Below are the benefits of playing tennis on clay courts. The Sea Pines Racquet Club has 21 Har-Tru Clay Courts.
Courts reduce risk of injury: A recent survey by the United States Tennis Association shows amateur tennis players play for life. They start when they are very young and continue to play well into their retirement years. They play for a variety of reasons, ranging from mere relaxation to maintaining a lifetime of enjoyable health. However, they do not play tennis to receive or aggravate back injuries, strained muscles, or broken bones.
A study on the physical injuries resulting from tennis play was conducted by the University of Calgary, Canada. It was found that one out of every two tennis players was likely to suffer a tennis injury during one 6 month season of playing. This study clearly connects tennis injuries of the lower extremities, back and groin, with two factors: the court surface and the shoe. Surfaces that allow sliding resulted in approximately 75% fewer injuries than surfaces which did not.
HAR-TRU courts are easier on the body than other types of courts. They are more advantageous for the back, legs, and ankles than asphalt/hard courts. HAR-TRU is flexible, allowing a player to slide and recover under control, instead of having to slam down onto the court, absorbing the shock in every joint in the body. Doctors praise the flexibility of HAR-TRU, reporting that it reduces the risk of injury. Play it safe at your club: HAR-TRU...making tennis playing safer.
Cooler surface temperature: Compared to other dark colored surfaces that absorb and retain the sun's heat, HAR-TRU retains its moisture and breathes, keeping the surface an average of 20% cooler than hard courts, even during the hot Hilton Head days of summer.
Slower ball speed for a more enjoyable game: The ball bounce on a HAR-TRU court is uniform and has a consistently slower bounce than other surfaces. This attribute allows longer rallies, a greater variety of strokes and a more controlled game for players. In short, every move by the player is made more effective but less strenuous. Even the lines are easier to call since ball marks are visible to players. This also creates exciting matches for players.
Player develops a better, more well rounded game: The USTA Executive Committee recently reviewed a report discussing the disappearance of U.S. Tennis Superstars. One of the reasons cited for this was the lack of early training and competition on clay courts in the U.S. An analysis of the world's top tennis players showed that most had extensive clay court development backgrounds. Clay court play develops toughness, stamina, patience and strategy that hard court play does not.
Surface dries quickly after rain: Unlike hard court surfaces, players can be on a HAR-TRU court in a matter of minutes after a rain shower. Because of the way a HAR-TRU court is structured, water is absorbed through the surfacing and into the base like a blotter. The slope of the court then allows excess water to run off, leaving the court moist and ready for play. Many of our courts dry within one to two hours of a heavy downpour.
Environmentally safe surface: HAR-TRU is made up of natural, crushed, green stone, leaving no chemicals or toxic waste of which to dispose. The surface also solves run-off control problems, since it absorbs water as effectively as the original sod it replaced.