APRIL 2020

TCB is aiming to inform tennis club owners, tennis directors, and pros about pickleball and what it takes to get into the sport, best practices, and pitfalls. Watch for examples of the successful integration of pickleball into a great tennis program every month now.

Templeton Tennis Ranch

From the club's website:  Experience a Superior Local Recreation Club

Set amid a tranquil wooded property, our stunning clubhouse, versatile fitness center, infrared sauna, and state-of-the-art tennis and pickleball courts are why visitors and locals alike enjoy the Central Coast’s unparalleled family fitness hub and event center. website

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Scott Cleere

 

TCB: Scott, where are you originally from? 

SC: I grew up in Anaheim, CA and moved to Greeley, CO when I was 17.

 

TCB: How old were you when you started to play tennis and who got you into it?

SC: I messed around with it as a kid but moved to Greeley, CO in the middle of my junior year of high school and took a tennis class in PE. After that, I started playing with my dad and he got me training on a more regular basis with some lessons. We played a lot at the local park courts and at UNC where my dad was a sociology professor. He was a solid player, lefty, he played in San Bernardino growing up.

TCB: Did you play High School/College tennis?

SC: Yes, I played second doubles my senior year at Greeley Central HS  and later at the University of Northern Colorado. Managed to make the top 10 from 1980 and 1981. An accomplishment I am proud of considering I had only started playing a couple of years before.

TCB: When did you decide to get into the teaching of tennis?

SC: 1979 during the summer between my junior and senior years at UNC I put up flyers in the student center and around the dorms. It was a great way to share my love of tennis and make some money doing it. After graduation, I worked for Ken Curry as his assistant pro at the Skyline Acres Swim and Tennis Club in Denver. In the winter I taught skiing at Winter Park just west of Denver. It was a great seasonal working schedule for both sports.

 

TCB: When did you become USPTA certified?

SC: I took my first USPTA test at the San Francisco Tennis Club in 2006, and received a P2 rating. Then later took the group lesson part of the test in 2008 at the Seaside Tennis Club in Huntington Beach and completed my P1 rating.

TCB: How long have you been at TTR and what did you do before?

SC: I started at TTR in July of 2016. Before that I was teaching on private courts in San Luis Obispo and had been an assistant pro at Santa Maria Country Club, Avila Bay Club and worked for SLO and Pismo Beach Parks and Rec departments. I also had a business called Creative Athletics doing school assemblies and teacher workshops demonstrating and teaching alternative sports like hacky sack, juggling and a variety of international games. This was during a hiatus from tennis from 1984 to 1996 when we moved from Redondo Beach to San Luis Obispo. I have many stories of my time as a footbag (Hacky Sack) professional (a story for another time).

TCB: When did you incorporate pickleball into your programs and how did this come about?

SC: TTR had decided to build 4 pickleball courts during construction. This was the owner's decision to get involved in the growing popularity of pickleball and diversify the club's offerings.

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TCB: You have 8 permanent pickleball courts. How many PB players do you have?

SC: I think we have about 150 pickleball members.

 

TCB: Does the club have separate PB and tennis memberships?

SC: Yes, we have tennis, pickleball, gym, and all-inclusive membership options.

TCB: What does amortizing those 8 PB courts look like? Is PB financially attractive for you?

SC: Yes, it's no secret that participation in tennis is holding steady but not growing at a rate that it used to. Pickleball, on the other hand, is growing daily so revenue from memberships, lessons, and events is attractive to any club owner.

 

TCB: Do you play pickleball? What paddle do you play with?

SC: Yes, I play some but I don't have a favorite paddle. As a relatively new club (opened in April of 2015) and as the Director of Tennis my role is to promote and grow tennis. We have a great pickleball director in Kelly Forestall, she coordinates a lot of the pickleball activity.

TCB: What is your greatest challenge as TD at TTR?

SC: The single greatest challenge is generating enough of a revenue stream from the sport; increasing memberships, participation in events, getting new players, bringing back existing players. There is a whole universe of tennis players and infrastructure out there that needs to be accessed and that keeps me up at night.

TCB: What’s your tennis racquet of choice?

SC: Head - Instinct MP. It's a sweet piece of equipment.

TCB: Thank you, Scott Cleere.

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