Legendary Tennis Instructor Vic Braden Passes Away
Vic Braden, who made "Laugh and Win" the catchphrase of his approach to tennis, passed away at his home in Coto de Caza, California on October 6. He was 85 and had been in failing health. According to his wife Melody, "his heart just gave out."
Through the 1980s and 90s he championed a new methodology behind teaching tennis, one that relied on scientific research and his own background in sports psychology. Although he himself had played on Jack Kramer's tennis tour, he had a deep well of sympathy for the less gifted. He used humor to soften the frustration with phrases like "every day two million people play tennis and one million lose." He poked fun at their fears of standing at the net and getting a "fuzz sandwich" and of their foibles of paying a pro for a lesson but then telling him, "Don't mess with my strokes. I'll just get a good tan." But there was a deep-seated seriousness behind his jolly demeanor: he deeply wanted to get and keep people involved with tennis and devoted his life to doing so.
I first met him, as did thousands of others, at his tennis college in Coto de Caza in the 1980s. We kept in touch over the years and each time we met he bubbled with enthusiasm about some new line of research—like brain mapping, which included serving on the board of the Vic Braden Sports Institute For Neurological Research—or newly launched project, like his recent Junior Ambassadors Program, which taught elementary and junior high students how to coach. Medical afflictions in recent years slowed him down—but not much. His wife reported that he was deep into the writing of three new books when he passed away.
I spoke to him by phone a couple of weeks ago. Although weakened illness, he did not want to talk about his health condition but about the future of his Junior Ambassadors Program. To the very last, he wanted to make a difference in people's lives. Billie Jean King spoke for many of us when she Tweeted, "Vic Braden was a dear friend who helped make a difference in my life. He had a kind and generous heart. Tennis has lost a treasure."
How To Sweep a Clay Court
On a recent visit to the Gstaad Palace in Switzerland for a Roy Emerson Tennis Week, I came across this sign showing how to sweep a tennis court and brush the lines. Does anyone have a more efficient method? If so, post them on Tennis Resorts Online's blog.
Club Med's Generation Cup Tournament Series
Hall of Famer and Grand Slam Doubles winner Rosie Casals and her company Sportswoman Inc. have teamed up with Tennis Media Group to bring you a new tournament circuit for senior tennis players: Club Med Generation Cup Series. The events bring together men and women 50-70 years of age to compete in a round-robin format with both men's and women's doubles and mixed.
At these five- and six-day tournaments participants vie for trophies, prizes, and free vacations. The series launches Nov. 15, 2014 at Club Med-Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, then moves to a different venue each month, culminating in the Championship round at Club Med-Sandpiper Bay in Florida in April 2015. For more information, visit www.generationcup.com, which also has information about booking a Club Med holiday encompassing each tournament.
Exclusive Packages and Specials
Discounts, room upgrades, and special packages only available on Tennis Resorts Online.
Saddlebrook Tennis (Hopman), Florida
Free Upgrade to One-bedroom Suite + Amenity Basket
Book the Saddlebrook Tennis School (which offers five hours a day of instruction) and a regular deluxe guest room at Saddlebrook Resort and they'll upgrade you to a one-bedroom suite* at no extra cost (two-night minimum) and include a complimentary Saddlebrook Amenity basket.
To get it, phone toll-free 800-729-8383, x4200 and ask for the Tennis Resorts Online Upgrade.
*Subject to availability at the time of booking
Port Royal Racquet Club, South Carolina
Special $30/Person Off Group Packages
Book our team Ambassador Package for groups and receive $30.00 off per person for stays between August - December of this year. Our three-night Ambassador Package includes Two-Bedroom Deluxe villas (based on four people sharing a two-bedroom), six hours of clinics, unlimited court time, one lunch at our clubhouse, souvenirs and pro shop discounts. Our normal Ambassador discounted price is $405.00 per person, but if you mention Tennis Resorts Online when you book you will receive the extra specail rate of $375.00 per person! To make your reservation for your team tennis trip, please call Tanda at 843-686-8803 and say you want the Tennis Resorts Online special rate. We will look forward to having you vacation with us!
Dave Marshall Tennis, Delaware
Exclusive Weekend Specials
From now through December, Dave Marshall has two special weekend (Friday-Sunday) packages exclusively for Tennis Resorts Online readers.
"Singles Spectacular": a weekend clinic for one with 8 hours of instruction, match play, a tournament, and lodging in a 1-bedroom condo. Cost: $600.
"Double the Fun": a weekend clinic for two with 8 hours of instruction, match play, a tournament, and lodging in a 2-bedroom condo. Cost: $850.
To book, phone Dave Marshall at 302-462-0062 and tell him you want the "Tennis Resorts Online special."
Resort at Longboat Key Club, Florida
All here. All yours. All pro.
Escape to the Four-Diamond Resort at Longboat Key Club and enjoy complimentary play on our USTA award-winning, 20-court Tennis Gardens. Experience golf, spa, dining, and Sarasota’s culture and nightlife. Click here now for our "Tennis Tune Up Package" Package.
John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, Texas
TRO Exclusive: Save $100!
Tennis Resorts Online users can claim a special $100/person discount on any adult all-inclusive week-long camp program. To get it, telephone reservations toll-free at 800-444-6204 or email the Ranch. You must mention Tennis Resorts Online to get the discount. Request a brochure.
Your Recent Reviews
Every time you review a resort or camp you know first hand, you're automatically entered in a drawing for one of the two tennis vacations we're giving away: Saddlebrook International Tennis and TOPS'L Beach & Racquet Resort by Wyndham, both in Florida, and New England Tennis Holidays at Sugarbush, in Vermont.
Here's a sample of recent critiques of the top resorts and camps by other vacationers, followed by a link where you can post your own.
On the Road
Dispatches from my latest travels