A clay tennis court is not as popular in the United States as it is in South America and Europe. This type of playing surface offers unique advantages. Constructing a clay tennis court can be a challenging undertaking. You will need to equip yourself with the right know-how, seek expert help and prepare the necessary tools and materials.
You Will Need:
- Surface materials
- Dark green paint
- Measuring tools
- Drinking fountain
Step 1 – Plan the Appropriate Location for the Court
It is essential that you plan and secure the location for your court, leaving enough room for the proper dimensions. Tennis courts for doubles have a playing surface that measures 36 x 78 feet. If you consider an additional allowance for the space outside the lines, you should secure a space that has a size of 60 x 120 feet. The location you choose should also have level and solid ground. Additionally, clay courts should be positioned strategically to make sure that the sun’s rays will not interfere with game play. Hence it is preferable to build a court that has the long axis running north and south.
Step 2 – Select the Type of Clay Court You Plan to Construct
Your geographic location is a significant factor to consider in selecting the type of clay court to build. Remember that clay is a material that needs to be watered regularly in order for it to remain solid and firm. Watering also helps prevent cracks and drying up. Because of this, it is not a practical choice to use a red clay court for desert or dry locations. Other types of clay court, which you can consider, are the Har-Tru and synthetic clay. The French Open uses red clay while the U.S. Open used the Har-Tru for its 1975 through 1977 games.
Step 4 – Hire Someone with an Expertise on Clay Court Construction
A contractor who has adequate experience on building a clay tennis court should be hired to carry out the most technical aspects of the clay court construction. One of these includes the construction of the foundation under the playing surface. Typically, clay courts have multiple layers underneath the playing court. Other essential tasks include laying of the surface layer and binding the surface material.
Step 5 – Set the Fences
The fences surrounding the playing area should be at least 10 feet tall. The paint used on the fence should not be distracting; colors like dark green are advisable. For the convenience of the players, gates should be installed in every side of the enclosure.
Step 6 – Install At least One Drinking Fountain
There should be one drinking fountain available within the vicinity of the clay court. This facility should be installed in a shaded area so as to maintain the coolness of the water. The water system for the drinking fountain should be installed near the fence gates and should not be buried near networks of electric wiring.
It is not practical to construct tennis clay courts on your own because of the technical requirements involved. Hence it is advisable to seek expert help from professionals and hire contractors.