Tennis Technology


The debate over which surface is best will go on and on. What's indisputable, however, is that every court needs proper care. Maintenance is directly proportionate to the amount of time a court is in use. And since neglect will lead to much faster deterioration than if a minimal level of care had been provided, you should follow a regular schedule.

Before play picks up and you get busy servicing your members' individual needs, now is the time to cast a critical eye over your facility, looking for those problems that will require minor repairs or adjustments. Knowing what to look for can make this annual task a little less taxing.

The bottom line is: People enjoy playing on a dean, well-maintained court at a clean, well-maintained facility. And, even if your club doesn't have the resources to build new courts, you can create a better atmosphere for your players. Here are a few suggestions. (For more information, contact the manufacturer of your specific tennis court surface.)

Asphalt and Concrete Courts

Fast-Dry Courts

Sand-Filled

Net and Posts

Court Fencing

Windscreens

Court Lighting

Player Amenities

Landscaping


HELP! During the playing season you'll be faced with a number of cleaning problems. Here are several that nearly every court experiences.

Hard Courts

SOFT DRINKS: Use a mild, low-sudsing detergent like Spic and Span and a stiff bristle broom. Take care of spills immediately to avoid accumulation of dirt, sticky spots and/or permanent staining.

LEAF STAINS: The best way to avoid leaf stains is to blow them off soon after they fall. If you missed some, use a bleaching product diluted with water. Have a bucket of water or running water nearby for rinsing. Otherwise, bleach left unattended, even diluted, can change the court's color within one-half hour.

GUM: Stiffen the gum with ice cubes (and preferably on a cold day) and it should come up with a spackling blade. Dry ice is also a great agent for getting up unwanted gum.

WATER PUDDLES: Squeegees and rollers work best for removing water before it puddles. The most recommended agent for removing water stains is a generic TSP (tri sodium phosphate), a bleaching agent combining one part household bleach to six parts water. Again, have running water available to rinse the court.

MOLD AND MILDEW: At the very least, they are a safety hazard to players. Again, use either a TSP or power washer to clean mold and mildew. Hot, humid areas are the most troubled.

Fast-Dry

ALGAE: You'll find it in the comers, areas that receive little activity. Algae must be first killed, then removed. Use one cup of chlorine to one bucket of water. But before you clean, make sure the bleach doesn't run off into shrubs and brushes. Try to agitate (sweep or brush) the areas on a regular basis.

WEEDS: Regular brushing keeps any growth problems down to a minimum. Use lawn and garden center herbicides used for grassy and broad leaf weed control.