Wilmington Country Club’s history features more than 100 years of tennis, including national and local tournaments, junior competition, clinics, lessons, and even a Davis Cup match. With play dating back to 1902, its history books are packed from cover to cover.
While many similar facilities choose to focus on the past, Wilmington Country Club uses its unique history to drive forward.
“Our club has been around for many, many years, but we also realize that things change,” said head Racquets Professional Ed McQuillin. “We make an effort to keep up with the times and offer something for everyone. Today, we really have the full gamut of programming.”
For that reason, Wilmington Country Club is one of USTA Middle States’ Premier Facilities in 2013.
Much of that programming begins with Wilmington’s 10 and Under Tennis program, which begins for kids at Wilmington as young as 3. McQuillin said that the outlook for 10 and Under Tennis is all about keeping it fun, and making learning easy.
This summer, Wilmington hosted 10 and Under Tennis camps and even ran its first-ever 10 and Under tournament, giving players a chance to experience the fun of competition for the first time.
“We plan on holding several tournaments and 10 and Under events per year,” McQuillin said. “It’s a great introduction to our game, and a lot of our 10 and Under players are starting to get quite good.”
Wilmington’s 10 and Under program feeds into more options of top-notch junior programming for kids becoming serious about the game. For those kids, they don’t have to travel far for high-level tournaments. In June alone, the facility hosted three separate junior tournaments, including a USTA Boys Northeast Regional event.
For every junior player learning the game at Wilmington, there is an adult – or an adult team – competing at the same time. Wilmington runs USTA League Tennis while also offering additional opportunities for adults at every level. Teams include men’s, women’s, and mixed.
For 10 years, the club hosted the USTA National 55 and 65 Grass Courts, bringing in players from all over the country, and those grass courts have become a staple of the facility.
“We have four beautiful grass courts that we’re really proud of,” McQuillin said. “The courts are very popular with our players. It’s nice to have them.”
Those grass courts make up just one fifth of the 20 courts on site. Along with the four grass courts, Wilmington boasts 11 clay courts, two outdoor hard courts and three indoor courts.
It’s not only play that goes on at Wilmington Country Club. Earlier this year, Wilmington hosted a training and education program for local pros in the community, hoping to improve the quality of tennis taught in the area.
While a large percentage of Wilmington’s membership comes from Delaware, Wilmington Country Club does see members from Pennsylvania, New York and other cities and states within driving distance. With the combination of tennis and two nationally-recognized golf courses on site, the combo makes for an easy sell.
“A lot of our players like being here because they use it as a place to get away for a weekend or for a few days,” McQuillin said. “Our facility has something for everyone. It’s really a great place to be.”
Categories: Middle States Blog