About the Clubs
Established in 1905, we have been at the centre of Christchurch over a century. The club was originally "united" with the adjacent bowls and croquet clubs, and hence its original name 'United Lawn Tennis Club'. Tennis was effectively separated in 1982 with the completion of our own pavilion, and we changed our name to the more relevant Hagley Park Tennis Club in 2004.
We are a 'not-for-profit 'incorporated society, administered by a committee of keen volunteers. Our courts are maintained by an expert full-time groundsman, with assistance from the members with half day working bees twice a year to topdress the lawn courts with new soil.
In addition there is considerable voluntary work put by particular members. Brian Stedman (club legend and member since the 1940s) is our club patron.
One of the most unique features of the Hagley Park Tennis Club is our 22 lawn tennis courts. If you’ve never played on natural grass the following might give you some idea of what to expect.
Real “Lawn Tennis” is a rare privilege these days as it takes a lot of work to maintain lawn courts properly. Advocates are often passionate about playing on grass whenever they can. In comparison to artificial courts, lawn tennis has
- far less impact on the knees and feet
- they are cooler and milder on hot summer days and the freshly mown grass smell just adds to your enjoyment
- the ball bounces lower (you rarely have to return balls bouncing up around your face)
- balls ‘come through’ toward you with more pace making them easier to return with pace (you need good timing but don’t have to swing as hard – smaller backswing - to play a strong shot)
- balls and shoes do not get worn out and last many times longer
- you can play that ‘Boris Becker’ diving volley (don’t try this on hard courts!)
- overall lawn tennis is relaxing, fun and pleasant to play
On the other hand some players however dislike playing on grass because
- the bounce is not always consistent (a short backswing and fast reflexes help)
- lawn courts take longer to dry out after rain and cannot be played on during winter
- during spring the courts are often soft and the bounce can be very low
- it is not always easy to see the lines on the court
Competitively, players find that their serve works better on grass. Players who like to volley and play from the net enjoy a significant advantage as their opponent is then the only one having to react to the bounce of the ball. Also the surface is slippery, similar to clay courts, and gives your opponent chance to run to your attacking shot. Rallies are usually shorter on grass for these reasons.
Our club coach is very experienced on grass and can offer a specific lawn tennis coaching clinic to help you adjust your game to ensure you get the most out of it.
Playing on grass is quite different from artificial courts and usually that takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get your eye in we think you’ll agree it is a fantastic and memorable experience. What could be more natural?