It’s been 12 years since Nancy Ehrola became a staff member at The Atlantic Club Tennis Center, and she’s never seen the facility quite like this.
“Everything is redone and brand new,” Ehrola said. “The court surfaces, lights, nets and posts – really everything. It looks great, and we’re getting incredible feedback.”
Positive feedback is something the staff at the Manasquan, N.J.-based Atlantic Club is used to. One of the Middle States Premier Facilities in 2013, The Atlantic Club services players year-round on 13 courts. The courts are covered and heated during the winter, with eight being uncovered for the summer.
Whatever the season, though, there is always plenty of tennis to be played.
The Atlantic Club in known in the New Jersey community for boasting a strong group of USTA League teams, and a variety of USTA Tournaments that draws in junior players from within a six-hour drive.
The junior tournaments span numerous levels and give players a chance to experience and thrive in a competitive setting. The club also runs 10 and Under Tennis four days per week. Ehrola added that the club is looking to expand the 10 and Under program even farther with tournaments and other play opportunities. The players’ experience is always the first thing club management’s mind.
“Our junior programming is enormous here and we’ve had a lot of success with it,” Ehrola said. “The kids for our tournament play come from as far as Pittsburgh, depending on the level. We also have a lot of local kids playing in tournaments, taking clinics, and learning the game.”
In addition, the club offers programming for kids as young as 3 called Teddy Tennis, and a full range of clinics and play opportunities for adults. Outside of the many USTA League teams, The Atlantic Club offers a Golden Aces program for seniors.
The program runs twice per week for three hours, and includes drill and match play. Ehrola said the program includes players from 55 to 90.
Along with providing tennis to New Jersey residents, the club sees plenty of out-of-town visitors in the spring and summer months as families and individuals from across the country visit New Jerseys’ beaches and surrounding towns.
“We almost run two separate businesses here,” Ehrola said. “In the winter we are strictly an indoor facility, drawing from throughout the state. In the summer, so many people are in the shore area, and that changes things. We have a big summer camp business, and a lot of players just coming in for a week or two, which is a lot of fun.”
Ehrola has been a part of the tennis facility for so long that her and the staff even recognize many players from the vacation crowd, which seem to come back summer after summer. The years pass, but many of the same players continue to come back for more.
“We recognize the people each year, it’s fun to see them come back,” she said. “The kids will come in and be six inches taller. It’s almost like watching them grow up.”