they work with equally passionate tennis pros, group-exercise instructors, and climbing experts to help clients become healthier. The professionals oversee five DecoTurf hard tennis courts, a 1,000-square-foot climbing wall, a fitness center, and group-exercise studios. They lend assistance when requested and stay mum when it's not, just like robot butlers. At the on-site nursery, attendants supervise kids while parents work out or socialize.
Solars Sports Clubs has fitness fanatics of all stripes covered, offering amenities that range from the parquet of the basketball court and the hardened evergreen of the tennis courts to rows of weight machines and the whirr of the smoothie bar. Group classes whip participants into shape, whether it's heart-pumping belly dancing or spin classes that encourage cyclists to workout without having to share the road with reckless turtles. Solaris also offers kids classes and summer camps, getting little ones off the couch and into action while honing their sports skills.
Since it first appeared more than a century ago, The Blandford Club has billed itself as a social beehive for its golf- and tennis-loving members in the Connecticut River Valley. The nine-hole golf course is a model of low-stress golf. Not only are the fairways wide and the greens friendly, but players don't need to schedule a tee time before showing up for a round, even if they aren't impersonating the president. Further, the fifth hole ends back at the clubhouse, so golfers are free to cut their rounds short if they're running low on daylight or only have a couple hours to spare. The user-friendliness extends to the tennis courts as well, where the Har-Tru court surface produces a reliable bounce while taking it easy on the knees.