The unique sound of a well struck tennis ball can be heard all summer long at the many tennis locations throughout the Hamptons. With the pandemic now well in the rear-view mirror tennis is back in high feather on the east end. The east end is rich in tennis history and lore. Over the years there have been many pro-am and fund-raising tournaments in the Hamptons. For example, years back at Ross School Tennis facility, billionaire Michael Milken raised $1 million for prostate cancer in one day. He had high net worth individuals, many who flew in for the event, pony up tens of thousands to team with pros like Jimmy Connors, Johan Kriek and Jimmy Arias to help raise money to fight that cancer.
The Ross School also has held its own pro-am and round robin events to raise funds for School programs, scholarships and charities. To achieve this goal over the years pro tennis stars like, Jim Grabb, Andre Agassi, and the Williams Sisters have stopped in at the fundraisers as well as numerous local celebrities like Christie Brinkley and Alec Baldwin.
Tennis is a very demanding game combining acquired skills, stamina, competitive fire and guile. Unlike pickleball, one doesn’t just pick up a racquet for the first time and in 5 minutes can be playing a solid tennis match. It’s old school, with hard work to master the strokes that will enable one to compete and win.
There are many fantastic tennis facilities on the east end. Playing tennis at a tennis club or facility adds a certain panache. A noted east end tennis player said, “It’s not the same playing on my private court. It’s just not the same.” President George Herbert Walker Bush loved to play at the River Tennis Club in Kennebunkport until the Secret Service forced him to play on the courts on his compound for security reasons.
The cozy Triangle Club, located in the heart of Southampton Village is an oasis of high-level tennis activity yet so close to the activity of the village. It has two Har-Tru tennis courts. Har-Tru tennis courts appear lime green and consist of crushed pebbles, almost in a fine powder form, that creates a surface that is easy on the legs, cooler on really hot days and dries faster after rain than hard courts.
For year-round training and access in Southampton there is the FS Tennis Club. From May to September, they have 8 tennis courts available for use. Four Har-Tru, and four DecoTurf (usually referred to as hard courts). DecoTurf courts are actually a mixture of tar and cork.
East Hampton Indoor Tennis is perhaps the best-known tennis and racquet facility on the east end because it has expanded to become a unique destination. Since opening in the winter of 1995, East Hampton Indoor Tennis (EHIT) has established itself as a premier tennis facility in the Hamptons. Situated on 24 acres, EHIT is comprised of 6 indoor courts, 20 outdoor courts, 2 platform tennis courts, a full-service pro shop and state of the art clubhouse with 7,500 square feet of decking for player viewing and comfort. Now it also has nightly dining, entertainment and even bowling
Sportime in Amagansett is considered the largest Hamptons tennis facility, with 33 outdoor courts, all Har-Tru. They also have one DecoTurf court along with 3 pickleball courts. There is also a Sportime in Quogue, a year-round tennis facility with 22 outdoor Har-Tru courts and 4 indoor Hard-Tru courts.
Also in East Hampton Village is the Buckskill Tennis Club. They like to refer to their facility as the “low key, friendly little club where the grass is greener.” Although they allow only a certain number of members, the facility consists of 3 grass courts, 6 Har-Tru courts and one DecoTurf. Even if you are not a member you can call and book a lesson.
In Montauk there is tennis available at Montauk Downs Tennis, where everyone is welcome to book time on the many Har-Tru courts there, right next to the golf course parking lot.
There is also the Napeague Tennis Club on Route 27, consisting of 5 DecoTurf courts. If you live in or visit that area between Amaganset village and Montauk, call and they will find you a game.
Lastly, two of the most private and exclusive tennis clubs in the U.S. are located on the east end. The Maidstone Club in East Hampton Village and The Meadow Club in Southampton Village. Draped with a long-storied history, both exclusive clubs feature grass courts. You must be invited by a member in order to play, and even then there are “rules.” The Meadow Club used to have a huge tournament that was a major tune-up for the U.S. Open when it was played on grass at Forest Hills.