20 September 16  |  Tennis   |  

The History of Clay Tennis Courts

Tennis can be played on a number of different surface types. Wimbledon is famous for its rye-sown grass courts. The French Open is instantly recognizable based on the red-clay courts. So what is the history of clay tennis courts? How did they come to be used, and why have they persisted?

Early Clay Courts

Clay courts are thought to have been invented in England. In the harsh sun of the summer months, grass courts would burn. The playing surface affected the way matches were played. Clay was first used as a protectant: grounded up second-quality pots were used to cover the grass.

Modern Clay Courts

Modern clay courts began to be used in the mid-1900s. Clubs and homes used locally available clay, or ground-up brick, which caused considerable variation in the way tennis balls played on the different courts. With the first Har-Tru courts in the 1930s, the use of courts became more standardized and predictable.

The two types used are red clay and green clay. Red clay courts are made from crushed brick. Green clay courts are made from crushed basalt, which is volcanic rock. The use of clay courts is more common in Europe than in North America.

People playing tennis at Golden Ocala.

Like grass, clay courts require considerable maintenance. The courts need to be rolled to maintain flatness. Although clay courts are designed to handle run-off well – they can be dry 30 minutes after rain – they often must be sloped to manage runoff. While the initial cost of a clay court is often lower than grass or other materials, over time the maintenance costs can be just as high.

Tennis At Golden Ocala

In addition to golf and horseback riding, Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is known for its tennis facilities. With the latest in Har-Tru Hydro-Grid® courts, we have excellent, up-to-date courts, and a high level of play available. Best of all, we can accommodate any level of play.

We offer instruction for beginners or experienced players. Our pros are highly qualified and love to help people take their game to the next level. There’s champion league play for competitive types. Tennis is a big part of the lifestyle here. The courts are even lit for night-time play!

Contact us today to learn more. Tennis is a great way to get fit, spend some time outdoors, and grow your social circle. A quick call to one of our pros at (352) 402-4351 is all it takes to get started.