Map of Courts Played
Bulgarian Wins = ReMax Logo / NOCO Wins = Red Square / Green Dudes = Team Win View NOCO vs Bulgaria in a larger map

Friday, May 11, 2012

West County Ladder - Tennis on the cheap!

One of St. Louis's great annual tennis traditions is the West County Ladder which has been going strong for over 30 years.   The ladder is hosted by our local tennis shop The Racketman.   Both Scott and Stan play on the ladder and Scott finished #1 in singles in 2010 for the first time in 31 years of participation.  The annual opening party was hosted this year at Forest Lake Tennis and Swim Club.  The club is a nice venue with both outdoor and indoor courts.

West County Ladder works like this for $25 bucks you join the ladder and can enter singles, doubles and mixed ladders.   Then you set up matches at a place and time of your choosing.   You get to meet a lot of new people and get exposed to a wide variety of tennis styles.   It is one of the lowest cost tennis programs around. Scott has played close to 30 matches in one summer in past years.

The opening party is more of a social event with food and drink and a little fun tennis.   Scott and Stan hit the courts and were able to play four sets of tennis this evening.   The highlight was beating our friend  Amit and his partner Sara a 4.5 player by a score of 6-1.   Amit is a tough challenge for us always as he is one of the most consistent players around.   A match against Amit is often compared to Chinese water torture as he wears you down one stroke at a time.   We have often seen him play points of over 100 shots at which point his opponent is usually exhausted and he looks fresh as a daisy.   Amit and Sara did not let us savor our victory for long as they demanded a rematch and promptly beat us 6-3 in the second set.  

As a facility Forest Lake is pretty good.   As you would expect from an indoor facility the courts are in good shape.  Lighting here can be a little spotty and the fixtures hang down and can get in the way of your shots if you are pulled out wide.   Location is a 10 and court condition a 8.5 for a 9.25 rating.    One of our favorite nearby restaurants is The Gulf Shores which specializes in Cajun/Seafood.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Forestwood Park - A Tennis Lesson

Stan was a little busy this past week working on his 20 Villa lots(make offer) in Ferguson, a quaint little town in NOCO.  So a match was scheduled with Barry Storms to be played at Forestwood Park/Ferguson Recreation Complex.    Scott arrived about fifteen minutes early and a young boy approached and asked if he could hit with him.  Scott explained that he was meeting someone to play but if the kid was still around he would hit with him at the end.   Barry showed up unaware of this conversation and the match was on.   Scott and Barry have played twice before and each has won a match.   Barry is quick and has a good forehand and backhand and a unique weapon which is a slice forehand.

Our young friend volunteered to ballboy.   The courts look freshly redone and seemed a little fast as we started to play.   It was a battle right out of the box.  Back and forth until 5-5 in the first.  At that point Barry was able to break Scott's serve and close out the set.   Second set was more of the same 3-3 a serve break and Barry closed it out 6-3.   Courts were decent with no bad bounces.  

As the match ended our young friend reminded Scott he wanted to hit.   Barry not realizing what Scott had promised started packing up.   As Scott began to hit with the young boy it was clearly evident Scott had no teaching skills.   Barry who has worked with kids a lot in the past couldn't stand it and before you know it he was on the court teaching the kid basic tennis skills while Scott shagged balls and fed balls to them.   After about 25 minutes the kid received a solid lesson on basic forehand and backhand skills!   We also made him aware of the Net Rushers a tennis charity that provides some lessons on these courts.  Time did not allow but if it had we would have certainly retired to Ferguson Brewing for an ice cold beverage.

The greatest part of playing on forgotten courts is inspiring folks to play tennis.    Since most of the tennis "elite" in St. Louis play on the same few courts, good tennis is rarely seen at many of these facilities.   Location for these courts is an 8 and the surface is also an 8 for a total rating of 8.