Tennis Club Advice

Hello Tennis Families,

My 8 year old has been thoroughly enjoying tennis over the past two years, and we would like to join am Oakland-area club with a very strong tennis program, yet one that also has a pool. I played through college, and my partner also enjoys the game, and we would like to be able to hit more readily than we can when trying to reserve Oakland public courts. My son started at Davies, and now we are ready to go beyond a beginner level, and would like the ready access and full program that clubs offer. We've looked at the Berkeley Tennis Club, the Claremont Country Club, the Claremont Hotel & Spa Club, and the Oakland Hills Club. Which of those clubs is strongest for junior development, and has a positive environment? Can anyone comment on the culture of each place?

Here is what I've found out, but I would appreciate input from community members with experience at any of these clubs. 

1) Berkeley Tennis seems to have great coaches, and my son has enjoyed his lessons there. They currently have a waitlist of up to two years, but we're ready to join a club in the very near future. The pool is smaller than ideal, for we'd all enjoy lap swimming and playing in the pool. 

2) Claremont Country Club - I don't have a clear sense about the strength of their junior tennis program, having never taken a lesson there. I am familiar with the intensive nature of the initiation process, as well as the financial commitment. We aren't interested in a 'country club scene' per se; from what I have heard it is possible to enjoy the tennis and swim development without focusing on a 'scene', but I'd love a perspective on the quality of their tennis program and the nature of the culture, relative to the other clubs. 

3) Claremont Hotel Spa Club - Nice facilities, haven't been able to take lessons here, but when we did a trial (pre-Covid) it was beautiful, albeit corporate, transient, and competitive in feel. The pools were lovely, but I don't have a clear sense about the quality of their tennis program. Didn't return an email or phone call when I recently asked to enroll for a month of jr. classes, but will try again. 

4) Oakland Hills Club - tennis coach / program  didn't return email or texts when I asked to enroll in classes (available to non-members). I am wary, given the Yelp reviews I've read on the club, but the current coach seems well-regarded. Seems to have a fair amount of coach turnover. 

Which of these has the strongest (albeit fun, not looking for a competitive factory) junior development program, yet kind people and management?

We would like to stay in the Oakland area, and not go through the tunnel, given traffic. With Covid we've prioritized how we want to spend our time and resources. 

Thank you very much for your input, and I hope you are well in these times. 

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

RE: Tennis Club Advice ()

I only have experience with the Oakland Hills Tennis Club and I would strongly encourage you to avoid them at all costs.  The negative reviews are well-deserved.  The family that owns and operates the club are rude, unprofessional, disrespectful and whiny.  We had multiple issues with billing errors over the 9 years that we were members and had the unfortunate experience of having to deal with Michelle, who is just unbelievably rude, but their handling of the covid shutdown was the final straw for us.  The owner was sending out misinformation from Facebook (the Covid breath test, which doesn't exist) and constantly whining and complaining about the operating restrictions as if they were the only people being affected by them.   They showed little to no consideration of the hardships that people are facing in the community.  It was appalling!  As members, we never liked the owners but loved the facility, but just couldn't justify supporting their business anymore.  We've heard great things about the Claremont if that is in your budget.  

RE: Tennis Club Advice ()

If you decide that none of those clubs you mention is right for you, and you decide you could consider through the tunnel, then Sleepy Hollow, Orinda CC, both would be good, and both are the first exit through the tunnel..I will give a shout out also to Nike Cal Tennis camps (in the summer) as a fun way to play tennis that is on your side of the tunnel.  Have fun!